Hollywood And The Trailer Conundrum

The final trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom dropped yesterday, and I’m still angry about how much of the story it gave away.

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It’s not a new phenomena for feature film trailers to give away too much of the story, and in essence spoil their own plot threads. But yesterday the third and final trailer for Fallen Kingdom proved to be perhaps the most egregious example of a film studio giving away far too much since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually showed the final shot of the movie in a trailer.

There’s an obvious argument for why studios do this, at the end of the day they’re a business and their job and the role of the marketing department is to get people into the cinema. But that shouldn’t come at the cost of the cinematic experience you take part in once you’re there.

In part in can perhaps be associated with the Social media age we’re currently living in. People want information in small portions and they want it straight away in quick news cycles. So hiding away the main story thread and focusing on tone and themes isn’t perhaps the best way to approach a trailer aimed at a mainstream/general audience. Instead your trailer needs to focus on “moments”; key shots and plot points that grab the attention and make you want to see the film.

The final Fallen Kingdom is littered with said moments, some of which are highly infuriating spoilers, so I won’t go into detail here. But what I can do is note that there are at least 5 key moments, plot points or mysteries spoiled over the course of a 2 and a half minute long trailer.

So the question has to be asked, can marketing departments focus on themes and tone and still get those tickets sold? Quite frankly, the answer is a resounding yes and anyone from the film industry who argues otherwise is either complacent or incapable of producing a unique marketing campaign.

John Krasinski’s recent horror-hit A Quiet Place is testament to the wonders a good marketing campaign can do. It didn’t spoil key moments of the film, only ever alluding to them, and relied on the quality of the film premise itself to sell the tickets. That could have failed spectacularly, especially for a film that doesn’t have any prior name value, but to everyone’s surprise it opened up to similar numbers to that of Ready Player One.

What’s all the more frustrating is that Fallen Kingdom nearly had it nailed. Whilst the first trailer failed to capture the buzz that Universal likely wanted, and received pretty negative reactions, the second trailer was widely praised. Honing in on the horror tones of the film and providing only the most basic of story-points, the second trailer told us exactly what the film was going to be and teased enough moments to grab our attention, all the while maintaining the secrecy that hotly anticipated films should try and keep.

What’s more concerning on the Fallen Kingdom front is that apart from that second trailer the entire marketing campaign feels like a B-Movie you would find on the SyFy channel. Alongside the most recent trailer we were treated to the following poster and I can safely say that it’s one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time.

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So enjoy marketing campaigns the likes of which A Quiet Place managed to produce, applaud studios when they manage to scramble together a trailer that tells you everything you need to know and nothing more and criticise when they give you too much. Talk with your money if you have to. Because until movie-goers start to show that marketing still matters in this social media age the steep slope that trailers find themselves on is only going to get worse.

Avengers: Infinity War Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Avengers: Infinity War in the UK we’re giving away a Thanos POP Vinyl!

All you have to do is RT the following tweet and follow our Twitter page @WeAreNiche:

The winner will be announced the day of Infinity War’s release (April 26 2018) subject to Terms and Conditions.

T&C’s:

– The winner must be based in the UK

– The winner must be reachable by either Twitter DM or email to confirm delivery

– Only 1 entry per person is permitted

Review: Ready Player One

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Zak Penn and Ernest Cline
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn

Whilst Ready Player One might not be the Steven Spielberg masterpiece that a lot of us hoped it would be, it’s still a fun and memorable cinematic experience that you don’t want to miss out on.

Based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ernest Cline the movie follows the adventures of a group of people hunting down the golden Easter egg within a virtual world called the Oasis, with the premise being that should you find this Easter egg you will gain control of the Oasis itself. And in terms of adaptations the film falls somewhere in the Lord of the Rings category of accuracy; the core story is the same and there are a number of scenes and moments which are lifted straight out of the book, but the journey the characters take to get to their end goal has a number of differences both little and large. Some of these differences were done so with the film’s length in mind, others with having to adapt some of the challenges to an on-screen medium that perhaps requires more adrenaline pumping action than a book would otherwise need. But overall if you’re a fan of the book then you’ll definitely be at the very least appeased with the way this adaptation turned out, and that’s unsurprising given Ernest Cline’s involvement with the screenplay.

As for how the film holds up on its own, there are both good and bad points to be made, but fortunately it’s mostly the former. There’s no real attention grabbing performances in the film, and that’s partly down to the limited time that we actually spend with the in-person versions of these characters. Tye Sheridan is fine as the film’s main character, but he offers little more than a standard, by the numbers performance. The same can be said for Ben Mendelsohn who portrays a typical comic-book villain with little backstory or motivation other than money and greed. But the film is fortunate in that the real stars aren’t the real life characters, but their avatar counterparts in the Oasis. Art3mis, Parzival, Daito and Aech all outshine their real life players and that’s where the films strength lies, in the Oasis.

Whilst the film’s portrayal of the Oasis isn’t exactly what I had imagined when reading the book, that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Spielberg (And likely Ernest Cline) did a great job of modernising the original vision of what the Oasis was (Something built around 80’s references that would be lost on many of the younger audience who will go to see this film) so that it fit in today’s culture. There are so many Easter eggs littered throughout the film, both subtle and exceedingly obtuse that it’s going to take someone a scary amount of time in order to list them all. But because of that I almost feel like this film will leave you wanting to go back and start all over again, wanting to find just one more reference, one more character that you didn’t notice the first time around, I know I sure want to right now.

It’s hard to say right now whether this film will have any impact on the future of VR in the real world, but it’s certainly not going to hurt the technology now that a far wider audience has been introduced to the sheer magnitude and beauty of the world that Cline envisioned.

If you have the chance go and see this movie in the cinema, it’s a big screen cinematic experience if ever there was one and the stunning visuals and amazing soundtrack are something that you have to experience for the first time in a theatre. This film is going to have everybody talking and for all the right reasons. Should it be getting 10/10 reviews? No. But that doesn’t make this any less of an impactful film and one that will no doubt still be talked about in many years to come.

Final Score: 7/10 Porgs.

Avengers Infinity War news roundup

Following on from the internet breaking Avengers Infinity War trailer that dropped last week there has been a flurry of news regarding the film, and we’re here to round it up in one place

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Breaking records

Following the release of the second trailer, tickets for the hotly anticipated culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe went on sale and immediately began breaking records.

Back in January it was reported by Fandango that Marvel smash-hit Black Panther had the biggest first day ticket sales of any Marvel movie yet, well that record didn’t last long as Variety have reported that Infinity War broke that record in just 6 hours.  That’s a huge achievement and would indicate that the 3rd Avengers film is on track to do incredibly well at the box office once it is released in late April.

Boldly going where no film has gone before

One of the biggest selling points of Infinity War is that it is bringing together the largest roster of Superheroes and characters that has ever been assembled (Pun intended) in a single movie.

With /Film reporting that there are 76 characters in Infinity War it is nothing short of a miracle that the film has been able to happen in the first place, and that’s something that Anthony Russo, one of the films directors, has been keen to point out.

Stating in an interview with Collider:
“I think it’s a very unique film, I don’t think there are a lot of movies that have the kind of tone that this movie has, because it’s a combination of franchises and I don’t think we’ve ever seen that before on this scale.”

Thanos and Thor take center stage

It’s unsurprising that following the release of the trailer and poster a flurry of interviews with both cast members and the Russo brothers have been released. One particular tid bit of information that caught our eye throughout all these interviews was the revelation of which characters take up the most screen time in the movie.

The answer being the God of Thunder, Thor and the big bad of the film, Thanos.

In an interview with Fandango Joe Russo responded to a question about who has the most screen time by saying:
“Interestingly enough, I’ll start out by saying Thanos, even though he’s not a character that had a huge preexisting story in the Marvel universe. He was a threat, but he was not developed in any way up to this point. Thanos has an incredible amount of screen time in this film, in a lot of ways I would say it’s his movie. Our job when we make these films – and what we feel is important to us – is to surprise the audience. We wanted to tell a story that they weren’t expecting, and the story is told from the point of view of a villain, which I think is also really unique and risky for a commercial film that will surprise the audience. I think this is a market where the audience really enjoys innovation and disruption, and we want to do something innovative in this space. So I think Thanos has an incredible amount of screen time, and I think you’ll find that Thor has a really interesting arc in the film. He hasn’t been at the forefront of other Avengers movies, but he certainly has a very important role in this film. So I’ll say, Thanos and Thor.”

The Invisible Man

As amazing as the new trailer was, it left many fans with two big questions. Where are Ant Man and Hawkeye? We know that the pair are due to appear in the upcoming and as of yet untitled Avengers 4 but their whereabouts and role in Infinity War is still murky.

We have at least somewhat of an answer to one of those characters. When asked about Clint Barton’s (Hawkeye) whereabouts in Infinity War during an interview with /Film Joe Russo revealed:
“Coming out of Civil War, he’s in the same position that Cap and Falcon are at the end of that movie. And Ant-Man. Coming into this movie, you know… Characters on Cap’s side coming out of the Civil War, some made certain decisions and others made other decisions that led to different paths in them dealing with oversight in this movie in a different way. So Hawkeye’s on his own journey in this movie.”

More news will no doubt drop as we draw closer to the release of Infinity War in cinemas. Until then make sure you follow @WeAreNiche and keep coming back to the website as we bring you the latest.