I don't really care how much the latest superhero film took at the box office, although I'd probably know if you asked me. When I watch a film the main thing I am looking for is a good story. I like it when I look up at the big screen and can see a part of me staring back at me. More than anything, I am still looking for Jimmy Stewart and Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder in every film I see.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Branding & Marketing: Knowing Your Demographic
You can brand yourself a certain way. You can market yourself to the right people. You can focus on the right demographic. You can change things and make them more commercial. You can manipulate people and get their money. You can work out a strategy for the marketplace. But please don't ever think any of those things are what it's really all about. They might get a kid to buy a ticket and stuff popcorn down his face, but it won't make him a Kid In The Front Row. A Kid In The Front Row is looking for a Jack Lemmon chuckle, or Buzz Lightyear Spanish dancing, or Jimmy Stewart throwing his hands up and promising to see the world, or Julia Roberts standing in front of a boy, or Paulie Bleeker laying on the hospital bed with Juno, or The Tramp smiling, or Red grinning in Shawshank. This stuff is of the heart. It's life! It's love! It's THE MOVIES! That's what inspires people! You got into this to inspire people!
You can try and brand yourself and market things correctly and sure, you might hit a cash jackpot. But it means nothing and it's temporary, it's last year's reality TV shows. Instead you can get into people's hearts one Kid In The Front Row at a time. It might just be your Aunt Martha and your friend Jack who find your work meaningful, but that means more to them than a well-marketed franchise is going to mean to anyone two years from now. That's what it's about: inspiring people. It's about building a career so that one day you can write something as simple as "Run Forrest, Run," or you can deliver a performance as iconic as when Samuel L. Jackson ate a tasty burger, or you can direct a scene as sweet as when Maguire had her at hello. We gotta keep a hold of this drive. This essence. This is why we got up on stages when we were twelve, or hid in our rooms writing stories when everyone else was out socializing, it wasn't for no reason, and it sure as fuck wasn't so that we could pander to demographics and corporate branding. Don't forget who you are, and what this means to you.