Imagine you are a marketing executive who is in charge of the promotional campaign for a sequel to Alien Covenant. They told you the movie is going to be about an android experimenting with colonists in a remote planet. The top billed star is Michael Fassbender. The objective of the Studios is to make over 500 million on a budget of 75 million. Answer the following:
1- What would you put on the movie poster.
2- How many trailers would you release and what would you reveal on the trailers.
3- What demographic would be your primary target.
4- Would you try to distance from the previous installment in order to appeal more to those who did not enjoy Covenant too much?
5- How do you plan to entice the casual movie goer.
6- How do you plan to entice the fanbase.
7- How would you make the character of the android grow on the audience.
8- Write down a short synopsis that will make everybody want to see this movie.
If the movie does not make 500 million YOU ARE FIRED.
Well, this is VERY interesting! #8 is a little creepy.
- Maybe a close up of an androids eye with a worm protruding from the sclera
- Old school- one trailer and minimum visuals and more reliance on audio
- I suppose the demographic would have to be teens-50s age group? Whomever will buy tickets
- No, if it is a sequel to part of a prequel, it should not try to be something other than that
- Arrange for the release to not conflict with other BS super hero movies?
- David has already grown on the audience
- “Many are saying this will be the greatest movie made by the best people by very good actors. The best actors. Believe me.”
dk Yes! I think your answer to #1 is a good selling point. Not sure if you are making 500 million though haha. Oh and one more thing: you have to make at least 150 million in the US because the studios don't want this to be a franchise that is always saved by China.
Oooh! Good topic!
1.) My poster would be a giant picture of: Half the Xeno's toothy face lined up with half of David's face. David would wear an impassively bemused expression and have a few subtle blood splatters on his face. The tagline would read "In space no one can hear your prayers."
2) I would release A BUNCH of trailers and I would reveal that Walter had still been alive when he got abandoned on the planet.
I would release at least one prologue in the style of "The Crossing" narrated by Walter. It would chronicle his attempts to get off the planet and save the Covenant. Shameless self-reference here, but it would basically be my fan-fiction, and it would conclude with something like "If you get this message do not under any circumstances come to this planet."
3) Well, I'm 31, am I outside the target age group? I guess my target demographic would be sci-fi/horror fans of all ages!
4) No. Because even though I know they exist, it is really really difficult for me to conceptualize anyone not enjoying Covenant. (Sorry Dr. Curt Connors, you have my sympathies, I just can't relate.) I would probably get fired. :P
5) I will have previews that show a lot of action, expressive and sympathetic characters, some implied romance and loss, and a wide array of visually engaging settings:
A very beautiful looking tropical planet at sunset (with a weird number of moons or something, maybe?), an eerily bright and sterile laboratory setting (with the camera slowly panning to some gory sight, suddenly disrupting the immaculate feel of the lab),
Ship corridors marred with blood, claw marks and littered with the mutilated bodies of colonists.
A very brief glimpse of colonists getting egg-morphed.
The same tropical world at night depicted as a nightmarish jungle full of danger around every corner, with some brief flashes of the Xeno.
6). Plenty of nods to the original movies including chestbursting scenes (with the baby xeno looking more like how it looked when it came out of Kane), and staying true to the Xenomorph's original life cycle.
7.) Which Android? I'm not sure if David should grow on people, he's a psychopath. He should continue being eerily calm and sadistic. Walter will be afflicted with guilt over his failure to save the Covenant and secretly in love with Daniels.
8.) ...This is all I can think of for now...maybe I'll think of a synopsis later.
VivisectedEngineer That's a very thoughtful series of answers, of course covering mostly the artistic side of things. I would say that would be a great campaign for those who really liked Covenant. I like that fact that you are focusing on Walter and identifying David with the bad guy. Because, honestly, in Covenant he is more relatable with so many human characters being so dumb!
dk is fired sitting outside FOX studios strumming a guitar hoping sci fi geeks throw money into the guitar case and not at dk.
dk No dk, you have a gig actually. While you've been out Iraptus and Ati decided that I should direct an Alien movie with you and the Alien Queen in the top roles. Rehearsals start next week. I hope you are in good shape.
Thanks! Maybe there actually needs to be two marketing executives: one to market to those who really liked Covenant and one to market to those who didn't.
"Because, honestly, in Covenant he is more relatable with so many human characters being so dumb!"
Lol, have you met humans? On the whole, we're pretty dumb, especially when faced with unexpected stressors... I guess that's why David's so pained with us, it's kind of a wonder we've survived this long.
But yes, Walter is a very sympathetic character. I really hope we see more of him!
But you will undoubtedly make more money if you challenge people to throw the coins directly at you.
While creating marketing ideas, don't forget that you can own the movie on Digital HD from August / on Blu-ray and DVD from August 15.
Enjoy the Covenant! :)
joylitt LOL- I saw that. I am unsure of what the interaction with the Queen would be. Maybe a role as lighting engineer might be a safer role. I guess t would be up to BD's over all vision.
VivisectedEngineer Very practical outlook. Maybe sitting IN the guitar case could cover all the bases.
I think a lot depends on what the next movie is going to show...
I will maybe have to get back to you guys on this one...
I do think you would need to not give too much away in the Poster or Trailers and also not to mislead with the Marketing/Poster.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
No Queen and dk naughty scenes or I will quit this chicken shit outfit! Bishop didn't fare very well with his Queen encounter.
And remember the queen switches gender all the time. So best of luck to you.
Money and contracts talk. I have seen neither except for an involuntary mention. Good day, sir! And yes- I have a price. We all do!
I imagine better to mount the scene than be mounted by the scene- but that is just my opinion.
Risking getting fired, I would remove Fassbender from the credits.
1- Movie poster should be very gigeresque. I imagine a puppeteer and its puppets with humans at the bottom; then the androids; then the Engineers, and finally, towering over them all, the xenomorph. That would give the audience something to think about.
2- Just a couple of trailers where you can clearly see practical effects and a non cgi xenomorph lurking in the shadows. No pop music in the trailers. No giving away too much. I would make sure to provide enough clues in the trailers that the protagonists are not morons.
3- Demographic should be the newer generations. Any reference to slasher movies from the 80's that don't mean
anything to them should be avoided. If you have to reference something newer, hints at James Wan type jump scares would suffice.
4- Try to distance as much as possible from Covenant. Make clear that David is not the focus of the story. Maybe play
with the idea that he might or might not be coming back, like Superman in The Justice League.
5- I would entice the casual movie goer by promising a return to body horror, suspense and characters you care for.
Another way to entice the audience would be including one or two A listers.
6- I would entice the fanbase by sticking to canon and by building on the Xenomorph mythos, including the engineers.
7- I would not be too concerned about that, but I would make sure to avoid ambiguity. AI (all of it) will have to be either good
or bad, nothing in between.
8- I don't have a synopsis yet. But I would use the slogan "Meet Your Masters"
Interesting, but I think it should get back to the idea of less is more. I will be that old grumpy guy.
Go old school with minimal information and one trailer for people to talk about.
Let the whiners whine.
I really don't care about budgets and returns except that it breaks even and people get paid. Fox has other interests besides Alien and does quite well. I don't GAF about its bottom line. I just want a good movie. It can be in black and white for all I care.
I would avoid A listers except for maybe Fassbender.
Sticking to canon is a great idea.
Find different ways to build scares somehow? Gore only goes so far and today's audiences are not easily shocked.
There is a balance I cannot account for- pleasing old farts like me and younger newer fans.
Meet your Masters is a pretty good tag line. Off the cuff, I might throw in- Death is the answer to the Search for the Origins of Life. Yeah it is a bit wordy.
Gore can be effective if used right. Have you seen the movie "Raw"? That's what I call good use of gore.
I have not seen Raw. It is completely off my radar.
While talking about scares, how about scares that are more psychological? Try to imagine building something so scary that it leaves the audience exhausted yet wanting more at the end. Yes, I know- dumb down to maximize profits.
Yes, exactly. Create anticipation... also it is time to introduce some changes in the format, maybe follow a non linear storyline, something that would play with your mind a little bit. When Nolan does this he makes tons of money, and his movies don't even need to be commercial
Sometimes the biggest scare is the one that is anticipated but doesn't happen. But that can only work once as far as I can see.
Yes Nolan is the master! Have you seen Dunkirk? I don't really read reviews for movies anymore, once in a great while,but I saw a quote from a critic saying Dunkirk is just as scary and horror filled than almost any horror movie, I agree with this cause it is the stakes that make it so. Yes Dunkirk is based on actual events and that is different from the Alien franchise but my heart was pounding during parts of Dunkirk, it's so intense and real. You can do that for these movies, it's hard for me to remember but I'm sure I felt similar to this the first time I saw Alien, Aliens and Alien 3. You gotta care about characters before you can worry about what is going to happen to them. I never felt that way during Prometheus or Covenant or any Alien movie since Alien 3.
@Vivisected Engineer Thanks for the sympathy! At least one person likes me on here, haha. @hewhoshallnotbenamed Remember to not buy Alien Covenant on Blu Ray whatever day it comes out and don't watch it on digital HD either.
Of course everybody likes you!
Every story needs a good antagonist, and a person never loves a thing more than when they're defending it (That goes for both sides, Dr. Curt Connors. You are defending the franchise the way you see fit, and we defend Covenant the way we see fit.
We both do so out of love for the Fandom. That makes us respectable adversaries, no?)
Plus, you gave me birthday well-wishes and complimented my cake, so of course I can't feel any genuine antipathy towards you.
But...never the less, my frenemy,...please do picture my "you have my sympathies" line in Ash's voice. :)
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