Hitting theaters on April 27th, Fox Searchlight's Sound of My Voice arrives from director Zat Batmanglij, who co-wrote with star Brit Marling (Another Earth). In the film, Marling plays Maggie, a mysterious woman at the center of Los Angeles-based cult that a reporter, Peter (Christopher Denham) attempts to infiltrate and expose with his girlfiend (Nicole Vicius).
Last month, Fox Searchlight released the first 12-minutes of Sound of My Voice online and, as you can view in the player at the bottom of the page, the video offers links throughout to a variety of viral sites tying to the cult at the center of the film. One of the pages makes mention of regular meetings at LA's Ukrainian Cultural Center at 4315 Melrose Avenue every Thursday night at 7pm. Last night, ComingSoon.net decided to see exactly how far the viral goes and learned that not only are the meetings real, but that the actors themselves are fully involved, remaining in-character and interacting with anyone who decides to show up Thursday nights between now and the film's release.
Just before 7:00, this reporter arrived at the Center and was greeted by a woman, dressed all in white, who maintained a soft voice and a beaming smile for the duration of the meeting. She lead a small group of attendees (all of whom had discovered the same mysterious date and time online) inside and upstairs. Sitting on a carpet floor, she began instructing us in breathing exercises and then, pairing us off, had us stare intensely into our partners' eyes, telling us to try and reach a deeper level than is possible with words.
Following the relaxation exercises, we followed the woman in white into another room and sat at a table where she offered to answer any questions that we might have. Inquiries came up about how the group operates and who, exactly, Maggie is. The woman told us that another member of the group, Klaus (played by Richard Wharton in the film) discovered Maggie and that, for her own safety, only those that the group approves are allowed to meet her.
Soon after that, Klaus himself joined us in the room also dressed in white and giving off a similarly smiling, peaceful aura. (Although, at one point, I asked if I was allowed to take pictures and, while he allowed it, he said, "That's not a spy camera, is it?")
By the end of the evening, the meeting raised even more interesting questions than it answered, but we were all asked to return next week with the promise that, after a long enough commitment, we too would meet Maggie and that her presence will change our lives.
If you're in Los Angeles and want to experience the film's viral campaign first-hand, Thursday night meetings are planned for the foreseeable future. Klaus mentioned that different members will be on-hand different weeks and to remember that wearing all white is optional.
Anyone who can't attend the meeting can still catch Sound of My Voice in theaters on April 27th and can also check out the first 12 minutes ("Chapter 1") in the player below: