Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken or Egg It All Ends Up As Pulp

In our discussion below, filmmaker Andrew Bellware writes:

"If I could only make a movie as cool as its cover art, I'd be very happy! So maybe the idea of making the cover art first -- before making the movie -- is a really good one..."

As I have discussed before, it's the way that American International Pictures used to do it back in the fifties and sixties, but they also acquired many movies and applied the talents of their art department (Albert Kallis, who worked in his own studio) on the task of selling the picture.

What they followed was The ARKOFF Formula.

In addition, they devised a rule for their pulp filmmaking and marketing:

a) a younger child will watch anything an older child will watch;
b) an older child will not watch anything a younger child will watch;
c) a girl will watch anything a boy will watch
d) a boy will not watch anything a girl will watch; therefore-to catch your greatest audience you zero in on the 19-year old male.

Hmmm... so there you have it. No matter if you create the art first, then the movie or vice versa -- if you are making a low budget, genre picture and you want to achieve the maximum exposure possible, then you should target 19 year old males as your core audience. They will bring the rest of the audience to the picture.

Read Andrew's comments regarding the differences between the art for his movie in Japan and the North American version.

The Japanese version is almost anime-like" in appearance and plays to the central conceit of a female killing machine (is there any other kind?) The N. A. version plays to the "stars" who might be most recognizable to a western audience.

I would have composed something that combined the two: a piece of art that lets genre fans know who's in it, but which more importantly lets 19 yr. old males understand this is a kick-ass movie.

It has elements of ULTRAVIOLET and AEON FLUX and plays on your DVD player like a game disc in a Playstation. And hopefully, I would have made or acquired a movie to match the expectation I've set up with the art.

(Kind of what we did here with this title that you can
learn more about here. FYI - I wanted to make the key art blue to distinguish it more from a certain other movie. I was overruled)

So I have to ask: Andrew, how would your movie have changed if you had either of these two pieces of art as your "inspiration" before you made the movie (or even wrote the script)?

No comments: