Monday Round-up 1/27: MALEFICENT Redeems, Whedon Channels GODFATHER 2
It’s Monday! When did that happen? Last I remember I was holed up in a dark room for the three days writing six pages (in total) of comedy bits and crying myself to sleep. Damn you, NBC! Afterward, I spent the rest of the weekend in a coma. This is your Monday news round-up!
1. What Grammys? Maleficent!
Last night was the Grammys, but you wouldn’t know it if you follow only my Twitter account. More important things happened last night. Bates and Anna get back together, and Sherlock and Watson try to solve a crime while drunk out of their damn minds. If you did managed to sit through some the ego fest full golden gramophone worshippers, you may have noticed the newest trailer for Maleficent featuring Lana del Rey singing the classic “Once Upon a Dream.” The song had just enough of the same creepiness Lauren O’Connell’s cover of “House of the Rising Sun” had for American Horror Story: Coven.
You know what else? It won me back. I described how I was pretty nonplused when Disney released the first full trailer, as well as the plot summary. Better editing and choice selection of mood music set the tone for a dark Disney flick about our favorite evil witch. The plot still has me a little worried; however, given what we see in the trailer, the summary itself could just be a superficial layer hiding a level of complexity not yet revealed. But let’s not get our hopes up too much. This is still Disney pursuing the hyper colorful re-imaginings of some of their oldest properties. But, I do feel more compelled to actually go to the theaters now. Non 3D, of course. That fad’s all played out.
2. Movie theater owners want shorter trailers.
The average trailer length in time is about two and a half minutes. Apparently that’s too long for the National Association of Theater Owners, and they’re calling to shorten them to 30 full seconds. Also, trailers can only be shown if they’re being released within five months.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
NATO’s executive board came up with the new scheme in an effort to give exhibitors more control over how Hollywood movies are marketed inside of their cinemas. Theater owners, who feel the brunt of complaints from the public, believe trailers are often too long and can give away too much of the plot. NATO has spent months working on the guidelines, including speaking with each of the studios. The trade organization said the proposals were significantly altered as a result of those discussions.
I used to work in projection. Film distributers would literally send us boxes full of trailers. There would be maybe four to five different ones, but in varying film formats. The problem is we got these boxes a lot. Maybe once every other week, not including the deluge of digital trailers we’d get every time a new digital movie came in. Sometimes we’d get requests from the distributer saying what trailers need to be put in front of a certain movie. Most of the time, however, it was up to the head projectionist to pick and choose.
We were pretty sensible with our choices. We selected three to five relevant trailers, adding up to about 10-12 minutes to allow time for some latecomers relying on that 10 minute window to make it to their movie on time. However, there are some theaters whose projectionists will put all or most of the trailers from the aforementioned package. Doing that runs the risk of running up to 20 minutes. Dumb things like this would be the origin of customers’ complaints and the call for shorter trailers.
So will production companies give up the long-form all together? Or will the internet be their safe haven for longer, more descriptive, possibly spoilery trailers?
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