Joseph M. Gusmano

Monday, September 26, 2005
So I was minding my own business, when I came across this, which led me to this, whereupon I clicked here, and snagged up two "press passes" for the movie I have been itching to see for a long time. Just promise to post to your weblog, show up 25 minutes early, and review the film. Sounds like a square deal, so I jump on it. It's a good deal better than trying to score special preview tickets on eBay, where they went for $80 per pair.

Next day I get a confirmation e-mail, and the terms are, shall we say, a little bit shifted. Now I have to show up AT LEAST 45 MINUTES ahead of the showing, and the confirmation is not even a confirmation at all. I may not even get in, and I have to jump through the following three hoops here first:




The confirmation e-mail contains a link and a password for official promotional art for the movie, very shiny. But the files are HUGE! Are you aware I pay for my bandwidth? And I can't even read most of them. But a little surfing reveals one cool photoset from which the poster comes, e.g.:

For those of you who are not already slobbering to see the film, this is Summer Glau in the part of River Tam. And if you do not know what I am talking about, go here.


I am also requested to republish the following from the confirmation e-mail:
Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.
Three. Well there it is, the synopsis. Yep. Enlightened yet? Instead of that, how about a description from the director, Joss Whedon:
It's going to be the next Deuce Bigalow!
Um no, how about:
But I'm, like the biggest fan of the movie! I even have sentimental attatchments to the weak-ass parts (there are two)! (Well, 1 and 3/4.)
Okay okay, try this one:
I guess I would describe Serenity as a sci-fi action drama about the price of freedom. Or, Citizen Kane with spaceships. I could go either way.
Wait, this is it:
The one thing I would want an audience to take away from my work is that people who do not think they have strength in them do and that everybody has the ability and chance to be stronger and better and happier than the world seems ready to let them.
Now that's a message I can relate to. Perhaps more important than the movie itself, it is interesting to be in on the ground floor for what might be a whole new way of marketing movies. There are currently over 55,000 members who have posted nearly 300,000 times to the official fan forum, and that is just one place fans are discussing the movie. And the aforementioned preview screenings. Reach out to the fans, let them share the marketing load. Give them some cool extras.

I say might, because it is definitely a work in progress. And this part of it, which appears to be the work of this outfit, definitely makes the intended audience feel a little like smuggled cattle. And if you get that reference, see you on September 30. And check this space for my reaction to the film.

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