Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Monstrous Marketing

In the past few weeks a new viral campaign has infected the interweb and its low cost concept is paying huge dividends. According to a trailer found on a few cryptic websites, Paramount Pictures is releasing a film in January of 2008 produced by TV's "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams, shot in digital video, set in New York City, involving something very big that finds it amusing to throw the head of the Statue of Liberty at crowds of terrified New Yorkers.

Of course, it's what we don't know and the manner in which we've been teased that has us hooked. But not all of the ensuing publicity may have been the intentions of the studio. The trailer was first scene as a preview to the Transformers movie and a few "viral carriers", equipped with camcorders, recorded the teaser and leaked it onto The result is a buzz that took on a life of its own. Names began to sprout for the project, theories involving the TV series started to develop, and all were denied by Abrams himself. Also, the nature of the hand-held videography gave the footage the appearance of an actual, self-made youtube offering. Did the creators behind the mysterious film intend for that to happen? I can't say, but according to reports, they have asked that the links be removed – although obviously that hasn't happened.

Regardless of the loose ends and plethora of unanswered questions, a $30 million film (modest by today's blockbuster standards, it must be said) with no name and no real synopsis outside of some monstrous tragedy has become one of the most anticipated films of next year. All for the price of some clever animation, a few feet of videotape and a URL. My only hope, considering the source, is that whatever molested Lady Liberty turns out to be more than a puff of innocuous, black smoke.

Here's the video for your perusal:

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