Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Blog Salad: Disaster Mystery, Viral Marketing, and Lame Names

Time to be scatterbrained! The following references are posts I've come across that have no relevance to each other, but are very relevant to the beloved movies we want to make. Peruse and enjoy, and don't forget to apply what you learned to your own microbudget efforts.

Mysterious Phenomenon Causes Nearly 2,000 Deaths
Here's a real doozy taken from the pages of Uncle John's World of Odd, and reprinted by Neatorama. Check out this setup: in 1986 a man is riding his bike toward the village of Num in Cameroon, a province in western Africa. He comes across a dead antelope, and not wanting to waste it he puts it on his bike. Continuing his ride, he notices dead rats, a dead dog and other lifeless animals. Coming upon some huts, he stops to inquire about what's going on--and sees dead human bodies everywhere. What follows is a fantastic mystery involving a crater lake and a giant smothering cloud of CO2 gas. A fascinating read that deserves to be a movie.

A Viral Marketing Lesson
Looking for new and inventive ways to promote your labor of love? Warner Bros. recently tried something cool to garner attention for the new Batman flick, The Dark Knight (thanks, Pronet Advertising). This was due to a website going up on the WB site, with only the Bat logo. The screen would then change to an ad for the character of Harvey Dent, played by actor Aaron Eckhart. This page could be interacted with and one pixel could then be removed for each email address entered. The final result gives a peek who's to pay Bats a visit in the film. This idea is a bit far-fetched for us micros (who would care?), but illustrates another use of the web in creating buzz for an upcoming film.

Movie Titles to Die For--No, Really
Scott Weinberg over at Cinematical recently posted about the latest Sci-Fi Channel movie dubbed Ice Spiders. He goes on to list a truly ghastly group of titles that Sci-Fi has given to their cut-rate films (my favorite: Mansquito). I'm all for a catchy B-movie title, but you have to be careful. As we learned from Christopher Guest in This is Spinal Tap, "There's a fine line between clever and stupid." You want viewers to think you're the former and not the latter (budget aside), so pick a name that will emphasize that point. Of course, if you're going for Z-grade schlock, the above list will inspire and uplift you.

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