Thursday, November 29, 2007

Guillermo del Toro's two new movies

After Guillermo del Toro's huge success with his 2006 Academy Award winning movie Pan's Labyrinth, this director has seemed to set his sights on a new movie that parallels the mystic realm he explored in his previous film.

Del Toro will be returning to direct the sequel to his not so famous film, Hellboy, which starred Ron Pearlman and Selma Blair in 2004 and grossed close to $60 million in the US alone. It appears that creating and Academy Award winning movie allows a director to be able to create any movie he so well pleases, as apparent with this sequel. Seeing as how the original Hellboy failed to create much of a stir besides in the comic book realm, it is easy to see that once Del Toro landed a hit, his project that he WANTED to create was put on the fast track.

Seeing as how the movie is slated for release in July of 2008, the preliminary marketing is just getting underway. So far Universal Pictures has undergone the creation of the movies new web site, uploading it with things such as wallpapers and production videos. Also, the website features online comics, which will play together well with the original target market of the movie, comic book fans.

Since the movie is still in production many screen shots are yet to be released. One nice thing about the web site however is that it includes much of the production art that is being used in the creation of the movie. A few snapshots of those are included below.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Get Your Munk On

I have to admit that when I first saw the preview for the new movie Alvin and the Chipmunks I was a bit skeptical. What worried me most was that these big movie studios might perhaps take something I have loved as a child and turn it into another horrible movie much that that of Garfield.

The movie stars big name actor Jason Lee, most commonly known for his roles in Kevin Smiths movies that I suggest you do not watch with your parents. I have to say the rating for Lee comes as a huge surprise to me seeing as how most of the work he does seems to be way above the PG-13 level.

Besides the normal trailers and movie posters, and I'm sure line of toys and teddy bears to follow, 20th Century Fox has released an online application that allows users to customize what they believe their chipmunk would look like, and then record audio which is then converted to sound like the chipmunks. This interesting application can then be saved and pasted on your website, which I have done below. I couldn't really think of anything interesting to say, so I'll admit that the message is somewhat dull, but the application allows for endless opportunities which unfortunately start to become bland and old after five minutes of using it.

Even though the hype for the application seems to die out quickly you have to give the marketing agency a round of applause for this interesting take on movie marketing. Creating your own chipmunk is simple and easy. Click here if you wish to give it a shot.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Am......Not What You Think

So when I first began to see the previews for Will Smiths new movie I Am Legend, I have to admit I wasn't to impressed. I THOUGHT the movie revolved around a plot about a virus that wiped out most of humanity and Will Smith, who plays Robert Neville, is one of the last known survivors on the planet. He spends the the movie looking for known survivors....or so I thought.

The truth is, the virus hasn't taken out the human race, instead it has transformed them into a canabalistic race. What I didn't know is that this movie is actually based on a book by the same title, which has already been adapted to screen twice already in 1964 as The Last Man On Earth and in 1971 as The Omega Man. This movie is somewhat different from the book seeing as how the book revolves around Robert escaping vampires, which were created by the virus. After seeing a preview that Warner Bros. released with the infected people in October, I decided that perhaps this movie would be interesting and worth checking out.

And boy was I right. The first thing Warner Bros is did to market the movie was create a game that users on Second Life could play called I Am Legend: Survival. The game allows users on Second Life to play on 60 acres of Second Life land modeled after NYC. The game is an RPG/shooter game and is set in the year preceding the movie. I found this tactic to be very interesting seeing how Warner Bros is taking the typical idea of creating a video game for movies, and have placed it on an online realm in which anyone can play for no cost.

DC Comics, in association with Vertigo Comics, also created small comics that is also set before the movie takes place. Here readers get a chance to better understand the situation, characters, and events that led up to the movie.

All and all I would say that now I see this movie in a whole new light. I think it is interesting that Warner Bros. decided not to market, what I find to be, the coolest part of the movie right off the bat. Instead they began to build the hype slowly, perhaps hoping that it wouldn't die out before the movie but instead reach a peak.

Other marketing tactics include a Myspace page for the movie as well as a special web site that will only be viewable on an Apple iPhone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Boob For Your Buck

It's hard for me nowadays to not automatically draw my attention to anything that involves having Angelina Jolie in it. Even before the huge fad of thinking of her as sexual icon, I always saw her as a role model due to how well rounded she is in everything she does. She seems to be one of the only actresses I know that can appear in such diverse roles and still sell who she is to the audience.

The newest movie, which opens this Friday, she will be appearing in is Beowulf. This movie is an adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon epic poems under the same title. I remember reading some of these poems in grade school and loving them. I'm hopeful that Robert Zemeckis will be able to bring this story to life since he did so well with other movies like Back to the Future and Forrest Gump.

The interesting, and saddening fact revolves around the item that Beowulf will actually be a PG-13 rated film. A blog that I constantly look at, Movie Marketing Madness, brought up the interesting fact that even though the movie is PG-13 rating, their marketing tactics seem to not be. This in turn brings me to what I mentioned above, and how I believe the fad with Angelina has not been subject around her work, but actually about her breasts.

I don't get as much time to watch TV as I would like to, so I am unsure about how well their marketing campaign is fairing on the "boob tube". However, after being in NYC last weekend I realized the extreme guerrilla marketing tactics they were using with their poster campaigns. As we passed station after station on the subway I noticed that pretty much everyone had not one, but at least four separate posters hanging up in their walkways. The posters can be seen pretty much everywhere you look, and not just in NYC. The main part of Chris's blog focus was the picture of Angelina, that I have showed above, and how you can see that Paramount is definitely going for the "sex sells" attitude.

I feel like the marketers of this movie however haven't tried to market the most interesting fact of the movie. Up until about two weeks ago, I thought the entire movie was not CGI, or motion capture as they call it. Zemeckis is most commonly known for using this technique in one of his previous films, The Polar Express. This idea lends itself to many ways they could have went about with its campaign, but I feel like perhaps the studio chose the easy route of slapping a big picture of Angelina's boob up on a billboard.

Paramount has also used a non-traditional advertising route by releasing four comics in October to further promote the movie. Also, look for the Beowulf game to be on your local retailers shelfs.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Read This Book!!!

This blog has no relation to movie marketing, but is well worth your time.

Last Friday I attended a Direct Marketing Seminar in NYC. I had never been to a seminar so I have nothing to compare it to, but I would highly recommend this one for anyone interested in the marketing field.

The speakers were great, but one in particular stood out. Lindsey Pollak, author of "Getting From College to Career", spoke to an audience of college students about seven tips we should follow to put us ahead of the game. I actually got a chance to talk with Lindsey after the conference, and I found her bubbly personality throughout her presentation was not a fake front, but actually who she was. She was extremely kind and helpful, and I felt like she was really listening to me.

I was so impressed with her speaking and personality, I immediately went home and purchased her book (18 copies of her book offered as door prizes and I didn't win one = lame). So it just came in the mail today and instead of studying for both my Consumer Behavior and Advertising tests I have next week, I decided to crack open the book.

The great thing about Lindsey's book is the fact that even after five pages, you have a sense that Lindsey actually gets who you are and where you are. I feel like my college is great about giving us the education, but when it comes time for us to head to the real world it kinda falls flat. This process leave someone like me, spending $40,000 a year on a college education thinking "What am I going to do, no one is going to hire me, I will be living with my parents, working in a restaurant, paying off my student loans for the rest of my life!".

It's easy to sit and listen to a professor tell you what you need to do because the whole time you're thinking "Yeah, but you have a great paying job now". Since Lindsey is younger and closer to our age, I feel like I can relate to what she says in her book a lot more and her ideas are fresh and new. Not only did she research a bunch for this book (so you know her tactics are legit) she was always placed in this same situation not to many years ago when she graduated from grad school.

I have never been one for self help books, in fact I have never even picked one up. I always felt like they didn't apply to me because of the fact that I wouldn't be able to relate to them. Well, have no fear, this book does. So, anyone reading this, I highly recommend either checking out her website, or purchasing her book. It's a quick and easy read full of 90 tips to help you on you way to getting a job. If you do at least ten of these tips, you're already a lot farther ahead then most of the competition in your field.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Golden Compass: Round 2

Most of the time when I decide to blog, I start by looking for a new movie that interests me and I begin looking for ways the company is deciding to market it to the public. I decided to change this format up because of how I couldn't find anything really that interesting, and also because of how excited I am for The Golden Compass.

As mentioned in my previous blog, I read each of the books this summer and actually enjoyed them more than The Lord of the Rings. The movies in turn are actually being compared to that trilogy on the basis of their production costs and how much they plan to bring in.

The marketing for this movie is sure to be huge, especially seeing as how it began almost a year before it was released. The newest marketing tactic used by the studio is the release of several pictures highlighting key characters in the movie as well as their daemon.

One interesting thing I noticed about this pictures however was the fact that everyone was pictured with their daemon except for the witch, Serafina Pekkala, who actually did posses a daemon in the books (a goose), but seems to be flying solo in the movies. An interesting part of the novel, and conclusion, revolves around the fact that witches, unlike humans such as Lyra, have the capability of separting themselves from their daemons for a large distance. For people such as Lyra, if their daemon

The two additional movies to follow that complete the trilogy are in the works already. The only downfall is seeing how much this one actually brings in to begin with. The studio has already commented on the fact that they will not produce the movies if this one fails. If you think they are bluffing, look at the how Fox ruined the great novel Eragon, and we have yet to hear anything about the sequel book Eldest being adapted to the big screen (thank god).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Go Big Or Go Home

The problem with coming out with a blockbuster movie your first time around is simply that audiences will expect that every time there after. This is the big problem facing director M. Night Shyamalan, most famously known for his 1999 hit The Sixth Sense.

Since The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan's movies have seem to be going continuously downhill according to how much the gross at the theaters. The underlying question that seems to rear its ugly head is that is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Many people would argue that his films haven't really changed that much, which are a big part to the downfall. The best part of The Sixth Sense was the huge twist at the end that left audiences dumbfounded as to how they did not notice that before. Now, as Shyamalan's movies are released, audiences go to the movies and expect the twist and look for it, which in turn make them anger when they either figure them out or there isn't one at all.

Personally I always enjoy Shyamalan's movie. I find them to be interesting and always take a route that you wouldn't expect. Audiences disliked movies such as The Village or Lady in the Water mostly because they did not follow the common trends Shyamalan placed in his previous films. Shyamalan expressed this in an interview were he proclaimed he felt that marketing actually took away from those films because they were not supposed to look like supernatural thrillers, but instead stories of hope.

Hopefully audiences have gotten that out of their system seeing as how Shyamalan's newest movie does not seem to dig into the supernatural world at all. The Happening, starring Mark Wahlberg, seems to be Shyamalans interpretation on An Inconvenient Truth. The world is ravaged and plants start creating a poison in the air that kills humans. Wahlberg, a local biology teacher, takes his family on the run from these deadly toxins while in the mean time trying to patch up his marriage (seems like at the end of the world his wife shouldn't start getting so picky).

It will be interesting to see how the studios begin to market the movie as its release date grows nearer, especially since the originally version of the script wasn't picked up by any studios Shyamalan's first time around.

So far not even a teaser trailer or movie poster has been released for the movie, which makes me believe the studio is either not impressed with his final product, or trying to create a nice little WOM hype throughout the internet. Shayamalan's films are most commonly related to his cult following so I believe that the studio feels that people who should know about the film, do. The only marketing tactic so far is the release date, set for June 13th 2008, which falls on Friday the 13th. Personally I think the studios better do a little better than that with their marketing campaign, and soon, before the Shaymalan's cult train leaves the station.