Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cloverfield - Snakes on a Plane or Blair Witch?

I'm not going to ridicule you if you don't know about J.J. Abrams "Cloverfield", which is scheduled to come out January 18th... but, come on. Having said that, all anyone really knows is that it's about a giant monster's attack on New York City - check out the trailer here.

P.S. - I LOVE the poster. (My favorite part of it is the subtle claw marks on the neck of The Statue of Liberty)

Now, as I'm more about films on the slightly lower end of the scale as far as budget's concerned, I'm not as much interested in the film itself as how it's being marketed. If you don't know, they've been keeping a really tight lid on any information about it. (When they auditioned actors, they didn't even read from the "Cloverfield" script, they read from other, old Abrams scripts.) On top of that, they've been keeping knowledge of the project a secret from the online community and only releasing information in little bits. What does this do? It gets the online community all abuzz about the film, especially this one because Abrams is the same guy who produces "Lost". They're minimizing the traditional advertising methods and concentrating more on timed release of information, plus other online, viral efforts. Both "Blair Witch Project" and "Snakes on a Plane" pulled similar marketing campaigns, one just a bit more successful than the other... but why did one fill the theatres and the other didn't do squat. (I have to admit, I liked "Snakes on a Plane", by the way) I can't tell you why, but I sure would like to know the answer.

The internet is the number one growing medium for advertising movies and what's best about that, is that anyone can afford it. Low-budget films aren't going to be able to afford a banner on the front page of Yahoo!, but you can make a Myspace page or create viral clips. The internet, as a marketing tool, evens the playing field a bit, as far as I'm concerned and indie filmmakers need to learn how to use it effectively. I wish I could tell you how, but I don't know... but I'm going to do my best to find out.

Until then, what the F is this "Cloverfield" all about, anyhow?

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