Friday, March 29, 2013


From's Drew McWeeny column "Motion Captured":
I've seen the screen capture on the front page of sites, and it's been impossible to miss. And because Marvel included it in a TV commercial, it feels like all bets are off. No one considers that a spoiler anymore.

I can tell you that in my own house, if I were to tell my wife any story element of "Iron Man 3," I would be severely punished for my transgression. She would not be pleased. Despite living with me, she pretty much walks into any movie completely cold at this point. She doesn't do spoilers. And over the last few years, she finally decided that she really doesn't even want to see trailers. If I can't describe a movie to her in two sentences that she seems interested by, she's not going to see it.

I've heard the arguments by people like Robert Zemeckis that you have to do that now or audiences won't go, but that runs so counter to everything I've heard from people in real life that I'm wondering if there's any intersect between the conventional industry thinking and what audiences actually want. I have to include myself in the "part of the problem" column, and I have been thinking about it recently. Like everyone publishing online, I live and die based on traffic, and traffic is generated in a number of ways. It would be disingenuous to pretend that we do not depend on a certain amount of traffic generated by content that other people source and link to. Publishing something unique, something that people are curious about, is a part of this business, and I think there is a balance that I continue to try to define between feeding the curiosity of the audience and respecting the process by the filmmakers.
Here's where the confusion and the struggle gets weird. Let's take a Robert Zemeckis film, for example. When I covered movies like "What Lies Beneath" or "Cast Away," I did not reveal plot details while they were in production. I did discuss things that were not public knowledge based on my own reporting at the time, but I did my best not to give too much away. In both cases, I would argue that the trailers that the films cut revealed more than I ever would have. They did it with a disregard that I almost found shocking. These days, I see trailers routinely use images from the last act of the film, and sometimes the final images of the movies, and those images are part of the marketing, sometimes from the very first teaser trailer on. That seems like madness to me.

This article is a must read and its something I've been talking about for a long time. It's good to see this pop up on the other side of the spectrum as well. 

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