Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nature abhors a vacuum

Or "An open letter to Warner Bros."

So, it's February. You wouldn't know it by looking around South Carolina this week as temperatures here have pushed 70 degrees. Many of the college student I've seen hustling about downtown Columbia have been wearing shorts at a time of year that we're usually getting hammered by freezing wind and rain. In the words of Vincent Vega, that shit ain't right.

Also: "Bacon tastes good."
This is also the time of year when the big studios are supposed to be selling us on their high-priced summer wares. A decade ago it was getting to be common practice for big summer movies to release teasers as much as a full year in advance (the teaser to The Hulk was attached a year earlier to Spider-Man, if I remember correctly) but we rarely got a trailer for a summer movie any later than the previous November.

And here we are, in February, still waiting for the marketing campaign for Dark Shadows to start. Not only is there no trailer yet, but there's not even a poster. The Avengers, which opens the week before Dark Shadows, already has several of both.

Because the first two Hulk movies left too many unanswered questions.

Now I'm just a humble country lawyer blogger so my opinion probably doesn't amount to much, but I thought you and I should talk, Warner Bros.

People are starting to worry. If you browse the Dark Shadows-related conversations on Twitter this week you'll see a lot of people asking the same question: Where is the trailer for Dark Shadows? While we're not at the point yet where a Twitter hashmark has been assigned to the problem, we're probably just a few days away from #whereisthedarkshadowstrailer becoming a thing. And nobody wants that to happen.

And some folks are starting to take advantage of the situation. Realizing there is a rabid fan base getting all lathered up at the thought of Johnny Depp playing a chalky vampire, lots of videos are starting to pop up on Youtube proclaiming themselves as "trailers" for the 2012 Dark Shadows movie. I don't need to tell you these are fake, but at least one of them is a trailer for a real movie looking to piggy back off your film by having the name "Shadows" in the title. The details even say Johnny Depp stars in their film (he clearly does not.)

Again, that shit ain't right.

There's also the Reactionary Factor to take into consideration. Bloggers and critics are an opinionated lot. Some of us are nothing more than cretins with an Internet connection who refuse to be satisfied by anything. Others are sweet, charming people (ahem) who sometimes jump to the wrong conclusion.  And the word on the digital street is that the WB is worried about Dark Shadows.

You and I know that the quality of a movie, however something like that is measured, has little to do with its success at the box office.

I had the most wonderful dream last night ...
Maybe you're worried that vampires are over. Maybe you're worried that it's going to be too damn hard to find an audience for a 1972 period horror comedy. But you've got a few options available to you.

1: Create a page on for Dark Shadows and find a successful mate that is willing to spend $300 million on a single movie ticket.

2: Dump millions of dollars into a last-minute advertising campaign and hope for the best.

3: Think outside the box and promote your movie through a small, Dark Shadows-themed blog.

I know what you're thinking. "A small, Dark Shadows-themed blog? Where will I find one of those?"
Well, you're in luck. See those pictures in the rail to your right? Those are all related to the original Dark Shadows television show from the 1960s. That's right ... Dark Shadows used to be a TV show!

And, though my site might be new, it's editor (me!) is very passionate about Dark Shadows. At the moment my traffic isn't enough to carry the full weight of a promotional campaign for a Hollywood movie, but you can change that. What do you think would happen if you let a blog (like mine!) have the first rights to the poster for Dark Shadows? Or even the trailer?

Besides creating a hole in the fabric of the universe.

If you were to give a blog (like mine!) the first rights to such an event, it would be news in itself. People would talk. More importantly, the right people would talk. It would be news over at MTV, Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post and the rest.

Even better, I'm cheap. Not in a Jackie Collins paperback kind of way, but I certainly wouldn't charge $50 million for my services.

So please, give me a call.

- Cousin Barnabas

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