Saturday, April 16, 2011
Are Previews Spoiling Your Movie?
You curiously watch, and by the end of the trailer you get the picture. You really get the picture! Hook, line and sinker. The sinker is America's impatience for all things to come and the media's obsession with spoilers, and literally ruining the theatre experience, from movies to Broadway shows and even TV shows.
Take for instance "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." Plagued by trouble from the start, the Broadway musical seemingly turned off it's own lights when it allowed sneak previews and audiences in to see Spidey's 'dirty laundry,' in this case, wardrobe failures, technical catastrophes and bad music. In my humble opinion this should have never happened. Since we live in a world of intense competition, every movie studio and production on earth is vying for our attention and will do almost anything to get it, even ruin their own releases in the process. Julie Taymor, who was fired from the production as its director and visionary, never got a chance to bring her finished project to the table. But that's partly her own undoing. She should have never let the public in until she got all the kinks out.Now, an overhaul, cast changes and even diminished roles for some key characters are imminent until it re-opens in mid May.
On television, just before a commercial, a talk show, or even the Maury Povich show producers reveal so much, it basically doesn't make sense to continue watching. Last week, I watched a show where they were cutting to a commercial and the voice over said "when we get back, will Robert be the father of the Keisha's baby?" The clip showed Keisha mouthing " I told you, I told you, I told you were the father." What are producer's thinking? Thanks for ruining the entire piece!
A few nights ago while watching the show "Heavy," where obese people are sent away to fat farms for months, I was shocked that they had shown the subject's transformation several times before the show reached its reveal. Again, what's the point in watching?
Yes we are impatient, yes we need to be enticed, but don't spoil the program for us in the process.
Let's go back to the day when we heard a movie was coming months away, then only a few weeks ahead of time, we'd see a cleverly done preview, where in lieu of telling the whole story, we simply got teased. They were effective, not too revealing, and they really led us to the theater.
This month "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One" is released on Blu-ray. Disturbingly, it comes with a "first look" at the opening scene of the finale (Part 2), set to come out this summer. What is the point of this? Every scene, every photo, and every trailer released, some of them minutes long, is ruining the theater-going experience. I don't need to see the opening scene!
So to avoid the temptation, I'm not buying that Blu-ray either... Marketing FAIL.
As a movie lover, I now refuse to read certain books, read magazine articles and even have to turn my head when watching TV for fear that I will see too much. If the point of these spoilers is to entice your audience, and get them to fill seats at the theater, you're going to lose at least this one guy right here.
How do you feel? Does it bother you? Am I over-acting, or do you feel the same way?
Let me know by commenting below!
Written by Paul Brighton