Invasion of the indies

 作者:郦�交     |      日期:2019-03-07 02:03:07
The low-budget horror movie The Blair Witch Project—shot on camcorders to very scary effect—was a huge box-office success in the US partly because it manipulated the Internet to market itself, generating a buzz on Usenet newsgroups and fan sites. The movie’s website (www.blairwitch.com) gives you a good grasp of the movie, maintaining the fiction that it’s based on documentary footage shot by three student film-makers who subsequently disappeared in the Maryland woods. Now other movie-makers—from true independents to the major studios that just want to sound that way—are trying to use the Net to plug their movies, too. For instance, a spam for a hip-hop movie called Whiteboys seems to have “amateur” written all over it—from mispelt wrods to overuse of CAPital LeTters. But the website (www.whiteboys.com) shows it’s actually a mainstream movie from Rupert Murdoch’s Fox empire. The strategy might yet backfire: one contributor in the rec.music.hip-hop newsgroup writes: “All I know is, that after all that spam they sent me I am not touching that movie with a ten foot pole.” While hyping movies over the Net might soon be passé, distributing them could be the next big thing. A new company called Lot 47 (www.lot47.com) wants to distribute neglected independent movies over the Internet. “We’re going to retrieve them and give them a second chance at success in totally new and revolutionary ways,” said Scott Lipsky, president of the company. Him and whose bandwidth? Of course, the first and biggest Internet marketing success was South Park, the foul-mouthed cartoon. Recently released as a full-length movie (see www2.southparkmovie.com), the show has its roots in an animated short from 1995 that was e-mailed around the Internet as a Christmas card. It’s called The Spirit of Christmas—or Jesus vs. Santa Claus—and features a brawl between the title characters. Download it at www.cen.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/soxmas. More on these topics: