If you’re going to sell tickets to a marathon of five mystery Tom Cruise movies, you’d better remind people how much they’ve loved that guy.
The emotionally charged exhibition used wearable tech to recognize more than just great ideas.
A great piece of film will always elicit an emotional response, be it joy, discomfort, laughter, or a touch of melancholy. We’ve seen the trend in advertising, wherein brands are going right for the cockles of the heart with emotionally rich stories. But unless you shed a tear or break out in laughter, it’s hard for an outsider to know what you’re really feeling.
Saatchi & Saatchi tapped into those inner emotions with its New Directors Showcase—an annual selection of the best new directing talent that’s presented at Cannes—which it called Feel the Reel. Along with showing films, the NDS is famous for the accompanying grand theatrical piece. This year, the global agency network tapped wearable technology to mine individual emotional reactions to the work and visualize it for all to see. In short, if one of the 18 filmmakers’ films made you cry, it was visualized through a bracelet that changed color with your emotions.
“We literally monitored people’s individual reactions to what they were watching and not in a way that they can control,” says Andy Gulliman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Film and Content Director and the curator of this year’s reel. “We’ve monitored their body and how their natural emotions react. We then created data from that, which gave us a response to what they’re watching. So if the brain is thinking that you’re going to cry, then that light comes on.”
“We’re somewhat the uninvited guest,” says Cliff Marks, president of sales and marketing at NCM Media Networks, which produces the program. “No one comes to the movies and says, ‘I wonder what’s going to be in the pre-show.’ But since we’ve created this show, you wouldn’t believe how great the consumer response is.”
When it launched in 2002, he says, people booed and threw stuff at the screen. Today, in surveys, 95% of viewers say they like it.
When two actor friends waded into the Occupy Wall Street protests while pretending to be obnoxious investment bankers, Brendan Gibbons knew he had the foundation for a humorous and morally ambiguous tale about “the defining issue of our time.”
The “Everything Wrong With” series from Cinema Sins is a popular, fun way to make you feel dumb for liking things (yet smart for knowing why you shouldn’t). The latest edition of the ongoing series has a special guest who can make you feel especially stupid for enjoying Gravity: Namely, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s favorite astrophysicist, who interjects with some very science-y reasons why the Sandra Bullock mega-hit is bad and you should feel bad for liking it.
The video above is a trailer for the film She Started It – a documentary, co-directed by journalists Insiyah Saeed and Nora Poggi, which follows four different female founders, as they create new startups.
The morbid-minded Randal S. Olson gathered data from an online movie body count hub, and used it to determine whose films had the most deaths overall. As it turns out, all those Middle Earth armies really pile on the hobbit-bloodshed, leaving Peter Jackson as the king of the category.
It turns out you can improve on perfection.
Shooting a film is stressful enough. It’s even more stressful if you’re shooting in China, and your principal actor remains something of a permanent fixture on the Chinese government’s shit list. Yet, somehow, filmmaker Jason Wishnow was able to pull off casting famous Chinese political activist and artist Ai Weiwei in a Kickstarter-funded sci-fi film, one in which the artist plays a water smuggler in a heavily polluted, water-scarce future. There’s only one problem: Ai Weiwei just wiped the $88,000-funded project from the Internet.
“I think Aaron’s story is compelling for lots of different reasons. My previous film We Are Legion followed hackers and activists, so I was following Aaron’s story right from when he was arrested. He was so deeply engaged in so many issues that are really relevant about information, our relationship with information, the way the Internet is changing, and the freedoms of the Internet. And then I was struck by how much his story resonated with people far beyond the communities in which he was a celebrity—people that didn’t even know him.”
—Brian Knappenberger, director of The Internet’s Own Boy, on Aaron Swartz. Read the rest of the Q&A and watch the new trailer, over here.
“A movie will come out and you will have 17 days [of theatrical exclusivity], that’s exactly three weekends, which is 95% of the revenue for 98% of movies. On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75” TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99. When that happens, and it will happen, it will reinvent the enterprise of movies.”