Monday, January 07, 2008

Lets take over the movie business

Seems like a reckless title but its not without precedent. A while ago I watched a documentary called ‘the men from the agency,’ which tells the story about how advertising transformed itself from being a basic marketing function into mass market wonderland of glamorous brands and lifestyles. It then went on to tell the story of how the main protagonists had learnt so precisely how to amaze, entrance and engage an audience through their skill in making great advertising, that they would be able to remake the conventions of film making and create blockbuster movies instead of blockbuster ads; people like Ridley Scott and others. These days many people in the industry still believe in the blockbuster TV spot in the same way as these soon to be film makers did in the 70’s and 80’s. But a lot has happened since then (e.g. web 2.0) and so many other people believe in a totally different starting place. So imagine if we were to apply some of these new rules to the film business which arguably is stuck in a bit of a rut. For example, our current starting place is not to sit down and write the script of a TV ad. My little knowledge/guess work about the film business tells me that people probably wouldn’t think to start anywhere else than to sit down and start to write the script.

So planners think they have nailed a shed load of new principles as they refer to advertising; now over to Hollywood and to try their hand at the movie business. Would they be able to do the same thing as the 'men from the agency,' and unlock the key to a new way. If only they weren’t all introverts! Or maybe instead they will turn their attention to something of more substantial importance like the need for green ideas as per John Grants blog and latest post.

In the mean time here is a first stab at going all Hollywood...

A film starts with the convention of the plot first. I’m pretty sure that from this basic outline, there are a number of rounds of discussions before the film gets made around the potential audience that it will attract.

We as (consumer centric) planners start first with the consumer experience that we are trying to deliver above even the story itself. Traditionally a film would investigate a theme such as becoming an adult and leaving home and all of the trepidation and excitement that goes with it, by telling us a story about somebody going through it. A (consumer centric) planning perspective would be to think about how to bring to life the experience, my own experience, of this coming of age process. So for example, if the defined audience was a teenager of the 80’s, the music would be a journey through the emotive and angst ridden tracks of that era even where this was not necessarily in tune with the era or even the plot. The style and content would itself mature within the duration of the film. Cultural references relevant to the experience of the time would run throughout even if they seemed out of context with other elements.

(Incidentally I think Baz Lurhman films already contain some of these kind of elements I.e. Shakespeare meets MTV)

More to follow...

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