In Todd Defren’s blog PR Squared he discusses the idea of relationship building in movie launches rather than just campaigns. He says campaigns are usually used because movies are such short-term events but began to brainstorm a relationship aspect. He suggested an online casting call of sorts,
“Imagine a no-holds-barred global casting call in which a pre-determined selection of — say, 5 actors — was subjected to a reality-tv style vote that took place across several weeks, for a major studio release. Each actor’s Facebook Fan Page could include their screen test, their bio, oodles of shareable content, etc., as well as the to-and-fro message boards where the actors could interact with their fans and guide them to ever-more-interesting acts of promotion on their behalf.”
There are many problems with this idea on the execution side of things. I’m no film expert but I know that more goes into cast selection than just a director wanting someone and the actor accepting. There’s timing involved with what actors are shooting what, what timeframe the movie has to get made in, the movies budget; sorry to say but some itty-bitty indie film just can’t afford the cast of Ocean’s 11. There’s also a high school like popularity contest that can come with social media, I don’t want Ashton Kutcher in a movie he’s not right for just because he has millions of twitter followers.
Another idea was:
“The actors could give anyone who tweets 50X about their vote in the contest a personalized photo, or access to a special Twitter avatar, or raffle off a trip to see them on-set.”
Here you just run into crazy fans who want the free stuff more than a successful movie. Many people may just vote for their favorite actors regardless of if they are right for the part. I love Dane Cook’s stand up and have seen every movie he’s been in, many of which just because he was in it. I don’t find him to be an amazing actor, he’s improving with every role but I’m a fan and I want to support him. This is where problems arise in letting fans choose, even if you narrow it down to five choices for them will the right man get the job? Will there be a boycott of the movie by fans that voted for the remaining four actors?
Another way I choose movies by actors is their reputation. To my movie taste Gerard Butler, or his people, or whoever is behind picking his movies has a good selection process. He was amazing in 300, more of a boy movie but looked good in his barley there uniform for the girls. In P.S. I Love You, more of a chick flick but showed a balance, he continued that balance with The Ugly Truth and Gamer, all of which are movies I have enjoyed and he has earned my trust as a movie watcher that anything he’s in is worth the ticket price. Letting the selection process not be about the actor and director can change all of that.
I do love the direction this is heading; it is an inspired idea, especially for a quick brainstorming session. I agree that relationship building in the movie industry would be way more powerful of a movement than a campaign but more time and thought is required. It is much easier to be “negative Nelly” and critique the ideas of others than come up with your own. So what do you think? Do you believe there is a way to build relationships in the movie world or it is just better left to campaigns? How would you go about building a relationship?