Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Posters

I spoke with a friend of mine who works as a talent agent at one of the Big Three agencies. The agent has a client who is in negotiations for a movie. My friend has read the script and the head of the studio has made assurances that the movie will be green-lit once the star's deal is done. The agent, however, wants to have the co-lead role firmed up before finallizing things. We spent a good 15 minutes talking about what the poster would look like and how it would position the client for future movies. This is aside from the actual quality of the script (which my friend enjoyed and thought was well-written).

I hate that things come down to a poster, but the truth is, it does. Audiences make their choices based on some pretty shallow criteria, and as filmmakers we have to keep these things in mind. I touched on this in the Hook, Line and Sinker post. Anyway, just a little tid bit that I thought you all would get a kick out of.

BTW, just found some money and free sh*t for the short film that I'm producing. Hee hee! I love free sh*t! Now if I can get some other stuff comped we will be locking down a street in the near future...and then setting that b*tch on fire!

4 comments:

deepstructure said...

I hate that things come down to a poster, but the truth is, it does. Audiences make their choices based on some pretty shallow criteria....

i have to disagree. i don't think it's shallow to make a decision based on a one-sheet. it's perfectly natural. the problem is that whoever makes the one-sheet can screw it up (just look at the one sheet for serenity). incompetence in the portrayal of a movie isn't a sign of shallowness in a potential viewer.

i do agree that it's something to be kept in mind - the same way writing, casting and lighting should be kept in mind!

like most things in life, the positive about filmmaking can be the negative:

- the negative is that film is collaborative process and any one person or group of persons in the chain might sink it.

- the positive is that no other art form can come together quite like a film riding the synergistic wave of good collaboration.

The Film Diva said...

Your comments sort of prove my point about the shallow (i.e. non-analytical) approach most movie-goers take to movie selection. I've been privy to quite a few studio commissioned marketing surveys and the criteria folks use to make a decision about what ticket they purchase is shockingly thin. Shocking only because it does take so long to make these little bits of fluff, and almost no time to devour them.

deepstructure said...

im curious, what did i say to prove your point? and i would love to know what criteria are they using that seem shallow. perhaps it's shallow of us to assume that viewing filmed entertainment should take any real precedence in anyone's life.

are they deciding based on what kind of movie it is? who is in it? how long it is? when it's playing? where it's playing?

i wouldn't consider any of that shallow. simply pragmatic. it's just entertainment after all, no matter what we as "artists" think.

The Film Diva said...

As I stated in my previous comment, shallow in this context means non-analytical. Your own comments and example of the SERENITY poster proved my point -- audiences are easily dissuaded to see a film by something like a bad poster because they use superficial criteria.

I'm happy to post about some of the questions these studio surveys pose (if I can find any of them, I'm not sure I kept them, damn my efficient housekeeping!), if that interests you. I'll do some flipping through boxes in storage and see if I can find something.

perhaps it's shallow of us to assume that viewing filmed entertainment should take any real precedence in anyone's life.

As filmmakers this is our life's blood. We necessarily spend more time thinking about it (just like the guy who runs the toilet paper machine thinks about how many feet per roll than any of us ever will). It's reductive to measure how "shallow" that would make us since it is our avocation. Although it is important to note that you should be alarmed if you find yourself suicidal when a script isn't working out -- you may need a reality check. :-)

In Japanese culture, the art of the Haiku is to make something that is the result of careful thought and meditation have "flow" so that it appears and is effortless to the consumer. Filmmaking is essentially that -- we can hope for an informed audience, one with a critical eye who will admire our crafty and sexy muscles, however, because this is a commercial medium we have to make it palatable for a mass audience who may or may not be familiar with the criteria that make a film great (comedy v. drama v. thriller v. action).