Saturday, March 31, 2012

'The Hunger Games' Gaming the System

Clips from Daniel Frankel's piece ( on 'The Hunger Games' approach to marketing:

  • To amplify the impact of these campaigns, studios will pay the big social platforms—for Facebook, for example, they’ll often give up more than a doller per “like,” creating an illusion of social media buzz.

  • Lionsgate’s campaign differed from most movie campaigns because it created, well, actual social media buzz. The key: instead of paying for likes, the studio put its resources into creating rich-media elements that far outstrip the ambition of simple games and other movie collateral, such as an interactive tour of the source novel’s “Capital,” which was accessible through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG). The tour wasn’t a movie ad—it was an interactive experience rendered from the book with painstaking detail. 

  • “They simply appreciated the value of the book and fleshed out its world with a massive amount of content that’s designed to live on the web, well beyond what you see in the film itself,” the rival studio marketer said. “They activated the core fan base from day one, fired them up and let them carry the message to their friends, which in turn grew the fan base.” 

I saw very little of the marketing effort but what I did see was pretty cool, and any campaign that gets a video feature at NYT has to be considered a success. THG's interactive site was, hard to deny, impressive -- probably the best I've seen.

Frankel posits THG may have created a new model for movie marketing based on interactive content, tailored sites, widgets and games and such. I can't argue. We may have become inured to standard ads and trailers, and they cost much more than creating your own web destination for fans to explore.

Frankel continues:
  • Promotional costs for a big Hollywood movie typically exceed $100 million. But Lionsgate, a so-called mini-major, coming off a series of bombs, doesn’t have that kind of money. It had to make do with a marketing budget of around $45 million, with a typical allocation of 8 to 10 percent of that going to digital media spending.
That speaks volumes. Really, it's amazing what Lionsgate accomplished with that kind of cash. By contrast, look how bad the campaign for 'John Carter' flopped around, how much more it cost, (and what it accomplished).

If the quality of production of sites like The Capitol Tour is there I think fans, or potential fans, will respond no matter what the genre or who the targeted audience is. I wouldn't be surprised to see this kind of marketing approach become the norm.


Friday, March 30, 2012

New Stills from 'Mirror Mirror'

These should tide you over until you run out this weekend and see 'Mirror Mirror'.

Got to admit, as little as I've found to like about this movie, these stills are pretty good.


New Ever So Slightly Different Trailer for 'ParaNorman'

With just a tad new footage. But...worth it.


Stirring 'Hunger Games' Propaganda!

Via FirstShowing, see more at College Humor

Remember kids. Exclamation points are an indication that you're an effective writer. Use them often!

Love this one, which gets on board with Harvey's 'Bully' campaign. (The guy is a genius).


Congressman Honda and Billy Jean King's 'Bully' PSA

The press on this doc is astounding. A case study for anyone going into public relations or marketing.


Poster for 'The Knife That Killed Me'

Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Anthony McGowan. Written and directed by Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer, starring Sean Bean (in what must be a supporting role. I'm not sure who plays the teenage lead).

Love the graphic. Very 60s/deco-ish, clean lines, simple but strong elements that convey theme well. Top-weighted, which gives it an uneasy feel, as if it might come crashing down -- fits with the plot.

Nice placement of the 'eye' graphic, in the lower right third, a little too close to the right edge -- as if you're being watched by someone off to the side rather that looking at something meant to be on display. This element is also a tad too far from the bottom which enhances the threat from the unknown entity who watches, looking down on you from a position of power when you (the one who observes the poster) should be looking down on it.

I like how the main 'splatter' element dominates the center, asserting itself, lending more weight to grisly facets of the story. The point of the 'knife/eye' penetrates deep, almost all the way, nearly to the other side, driving the point home, as it were.

The placement of the 'eye' in the knife blade conveys what I'm guessing is a central theme of McGowan's novel: Lost kids sometimes turn to violence to create a sense of identity and, as such, their weapon(s) become intimately associated with who they are. So: "I am this knife. Without it I'm nothing."

More posters should be like this.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

New TV Spot for 'The Cabin in the Woods'

Very nicely done. New elements, great edit. Flick's looking better all the time.

When I first heard of 'TCitW' I rolled my eyes. Great, another entry in the...well...cabin-in-the-woods genre, I thought, which are all variations on a theme. But, now, after these trailers, I'm a fan.

Should rock the box office, do well as a rental/stream, command top-drawer ad revenue on TV, and actually sell on disc.

I want the Blu-ray.


Poster for 'To Rome with Love'

Something about the way Alec Baldwin is lit suggests this rendition.


'The Raid: Redemption' International Trailer


'The Three Stooges' (aka 'The Sequel to No Country for Old Men') in a Nutshell

Really. If you watch this can there be a reason to watch the entire movie. What would that reason be?

1: The trailers have been so enticing and well-crafted you just gotta find out how the plot plays out. Just gotta! Duh!

2: You have 90 minutes to kill and have already seen every single other movie currently in release

3: You have confused the Farelly brothers with the Coen brothers and believe this is the sequel to 'No Country for Old Men'

4: You are related to one of the actors who originally portrayed the Stooges and have to watch the movie because the family reunion is right around the corner

5: You just dropped acid

6: You have no taste or discretion whatsoever

Otherwise, here is the a nutshell.


Poster for Wes Ball's 'Ruin'

Check out the animated short (part I) and stills from another project Ball is directing, 'In Search of Humans'


Fantastic Animated Short by Wes Ball -- 'Ruin' (Part I) -- and Stills from 'In Search of Humans'

Watch to the very end -- there's a hint of what's coming next.

Here's those stills from 'In Search of Humans'


Following the 'Iron Sky' Rollout

Infectious. These people genuinely liked the movie.


Still from 'The Cold Light of Day'

So far, the CLoD (sorry) campaign isn't catching fire. Trailer plays Bourne for TV, poster seems very direct-to-disc, Henry Cavill doesn't connect.

But, I like this still with Sigourney Weaver. There's something about it. I'll catch this as a rental/stream someday for Bruce Willis and to see just where Sigourney's character falls (I'm thinking she's a bit of a pill).

Nice technique, Ms. Weaver.


'First Position' Trailer/Poster

Take a break. Watch this.

May 4, 2012


'Wrath of the Titans' Featurette: Kronos


New 'ParaNorman' Trailer

Way fun. This will score at the box office and on TV every year.


Watch 'Bully' Q&A with Director Lee Hirsch Live from Town Hall NYC Today at 3pm EST

Also participating will be Ellen McHugh from Parents to Parents USA (P2P USA), and Sheldon Horowitz from NCLD.

Watch below or here


Trailer for 'House at the End of the Street' (aka HATES)

Okay, a bit gimmicky but who knows. Watchable but puts me in wait-and-see mode.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teaser Trailer for 'True Skin'


Highly Expository Mock-Up Placeholder Graphic/Poster for 'Safety Not Guaranteed'

Okay, graphically, not a lot going for it, but they got to explain the premise somehow.


Trailer for 'Safety Not Guaranteed'

This works. These guys believed in what they were doing. Will be a strong rental.


'Wrath of the Titans' Cyclops Featurette


Harvey Weinstein Scores Another Pass for 'Bully' -- Kids can get in with a Note From Their Parents

Harvey Weinstein's marketing virtuosity is on full display with 'Bully'. Now, comes the announcement some theaters will allow kids under 17 to see 'Bully' without being accompanied by an adult.

This is doubly noteworthy as TWC will release 'Bully' as an unrated film, which theaters treat as if the movie carried an NC-17 rating, which means no one under 17 is allowed with or without an (accompanying) adult.

From Variety:

Theater chains are taking sides in the "Bully"-rating showdown: Second-largest exhib AMC will allow minors into theaters with parental permission, while No. 3 chain Cinemark says it won't show the unrated pic unless the Weinstein Co. submits an R-rated version. 

AMC is essentially treating "Bully" as an R-rated film, but with one key difference: Under-17 moviegoers need a written note, though it will also accept verbal permission (mom on the other end of a teen's cell phone, for example). Exhib also will provide permission slips on its web site and at the box office.

It'll be interesting to see who blinks re: the Cinemark dictate. Right now, though, the MPAA looks like chumps.

Weinstein is a maestro.


Still and Animated Posters for 'Total Recall'

With the 'digitized reality' motif the first poster doesn't work. We've seen it, looks cheap.

But, this animated version works great.

Love it. That's got to be the next thing.


New 'Dark Shadows' Character Posters

Comingsoon has more -- I like these.


Harvey Weinstein Scores Free Ad Space for 'Bully'

'Bully', the most talked about documentary in memory, has scored free ad space from internet sites.

This from the press release:

NEW YORK, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The MPAA's decision to give the highly-anticipated documentary film "Bully" (in select theaters March 30, 2012) an R rating sparked a national movement with support from major film stars, legal counsel, students, theater owners, Members of Congress, activists, journalists and corporations. Beginning March 27th, a number of publications will donate prime advertising space to "Bully," lending their valued real estate to the cause. These pro bono advertisements, lasting until April 15th, will exceed 100 million impressions. 

Social Vibe, AOL, Entertainment Weekly, Fandango, HitFix, The Huffington Post, IMDb, Maker Studios, Mediaite, Movie Tickets, MSN, New York Magazine, Rotten Tomatoes, Queerty, SocialTyze, Vulture, and WeeWorld and have all signed on to volunteer advertising space promoting the film and its social action campaign. 

"As the leader in engagement marketing, SocialVibe is proud to provide free media to draw attention to Bully," said Alex Van Camp of SocialVibe. "SocialVibe's engagement model creates a meaningful impact, and we hope that positive actions to stop bullying will result from this film." 

"The outpouring of support for this film is unlike anything I have seen before," said Bladimiar Norman, Senior Vice President of Marketing at The Weinstein Company. "'Bully' and the social action campaign, The Bully Project, are very personal to The Weinstein Company and I am incredibly honored by the generosity of these websites. We faced challenges from the MPAA to restrict the audience of a documentary that has the ability to change lives. These influential sites will help to promote this film simply because they know the urgency of the issue and, like us, they care deeply about the lives impacted by bullying." 

Obviously, the material has struck a nerve. However, you can't help wonder how hot this doc would be if it had eased into a PG-13 rating in the first place.

Way to go Harvey. Hats off. Brilliant campaign.


Werner Herzog to do Helmut Newton Doc

From ScreenDaily:

At the request of Helmut Newton’s widow, Herzog is also developing a documentary about the legendary German-Australian fashion photographer, famed for his work in Vogue and other high-end fashion publications.

I can't think of a better director to tackle Newton's career. Their work, both of them, has a directness but avoids being edgy for its own sake.

Here's a couple shots by Newton of Sigourney Weaver I've always liked.

 Yeah, that's directness.


Clips from 'Bully' Roll Out


Great First Trailer for 'Rise of the Guardians'

Kids will eat this up.


Red Band Clip from 'Goon'


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

4 More Clips from 'Wrath of the Titans'


Seann William Scott and Jay Baruchel Talk 'Goon'


Stills from 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World'

Patton Oswalt is pure money. This guy brings indie cred to product-y movies. That jacket is a mess, though. Shoot the tailor, or I guess, in this case, the guy that took the jacket out of the box, put it on a hanger, stuck it on the rack, and it marked down for quick sale. Still, it looks good on Oswalt and I mean that in the best possible way.

MTV has more


'Wrath of the Titans' Featurette: Minotaur


Clip from 'The Moth Diaries'

I haven't quite figured this movie out. Poster is okay, but graphics are a bit rough. It has that made-for-TV look.

Campaign hasn't found its rhythm yet. Hoping for better. But, here's a clip which plays pretty good.


TV Spot for 'Lock Out' -- No Thinking Necessary

They pitched this as some kind of indie action drama at first. Now, they switch gears and sell it as a mainstream action flick. Whatev, but probably a good move. (Don't know what they were thinking at first).


Teaser Trailer for 'Total Recall'

Looking like serious eye candy.


Trailer for 'Hotel Transylvania' Falls Flat

Seeing Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg's names at the end of the trailer was a punch in the gut. That style of comedy... But, on the flip side, it's animation so at least I won't have to actually look at them, just listen to their voices. Not so bad except they do that pinched men-who-pretend-they-are-still-boys voice that leaves me slack-jawed.

Writers David Stern (Open Season 2 and 3) and Dan Hageman (Ninjago TV series) inspire little faith.

Will this play? The schtick is so on-the-nose -- aren't kids more sophisticated than that. Guess it depends on the competition. September 28, HT goes up against 'Looper' with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis which is building some serious buzz but isn't direct competition. The next week, though, HT faces 'Frankenweenie' and 'Taken 2' -- not good.

At this point 'Hotel Transylvania' is looking like a pass.


Clips From 'Goon' -- Shoots and Scores

'Goon' is quietly approaching a March 30 release in the U.S. There isn't much steam here, but clips play great and I'm thinking this will do well as a rental/stream and on TV.

I'm struck by how well director Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight) handles fight scenes. Usually, this stuff is utilitarian because the director wants to get back to shooting talking heads as soon as possible, but here camera work is fluid, editing is cohesive -- you don't get lost -- and the acting is just so. These guys took their time.

Movie is based on 'Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey' by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith, which accounts, in part at least, for how real the action feels.

Fights are at the heart of the movie and thanks to conscientious screenwriting by Jay Baruchel they're threaded with humor and humanity, well-crafted, and even show an arc.

If the rest of the movie matches this level 'Goon' should do well in the long run.

This one is, perhaps, even better.

New TV Spot for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Refines focus. Continues to balance stylized pop imagery and action with heartfelt portrayals of layered characters. As subtle as an indie drama with the impact of a summer blockbuster.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Jason Biggs Gets His Comeuppance in 'Revenge of the Pie'

Get it? Comeuppance? Hmm? Good one, huh? I thought so. (I know, but sometimes this blog gets way too smart. I had to dumb it down a bit).


New Hi-Rez Stills from Stephenie Meyer's 'The Host'

Here's a couple you may not have seen.

And a couple you've probably seen:


Nat Geo Teases 3D Documentary of James Cameron's Mariana Trench Dive


The Stifling U.S. Trailer for 'The Intouchables' Rolls Out, Falls on the Floor

Stiff edit. Trailers like this are the reason I paid little attention to this movie at first.

Compare to this charming cut:


'Battleship' Trailer du Jour

With new footage.


Play the 'Mad Men' Game


Tom Hodge's Poster for 'Would You Rather'

From his blog:

To create a different sort of design i looked at a lot of the old polish posters and Swiss 'Plakatstil' stlye designs of the 60s, i also wanted to take a swing at the modern 'new wave' minimal icon poster designs. I really wanted to create a visual which had this totally alternative aesthetic if it was a clean edged poster i don't this it would reflect the dark nature of the movie so i wanted to give it that old screen printed style with the colours out of registration to reflect that... clean and minimal but twisted to giving it a more sinister and unnerving edge!


'Iron Sky' Tampere, We Come In Peace Poster


'Prometheus' Imax Trailer with, you Guessed It, New Footage


New Poster for Michael Shannon's 'The Iceman'

Nice poster. Connects. Great cast for this kind of piece. You couldn't do better than Shannon.

Based on Richard Kuklinski's life. Here's the first poster and some background. Here's a scene.


Poster/Trailer for 'The Central Park Effect'

A nice looking doc. Had its premiere at SXSW 2012. Picked up by HBO.


TV Spots for 'Dark Shadows'


'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' Teaser Trailer (Part 2)

Possibly the most entertaining and engaging thing I've seen from this whole series.


Poster for 'Detention'

Come on, admit it. Brings back memories.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Still from Wes Anderson's Sony Xperia Ad

From the Xperia blog

Here's the ad


Sony's Xperia Gets the Laika Treatment

Here's Wes Anderson's ad for Sony's Xperia. Stop motion by Laika.

The trailer for the upcoming 'ParaNorman' which Laika is animating.

And Laika's Clio winning ad for Nissan, directed by Mark Gustafson.


New TV Spot for 'Prometheus'

With maybe 0.8 seconds new footage, the most interesting of which comes at :21 where it looks like someone has activated a holographic control which raises the Space Jockey chair (or whatever that is).

Good for a Friday. Keeps the buzz alive which, let's face it, was just about dead.


Fantastic TV Spot for 'Wrath of the Titans'

A few days ago I mentioned how the VFX in 'Wrath of the Titans' looked to have more depth and seemed to serve the story better than the usual superficial CGI eye candy.

There's gobs of new TV spots -- mostly thematic or character-centric edits of footage we've seen -- but this one has new footage and is fairly awe inspiring. These effects are sweeping. 'Epic' is the word that gets tossed around, but it's a perfectly apt description in this case.

Don't forget to bump the rez up to 720p (control appears lower right after clicking start).


Clip from 'The Cabin in the Woods' Has a Fresh Take

Reviews are saying this movie pulls the rug out from under all the usual conventions and this clip is a good example of that. Right when you're about to fall asleep we get a fresh take on a scene we've sat through many times.


New Eye Candy/Interactive Site from 'The Hunger Games'

Take the capitol tour.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teaser Trailer for 'The Host'

Doesn't do much for me. Very 'made for TV'.


'Wrath of the Titans' Featurette: Makhai

Wonder how much the action figure will be.


And Another Clip from 'Wrath of the Titans'


Clip from 'Wrath of the Titans'


French Trailer for 'Prometheus' -- Better Than Ours...

Better edit, new footage. Lovely.


More Hi-Rez 'Prometheus' Eye Candy

Yesterday some very dedicated fans accessed the first wallpaper. Today, we get this one.


'Battleship' Featurette


Poster and Stills from 'Cosmopolis'

Already, Cronenberg's latest has a sharp campaign. A lot of confidence.

If you missed it, here's a trailer


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