Am I the only one who's not a huge fan of all these pre-release fan screenings?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Adam Lenhardt, May 6, 2005.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    It's getting to the point where I'm afraid to go online lest a movie I've been anticipating for months be spoiled two weeks or more before hand. "Revenge of the Sith" is becoming a bastard to avoid spoilers for, to mixed results. "Serenity" spoilers after those ten fan screenings prove the same deal. And I already feel like I know the entire plot of "Batman Begins".
    Am I the only one who misses the days when preview screenings were only for film critics that released their reviews in an easily avoidable place usually only a day or so before the film itself comes out? Am I only the one who feels that people should be generally content to see the film on its RELEASE DATE? I genuinely want to know. It's a troubling trend that scores points in the die-hard fan circles but leaves the less hardcore internet-savvy fan having to run for cover with each entertainment site he or she visits.
     
  2. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    With Sith, it's not exactly a fan screening...it's a press screening. We have these kinds of problems with most movies.

    Serenity on the other hand is a whole different ballgame.

    That being said, I've completely avoided the Batman thread and have been uber-careful in the Star Wars thread. I feel completely unspoiled in regards to those films.
     
  3. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    You're raised a good point Adam. I think these "screenings" are pretty much the way it's going to be...especially with the "event" films. Unless they suck. But these screenings for fans too also help generate buzz and ignite the fan base even more. Star Wars would be okay with it I'm sure. Batman as well-although- the memories of B&R still linger.

    It's a different world now with spoilers and whose seen it first mentality. The internet is partially responsible too. I don't think there's any chance of going back.
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I wish spoilers weren't handed out by filmmakers like candy at Halloween, but that genie's never going back in Pandora's box, to mix a metaphor a bit. I mean, nobody but Mark Hamill and Irvin Kershner knew the big reveal in Empire, and Hamill wasn't even told until they went to film the scene. Now, anyone who wants can have purchased the novelization or the comic adaptation of the new Star Wars film weeks ago. As Matt says, you just have to avoid the sites you think will spoil you and hope you aren't blindsided somewhere else. I mean, in the weeks leading up to a film's release, I have to worry about some DJ getting cute and telling all, or maybe some joker in line before the movie starts. I'm thinking of buying a pair of those Bose QuietComfort noise cancelling headphones to wear before the movie starts. [​IMG] Failing that, there's always the old, "La, la! I can't hear you!" routine.


    [​IMG] Drive those memories out! The new Batman looks great, I tell you! Great!
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Movies have been previewed even months in advance of their release dates to judge audience reaction and fine-tune them for many years, so this is hardly a new phenomenon. What is new is the ready access of many of the folks who see them in out-of-the-way theaters to websites, fora and blogs where they can spill the beans, and frankly a greater willingness to do so. (The couple of times I happened to catch a "sneak peak" of an unreleased film I was actually square enough to honor the NDA they'd have us sign and keep my mouth shut about what I'd seen.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    It takes some effort to avoid spoilers but it's not difficult. I hang out at theforce.net on a regular basis and I've been browsing the Episode III thread here @ HTF from the beginning and AOTC hasn't been spoiled. Batman Begins is number two on my to watch list for '05 and I know less than nothing about that one. You just have to know what to look for and intentionally don't look for it [​IMG]
     
  7. David Ely

    David Ely Supporting Actor

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    Not sure I'd expect AOTC to be spoiled in a thread about ROTS [​IMG]
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    How can "Sith" be spoiled? There are three sequels already existing...you know what happens.
     
  9. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    This was recent, but some local DJ completely spoiled the ending to Million Dollar Baby. I already knew it, but I'd be pissed if I didn't.
     
  10. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    Are you serious??

    We may know what EVENTUALLY happens much later on, but not what may happen at that time of the film.
     
  11. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Exactly. If you don't want to know what happens in a film, avoid message boards and websites about it.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Good advice in theory, but considering how far in advance this information leaks out, might as well avoid the internet all together. There is plenty on those sites to interest the non-spoiled; it's too bad they have to have headlines and the like that are the equivilant of "Vader's Luke's Father!!!".
     
  13. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    No way. I saw star wars episode l two weeks before it came out. It was great fun, and I am glad I went.
     
  14. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I tend to agree with Adam.

    This is how I feel about the whole thing, press screenings should be for the press, not fans. I realize that some people here are connected enough to get a friend or aquaintance who works for the press to get them into the screenings, but that needs to end. A press pass should be required at the door, if you don't have one, you don't get in, no more of this "name on the list" garbage.

    That's what get's under my skin, people who beat the system by getting into screenings where they do not belong, then they run home, jump on the net and proceed to spill the beans about everything they just saw.

    In short, people just can't keep a secret anymore.

    Also, press screenings should take place no more than two days prior to the release date for said film, to give them a chance to go to print, spoiler free print I might add, two days is plenty of time.

    Avoiding the internet is a no brainer really, if you don't want the entire plot revealed to you weeks in advance, either stay off the net or stay away from sites that are not secure in regards to the material you are trying to avoid. If the net had been around when master Hitchcock were alive, Janet Leigh's demise in Psycho would have been blown in a heartbeat. He would have hated the net in this regard, there's no doubt in my mind about that.

    In regards to EP III, nothing could possibly spoil this film for me. I've heard quite a bit about it already and my enthusiasm just keeps rising! Although, having said that, who in their right mind would actually read that novelization of EP III BEFORE seeing the film!? That's just, well, dumb i'm sorry to say.
     
  15. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    For daily newspapers and internet writers, maybe. For glossy national magazines, definitely not.

    Also, writing a review is harder than it looks. It takes me something like three hours, and mine average a mere seven paragraphs which are disturbingly close to first draft - if I had to deal with an actual editor, sending stuff back for rewriting, the time crunch would be a bigger problem. Plus, each critic is assigned three or four movies a week - if they were seeing them ALL on Wednesday or Thursday, there'd be no time to actually get anything close to a decent review written by the time the Entertainment section was put to bed Thursday night.
     
  16. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It is very hard to avoid spoilers. I avoid the Star War thread, and most fan websites to not be spoiled too much. But, Lucas releasing the book and comics early hurt a lot.

    I had a very good friend, who knows I'm a huge Yoda fan, blurt out something I didn't want to know, and after seeing the look on my face responded, "Oh, you're not into spoilers? Sorry."

    Luckily it wasn't a huge spoiler, but it was something I feel would have been better discovered in the film.

    I do miss the days when all of the pre-release information wasn't so obtainable by less patient people than I. I mean, I've heard other spoilers from people I didn't know who were standing in line last weekend for a movie. They were chatting about Star Wars and revealed something else that I would have rather experienced during the film.

    I know it's unavoidable and just the state of the world, but it doesn't stop me from being nostalgic for the good old days when certain plot points hit me like a ton of bricks. Back when you went to see an event film with very little preconceived notions of how good it would be. All you had was the stinging electricity of anticipation and possibility.
     
  17. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    I like the screenings. They are funner crowds. I agree, though, people shouldn't ruin stuff. If you had a chance to see episode III today, would you? If someone told you about a private screening, and you were invited, you're telling me you wouldn't go! I would in a heartbeat. If, indeed, you would go, than you are placing yourself in the category that you don't believe in. My, my, the mind wanders...[​IMG]
     
  18. Chris Harvey

    Chris Harvey Second Unit

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    Media screenings have always existed, it's just that the internet makes it a lot easier to now disseminate spoilers. (I happened to see ROTS at a media screening, and it's common when you work in the industry for your company to get passes to a variety of films.) Of course, the ones that have spoilers leaked are the big "fanboy" films... I mean, producers at my company saw most of the huge blockbusters at press screenings last year, but it's the BATMAN, LOTR, and STAR WARS films, etc that have some rabid excited person start posting details right after they watch it.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I'm not arguing that they're a blast for the poeple involved. I'm sure they're great fun. My concern is that a good time for a slim minority is having a strongly negative effect for the majority.
     
  20. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Actually, I think it is good for the lower profile films that possibly could get lost in the shuffle. It is also good for films that are getting negative vibes.

    Yes, it makes it harder to avoid spoilers, but I do think in this day and age, it helps more than hurts.

    Jason
     

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