Most movies nowadays are accompanied by months of marketing. The ease and affordability of using the Internet has given movie companies new and interesting ways to get their film out. People (geek-site writers in particular) are bombarded every week with new trailers, pictures, interviews and all manner of other things to tease and tantalize. Some simply choose to reorder trailers and add tiny bits of new footage until what has been released ends up totaling 20% of the movie’s content in the end. Cleverer marketing, however, can be interesting and fun without giving away too much.
Prometheus is perhaps the king of the viral campaign this year, with all the extra clips they shot exclusively for marketing purposes. These little things added flavor to the movie, hyped it up and didn’t just replay tons of footage.
As it turns out, although marketing was the key motivation, there was a little more involved in what they were trying to do. Their goal was to bridge the gap between the old Aliens mythology and the new mythology being introduced by Prometheus. This was to satisfy fans of the old while still keeping the mystery of whether Prometheus was indeed a prequel to the originals. As everyone knows by now, the movie was billed as not being connected to the Aliens franchise, but all the denial was nothing more than a smokescreen.
In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Damon Lindelof explained a bit about what they set out to do.
I thought that instead of us answering questions in mainstream media, was there a way to control the story by releasing content before the movie that just isn’t the trailer. They were like “What do you mean?” I said, “We can do some cool viral stuff.” And the best viral content stars the actors, the stars who are actually in the movie. I thought if we could talk Michael Fassbender into doing this, or Guy Pearce, that would be awesome. But we are going to have to have these ideas figured out by the time we are shooting the movie because that’s when we have those actors.
And when asked about the way the marketing campaign interacted with those viewing the content:
Weyland’s TED talk is a talk to an audience, and the audience is a proxy for the audience that’s watching it. The “David 8” spot is a commercial, not for “Prometheus,” but for a robot you can’t actually buy. Sometimes when you put content out there and it’s just a scene from the movie it’s exactly the same experience you’d get in a movie theater. But I do think people, particularly when it comes to viral content, like content that’s talking directly to them, creating that level of interactivity.
The interview is pretty long and fans of Prometheus may find much of what Lindelof had to say pretty interesting. Head on over to the WSJ to read more.
Thanks to blastr for the info on this one.