by John K

Its kind of shocking to think how new all social media is and how quickly it has been adopted by the masses. It’s powerful tool for marketers, news and most of all gossip. We spread rumours and info faster than ever.  Some people have even found a way capitalize on this and use the masses to power their ideas onto the big screen. Even stas are now using social media to regularly engage with their audiences, stars like Kevin Smith, Ryan Reynolds, and Vin Diesel.  With films nowadays using social media to pump up hype for their releases,  I thought I’d take a look into what this means for us. Look at some of the successes stories of this new tool and look at the agency we (the fans) can now take in getting the films we want to screen.

For our first example we must take a look at one of the most universally despised comic book movies of all time X-Men Origins Wolverine. It was not Ryan Reynolds finest hour but he really liked the character he played in the film Deadpool and he shared this with people over social media. In time he got enough support online to get some test footage shot and when that failed to get traction with studio, someone (looking at you Mr Reynolds) leaked it on line to rapturous applause.

The execs green lit a solo Deadpool movie and Mr Reynolds has been treating all his followers to lots of behind the scenes pictures and info, which has been steadily building up momentum for this film. I for one look forward to seeing Deadpool hit the big screen the way he was meant to be. So don’t be surprised if you see images of a man in a red and black suit flooding the Internet over the next few months, he’s going to be everywhere.

Something I never want see on the big screen is Kevin Smith’s Tusk, which came about when people pitched ideas during a podcasting session (which may or may copious amounts of alcohol. The idea was to make the most ridiculous horror monster movie of all time. The result was a movie where the main character gets surgically altered into a human walrus. Never thought I’d have to right those words down.

It was a horrifically bad movie yet it still got a decent showing owing to the fact that its origins were based on the discussions Kevin Smith had with his fans and that drew his fans and those with just a morbid curiosity into this film. For me it’s a reminder that just because it came from a bunch of fans engaging with an interested director doesn’t mean it becomes great. Some times you just get something weird and unsettling that leaves no audience happy.

Showing off audience interest is something a lot of filmmakers in Hollywood are keen to do in this day and age where a sure fire hit is hard to come by some are using the ability to connect with their audience to convince Hollywood to give them a chance. Like David Fichner and his Goon kick-starter campaign, which raised over 1 million dollars to produce a storyboard treatment to show to Hollywood execs. As of writing this film hasn’t been made but it’s a way of showcasing consumer interest in a project that studios might otherwise pass on. The Veronica Mars movie already proved that Kick-starter is great at paving the way to silver screen and many of Hollywood’s greats are using it to bring their passion products to big screen.

The big take away from all this that the boundaries between movie making and its audience are thinning more and more as the world becomes more connected. We can interact with them more and even inspire them to things they would never think of. It doesn’t always work the way we thought it would but it’s leading to some interesting things happening. If enough people want to see a film made then Hollywood will answer and that’s fantastic in my book.

Why’d you have to go and spoil all the fun?

Saw the trailer for the new Terminator Gensys and things were going great up until the moment where they reveal a pretty big spoiler and my reaction is along why in the name of James Cameron would you give that away. Now I am not going to reveal that here because I honestly believe that it completely changes the movie and you can just see the trailer but it really highlights the problem nowadays. The fact that every trailer is competing with thousand others and if a trailer wants to succeed, it has to have something people are going to want to share with their friends and family.

The basic purpose of trailer is to inform the audience of upcoming movies, in the old days you’d see them before a movie and they’d tell you that you might want to see this picture next. Nowadays you have press releases, social media messages from the cast and crew and people like me to tell you stuff like that. They’d be long and full of dramatic voice over’s. In short, just something to keep you occupied until the film came on. These days the trailer is one of the most important facets of movies advertising campaign, especially if the studio is launching/rebooting a franchise. Terminator last film did not do so well, so blowing a big secret for the new one was probably thought of as the best way to get people talking which in that regard they succeeded. I just wish is hadn’t come at the expense of the movie.

Now some films don’t have that problem, like Star Wars. Their second trailer was a simple affair that seemed to blow everyone’s mind. It had me sold the moment I saw Vader’s helmet and I still don’t know what the film is going to be about other than the millennium falcon is going to have one hell of a dog fight with the empire. Batman vs Superman had me the moment the dark knight shared stared down the man of steel. Unfortunately not every film is going to have that sort advantage. So a film has to dig deeper to draw interest and some times they dig too deep.

Now, I could be completely wrong about this and Terminator Gensys may have more left to show and I’m all for it. I love nothing more than to have a film surprise me. I just feel that it may have jumped the gun and I want to be wrong about that. Last time I was wrong about a film I got Frozen and I’m all for that. God knows this film had the moment I saw two T-800s having a good old-fashioned brawl. I’d go watch that anytime.