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Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Promote a Film: Or How I learned to stop worrying and love pussies

Two approaches to marketing a film outside the mainstream.

#1 James Franco creates a viral video on Funny or Die with his grandmother, mocking those who are squeamish about the arm amputation sequence in 127 Hours.

#2 Then there's Kevin Smith, who following a critical shallacking for his gun-for-hire comedy the (aptly titled?) Cop Out, is on a crusade (right now, as this is being typed!) on Twitter against critics. He is vowing that henceforth, every one who wants to see his film must pay. No more special free advance critics screenings.

A Smodest Proposal

He is also not doing any press for the film, opting instead to let his Web site and Twitter feed, and SModcasts do the talking for him.

By circumventing "the establishment," and reaching-out directly to his fan-base to promote his upcoming film Red State, Smith is generating more viral heat and interest than a conventional campaign could ever generate.

Some recent Tweets—a thirty+ Tweet tirade—reflect his combative stance:

I stopped being the KevinSmith they loved to bitch about; the KevinSmith they chided to change. So I changed. And guess what? Now they're

bitching about that? And trying to scare me with some booga-booga bullshit about hurting my career. Like I said: the game's rigged. So why

play it on THEIR terms? KobayashiMaru that shit: at the very worst, you get bitched-out by cowards. At best? You BECOME James Tiberius Kirk.

Red State
  • View Askew
  • Red State

Smith's weekly "SModcasts" (his branded Pod Cast in partnership with sometime producer Scot Mosier, hence SModcas = Smith/Mosier Podcast) called Red State of the Unions, offer "non-specious movie news direct from the filmmakers."

These informative audio clips are a perfect promotional tool for the film, and offer genuine insight into the process, all delivered with Smith's trademark casual banter, salted with expletives.

A few things should be clear from these missives—he is far from pretentious, he is infused with passion, and he actually gives a shit about what he is doing.

The only shame here is that Smith has uniformly dismissed the press.

Are there hacks? Yes.

But there are far more quality writers out there.

In truth, there are dozens of critics whose passion for their craft and lack of pretension match his own.

But it's Smith's Skewniverse...and he can cry if he wants to.

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