Various Oscar nominated Animations

I have been watching so many short animated films recently to get inspiration for next years final film and wanted to take a closer look at some of them here. They are all Oscar Academy Award nominated animations.

blind-vaysha-3.jpg

Blind Vaysha – Theodore Ushev

Based on a story by Georgi Gospodinov, the film tells the story of a girl who sees past out of her left eye and the future from her right—and so is unable to live in the present. Montreal actress Caroline Dhavernas performed the narration for the film, in both its French and English language versions.

The visual aesthetic of the animation makes this film immediately stand out, as it is an unusual style for animation, with a replicated lino-cut art style. Theodore Ushev didn’t use the undo command when animating this on his computer to further replicate the medium, and he estimates that he did 12000-13000 individual drawings for the film, which took around six months. Theodore created each image for the film in Adobe Photoshop and then animated in Adobe After Effects.

“Because with linocut, once your hand carves it, it is gone. You cannot put the black back. This creates a natural feeling of the unpredictable, of mistakes and the holy imperfection of the image—which is the basis of every creation.” [1b]

On how he builds up each frame:

“What’s unique about this technique is that you don’t animate characters — you animate the colors, sometimes three, sometimes four,” he said. “And you animate by separating every color and after that you have to print them digitally, and I found a small algorithm that superimposes the layers so they look like they’re printed by hand. And this algorithm constantly moves the colors and every frame is like a unique print.” [1a]

I really like the look of the animation, with the darker more natural colour palette that the film maker used. Browns, Oranges, reds and greens are predominantly used through the animation. Colour is used for the eyes to highlight them once they are the focus of the story, but the characters are mostly black and stand out from the background that way. The film starts out in an old tv square shape 4:3, with black edges cutting off the screen, but opens up to full screen when we the audience see through the main characters eyes. The story is like a folktale, a story your grandfather would tell to all the children gathered round on a rainy day. It even has a moral about living in the moment and experiencing life for what it is now. It s a truly beautiful film but also a sad one, with the main character being unable to experience the world that is all around her, only seeing the past and the future, which isolates her from the world.

It’s a fairy tale for kids from 9-99 (years old). It won the Kid’s Jury Award [Junior Jury Award for a Short Film] at Annecy. Six kids from 9-11 (years old) judged it. Friends and colleagues were asking me, “Do you really think this is a kid’s film?” The Annecy win was a complete surprise because, actually, it’s not a kid’s film. But listening to the kids explain how they felt about the film made me so happy.

My explanation is very simple. We don’t have to let nostalgia for the past and fear of the future spoil the pleasure of living right now. That’s it. We need to live now. We can analyze the past, we can guess the future, literally, based on mistakes of the past, but we can’t forget the it’s the present that counts for everything.

-Theodore Ushev [1b]

Something that i thought was interesting from the interview, was how Theodore compares this new animation to his other work.

To me, good abstract films are the ultimate pieces of art. But of course, not everyone is prepared to like these types of films. But to make a good abstract film that people understand, even though they never understand it completely, they still feel it, because with the art it’s always a question of feelings and emotions. For me, the narrative form is much easier. Because every storyteller can tell a story.

-Theodore Ushev

* * * *

btime1

Borrowed Time – Lou Hamou-Lhadj & Andrew Coats

This is a simply stunning 3D animated film with a deeply powerful story.

A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on. [2a]

There were skillsets Andrew and I had almost no experience in at the time. By the end of the film, we had to touch a little bit of everything. On the back end of the pipeline —  shading work, lighting, effects, rendering — we needed key players to help us out. But I think outside of that, we relied on outside people for objectivity. After three years of toiling on a film late at night, you can quickly lose sight of what you’re making. We’d grab people and say “Can you give us a fresh pair of eyes on this?” We relied on that as much as feet on the ground. [2b]

The film deals with an incredible dark subject matter, the death of a loved one. And in such traumatic and tragic circumstances. The main character doesn’t get a happy ending, he gets a hopeful ending, which i think is more powerful than some kind of happy resolution (like a new loved one replacement, which happens all too much in storytelling because audiences don’t like to think of people being alone and having lost things. Stories don’t feel over unless you have a satisfying resolution, but really this way of ending the story is much more impactful and thought-provoking. There is no right way to deal with grief, and it’s such a tough subject to deal with at all, I think the filmmakers made a film which reflects the difficult nature of death and coming to terms with your own actions in a cruel world. This character faces his demons and in the end he fights to carry on, even with his dark memories, his guilt. But he does not forget all the positive memories that he has as well, – not being taken over and engulfed by the bad. He will always feel somewhat responsible, but really he did everything he could, sometimes things just go horribly wrong. It basically a little adrenaline rush film, which gets your heart pumping and your mind running as things play out before you.

We wanted it to have a hopeful upturn and regardless of the events in the film, they’re not completely downtrodden. Our character doesn’t have to be completely fixed, we can put him on a path. There are many steps ahead to get him where he needs to go.
Placing them on that trajectory is what we tried to keep in mind.

If you wrap it all up at the end, that’s just dishonest and it would come across as cliche. [2c]

The Pixar animators that made this used all their skills, industry knowledge and talented friends to make this film happen over five years in their spare time. The film looks faultless. Visually its a masterpiece. The textures of the skin, the clothes, the environment, everything is just so beautiful. There are so many thoughtful details and it really comes alive on the screen.

For the sound they tried some spaghetti western stuff, but it all felt wrong. That’s when they discovered the soundtrack from the video game The Last of Us and composer Gustavo Santaolalla.

We responded to Gustavo’s tone, the soundscape he can build.There’s a lot of interplay between silence and musical notes. It creates a lot of atmosphere in his work, and that’s exactly the kind of contemplative space that we wanted people to live in while they were watching this. [2b]

This film is for a mature audience, as it deals with adult themes, but i think teenagers could also handle the dark themes and watch this film. The high production value would attract anyone to watch this film, and it lives up to the standard that Pixar work is known for around the world. The mans death is similar to Mufasa’s in the lion king in the sense that you don’t see the actual death blow, there’s no gore or anything. But the theme is dark and difficult.

* * * *

Pearl – Patrick Osborne

Use your mouse to look around the animation!

When i first watch this amazing animation i didn’t realise you could look around it! That didn’t matter as it was still a beautiful animation and that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of it. But when i realised i could look around it really blew my mind a bit. i’m not new to 3D 360 degree videos, but this is probably my first animated video outside of gaming, that i can move around in. It really changes your relationship with the video, and allows you to focus on different parts as you re-watch it over and over to see new things each re-watch. I think this is something that could be used a lot more in the future as video is shared on the internet and people can take control of the view. Really cool stuff! I wish i had vr (virtual reality) stuff so that i could try it out, as i’m sure that’s where this would really excel.

The father sings the first half and the daughter sings the second, mirroring how the car is passed from one to the other as is youth. It’s a beautiful film, and a lovely song.

The original song, “No Wrong Way Home,” was written by Alexis Harte & JJ Wiesler [3a] and the music was performed by Kelley Stoltz and Nicki Bluhm [3b]

Bit annoying how reckless they are when driving, just playing the guitar when they should be LOOKING WHERE THEY’RE GOING AND HOLDING THE GOSH DANG WHEEL!! I was half expecting this animation to end in a terrible car crash tbh, but i’m glad it went the more soppy happy way instead.

Full video:

The 3D cartoon no-line block style used through out works really well and looks great. I think this film is accessible to all audiences. The message is fairly timeless, “it’s about where you belong, there’s no wrong way home” – family. Being with the ones you love. The story follows a father and his daughter and ends up making you cry. This single dad basically brings up his daughter his way, travelling a lot, busking and singing. He settles down, for her i think, and raises her right. Then she goes on to take up singing and fulfilling his dreams, and it’s kind of beautiful. I think it’s the sort of film that all audiences would enjoy, especially humans.

* * * *

Feast – Patrick Osborne

I love this film, even though it came out in 2014 I don’t think I’ve shared it on this blog before. The story of a dog who loves food who is adopted by a guy who drops a french fry. The guy feeds the dog pizza and junk food until he meets a vegetarian girl, and things are not so great. but then they break up and its junk food again! But something is wrong. The dog sacrifices his food love so that his human can be happy, and in the end he is rewarded! Not just with a loving home, but with more junk food! It’s great!

It has this hand drawn 3D animation style, the characters and environment feature a line-free style with solid blocks of colour.

What’s special is then, when we do unlock the camera, it’s also the first moment when Winston looks up from the food and sees the owner’s face. And we want you to believe that for years they have had this very close relationship but he had never looked in the owner’s face deeply because it was all about the food. And suddenly to look and see what his owner is feeling and to care; we wanted that to feel different. So, we did that by: you see the face, we unlock the camera; the dog makes a choice — for the first time — to walk away from food and to go do something for his owner — we want you to feel that cinematically. It’s a big shift. [4]

This short film was made by Disney, Kristina Reed talks more about how they achieved the visual look:

Well, we were actually the first short — the first production — to use Hyperion, which was the rendering tool used on Big Hero 6. It was also the first time that Meander, the drawing tool from Paperman, was used in color.

Why a boston terrier? The first reason is because it’s a new dog for Disney, not an easy feat.

Another very pragmatic reason is that it’s a very flat rendering style. You can’t always see the volumes of the dog as he’s turning so we needed a pattern on his face so that you would know as he looked around, you could see what he was doing. [4]

This is a film accessible to all audiences. I think the target audience would be dog lovers, families, children. it was released with Big Hero six, a kids action adventure film, so it was shown to those audiences at the cinema. It is a cute little story, and would resonate especially with dog owners.

* * * *

 

[1a] http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/blind-vaysha-theodore-ushev-short-1201776201/

[1b] https://www.awn.com/animationworld/past-and-future-torment-present-theodore-ushev-s-blind-vaysha

[2a] http://borrowedtimeshort.com/

[2b] https://www.theverge.com/2016/10/20/13339132/pixar-co-op-program-borrowed-time-interview-animators-writers

[2c] http://www.awardsdaily.com/2017/02/18/interview-andrew-coats-lou-hamou-lhadj-talk-exploring-guilt-borrowed-time/

[3a] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/patrick-osborne-s-animated-short-pearl-brings-virtual-reality-oscar-discussion-949624

[3b] http://www.passion-pictures.com/uk/animation-studios/project/google-pearl/

[4] https://www.awn.com/animationworld/chat-kristina-reed-creating-winston-and-disney-s-feast

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Promoting your film

I spoke about some of the ways to promote your film in my last blog post, and some of the ways they promoted Twelve Monkeys. This post is going to go a little bit more into detail on the specifics of promoting your film and look at the different ways you can do that.

I chose the OBEY image for this post because it was an image created by a guy called Shepard Fairey who would post it up around Rhode Island in 1989. The image resonated with some people, skateboarders for example, and ultimately the image made its way around the world. It did that without a huge company marketing it and making that happen. It made it around the world because of regular people sharing the image. This might be because of what they thought it represented, this sort of counter-culture feeling that the image evoked, and ultimately that made it popular.

“The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker”.

Humans are curious. They like to know what things are and why they are, so when presented with something new they want to find out the deal. The obey stickers are a great example of curious humans spreading something around without being asked to do so, just because they wanted to find out what it was about. An important part of marketing on the cheap! [0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shepard_Fairey

 

Film Festivals

Festivals are a great way to get audiences to see your film and promote it even if you don’t end up winning. They are also important opportunities to network with other animators, film makers and relevant industry people so take business cards. There are a lot, and deadlines are constantly coming and going, but they are a great way to get your work out there!

Festivals like:

  • 18th international VFX & computer graphics conference

VIEW CONFERENCE is the premiere International event in Italy on Computer Graphics, Interactive Techniques, Digital Cinema, 2D/3D Animation, VR/AR, gaming, VFX and storytelling. [1]

  • Anilogue International Animation Festival 2017

The deadline is 15 August for this short film competition which is open for European short animations and comes with a main prize of EUR 2000. There is no entry fee. [2]

  • AninetFest

International ONLINE Festival Of Short Animated Films – AninetFest is an international competition and online platform that serves to support the animated short films and their creators.

The festival will take place from 20th February to 12th March 2018 on the web http://www.aninetfest.com [3]

 

There’s actually way too many to post really so here:

Coming Up in 2017

  • EL FESTIVAL BY PIXELATL (September)
  • 3D WIRE (October)
  • ANIM’EST (October)
  • BUCHEON INT’L ANIMATION FESTIVAL (October)
  • VIEW CONFERENCE (October)
  • TOFUZI (October)
  • KLIK! AMSTERDAM ANIMATION FESTIVAL (November)
  • CUTOUT FEST (November)
  • LES SOMMETS DU CINEMA D’ANIMATION (November)
  • FREDRIKSTAD ANIMATION FESTIVAL (November)
  • ETIUDA & ANIMA (November)
  • ANIMATED DREAMS (November)
  • NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT INT’L ANIMATION FESTIVAL (November)
  • ANIMATEKA (December)
  • KROK INT’L ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL (TBA)
  • REANIMANIA (TBA)
  • MANCHESTER ANIMATION FESTIVAL (TBA)
  • ANIMAGE INT’L ANIMATION FESTIVAL OF PERNAMBUCO (TBA)
  • PUNTO Y RAYA FESTIVAL (TBA)
  • PRIMANIMA WORLD FESTIVAL OF FIRST ANIMATIONS (TBA)
  • ANIMAE CARIBE (TBA)
  • SEOUL INT’L CARTOON & ANIMATION FESTIVAL (TBA) [4]

 

[1] https://festhome.com/f/776

[2] https://www.awn.com/blog/call-entries-anilogue-international-animation-festival-2017

[3] http://www.animation-festivals.com/festivals/aninetfest/

[4] http://www.cartoonbrew.com/animation-festival-guide

 

The press and social media

You can of course take out adverts in newspapers and on the television, but that all costs money, which you don’t have. Paying for ads is not the only way to get your film into a newspaper or entertainment website, which are always looking for relevant content for their readers. There are a few things you need to make sure you have before contacting any relevant media outlets.

  • A trailer (and other short promotional videos snippets of the final film)
  • High quality images (action screenshots from the film and also promotional shots of the characters from the film)
  • A film poster (maybe more than one)
  • Well written concise information about your film and its release

Competitions run through the press can get you a lot of attention for not much money. There are radio competitions held daily for music tickets – relevant prize on a relevant media. Offering promotional material or tickets to your films screening, or merchandise to promote the film.

Social media is another avenue that you should use. Instagram and Twitter are great ways to promote your media to a more niche audience by using hashtags. Making a website is a really good idea as well, setting up a free blog website is a great option, and you can link all you social media to the site. You would also want to create an official video hosting site (vimeo or youtube) to host your videos from.

Steps for social medianess:

  • Make Official Facebook account for my film.
  • Add promotional images and relevant info (when they can see the movie, what its about, a little bit about the characters and the world they inhabit)
  • Make Official Twitter and Instagram accounts for my film
  • Keep a consistent design theme and link all accounts
  • Use hashtags when posting images to Instagram to reach niche audiences (genres, keywords, etc)
  • Tag collaborators social media accounts in relevant posts
  • Don’t clutter with useless mumbo jumbo posts that aren’t relevant. Also don’t alienate or offend your audience.
  • Run competitions on social media. Instagram competitions often require your audience to share the post to their friends for a chance to enter, which gets your audience to promote your movie for you, and they may win something in return, so everybody wins!
  • Post regularly. You don’t want your audience to forget about you or lose interest, but you also don’t want them to get annoyed because your posting too much.

Guerrilla Marketing 

In my last post i wrote about the promotional material for firefly and cloverfield. They released videos that were not made clear what they were for, which made people share them to ask their friend and contacts if anyone could explain them.

The idea as always is to compel your audience to promote your movie for you by somehow capturing their interest – but not fully explaining what they are seeing or why. This can be achieved with videos, but also through any other media. Releasing a video online is free, whereas running some cryptic adverts in a newspaper would cost money. So you would have to have something really specific to make that happen. If your film was set in a specific location you could take out an advert in the local newspaper just in that location. Only local residents would see it, so it would be localised, but could expand onto social media and go viral – but that all depends on the content your using to promote the film. You would have to make it interesting enough to compel that audience. This would only work if the target audience for the film were exposed to the advert.

Guerrilla marketing campaigns from the past:

  • The Blair witch project. They made a website and started an urban legend about a witch snapping up local kids. People believed it and had to see the film for themselves. People talked about it because the film portrayed itself as found footage, that was just edited together when found – so was it real or fake? Obviously fake, but it created the necessary buzz to get people into audiences.
  • In 2002, Acclaim announced its plans to promote “Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance” using something called “bloodvertising.” Touting it as the bloodiest game of all time, Acclaim said it was developing bus shelter ads that would seep a red, blood-like substance onto city sidewalks throughout the course of seven days. Officials thought that might not be in the best taste, so the campaign was aborted, as the world looked on.

Acclaim (video game company) has been doing it for a long time, making headlines for crazy promotional campaigns that never actually happen. But they were announced and planned, so people talked about them and they got attention. They were almost certainly never going to actually go through with half their crazy ideas.

  • Aqua teen hunger force got in a lot of trouble for promoting their film with a device that lit up with a character flipping off the audience. Commuters rang police who came and destroyed at least one of the devices in a controlled explosion. Arrests came and eventually the company responsible owned up and over 1 million dollars was paid. Something to definitely consider as guerrilla campaigns can go VERY WRONG!

bomb-scare

So if my film was a:

Sci-fi black-comedy animation –  (mature audience) Teenagers and adults

I would want to target sci-fi media and animation media outlets and blogs – relevant similar media. From the small to the biggest, I should be trying to promote my film everywhere, but also aiming at specific niche audiences.

A small selection of the websites and places that i would want to contact:

Animation:

  • cartoonbrew.com
  • onanimation.com/
  • speakingofanimation.com/
  • awn.com/ (animation world network)

Sci-fi:

 

Local stuff

That means the Nottingham area. Utilising Nottingham media and film festivals and all that glorious stuff!

  • The Nottingham International Film festival is a yearly festival promoting local talent. Its on the 6th-8th Oct 2017. [1a]
  • The United Kingdom emerging Talent Festival (held in Nottingham)
  • The Beeston film festival

Local cinemas or the Notts Tv channel may also screen my films trailer, who knows. Notts tv would certainly be somewhere i would contact to see if we could get a tv spot interview or something. Getting onto the local channel in some form would be amazing to reach a local audience. The LeftLion is a local nottingham newspaper that features entertainment news and articles on local artists, film makers, etc. Getting something in print would be great, but they also have a prominent online website and reach a decently wide local audience. [4a] Also the Nottingham post and actual news media would be worth contacting as well (BBC) as they do have entertainment and local branches and will reach the largest audience. Even if your film is really niche, it can still appeal to a wide audience (and should really be considered of course if you are trying to make something commercial).

[1a] http://www.nottiff.com/

[2a] http://www.nottinghampost.com/nottingham-to-host-new-film-festival-and-there-s-a-record-breaking-cash-prize-for-the-best-one/story-30088928-detail/story.html

[3a] http://festival.beestonfilm.com/

[4a] https://www.leftlion.co.uk/latest

 

Promo kit

TASK

Propose a plan to get your short animated film in front of the largest most beneficial audience possible whilst remaining tasteful.

What would be the best audience to play to and why and how do you get your production in front of them?

OBJECTIVES

To broaden your ability to promote animation and understand its place in the world of entertainment in relationship to other forms of communication.

To develop your understanding of how animation works as a form of media and how it is most effectively promoted.

  • 1250 words plus images
  • A promotional poster

* * * * *

Why do films need to be marketed and advertised?

Marketing a film successfully will raise audience awareness, and ultimately can affect the success of the film. Widening industry awareness is also something that you want to do to boost your career! It is important that as many of your targeted audience sees your promotional material, as they are the ones who are going to enjoy the content, and the more people that see your movie; the more likely it will be a commercial success.

Identifying your target audience correctly will allow you to be a more precise judge of where to market the film and how best to advertise it to garner the most interest. There are many ways to advertise and market a film to your audience.

To properly identify your audience, it is always a good idea to get some feedback from some focus groups. Some movies have been considerably edited and altered due to feedback from test audiences, and the way they are advertised has had to be completely rethought. test groups can help you see things from many different people’s points of view and adapt your marketing strategy to be the most effective it can be, so its important to make time to get feedback when you are releasing a movie.

  • Trailers (tv, before movies at the cinema, internet/social media, on dvds/blu-rays – this is often only done if a connected producing company is connected (producing) to promote it on existing similar genre audiences, handing them out as dvds to people in the street just to get it out there!!! :P)
  • Posters (billboards, (london) underground, buses, taxis, trains, internet)
  • Promotional appearances (director, actor, etc going for interviews on tv, radio, newpaper interviews, etc)
  • Viral campaigns – creating ‘buzz’ online which people share themselves  – creating word of mouth
  • Promotional material on other products (often see characters from upcoming movies appear on washing up liquid or on a packet of crisps. These often tie into those companies websites for the duration of the promotion. This can be accompanied by promotions for the products – making people think positively about both the product and the movie being promoted.

The people who will have an interest in the success fo the movie:

  • on-screen talent (voices)
  • director and crew (animators)
  • distributors/ producers
  • companies with products in the film
  • bands whose music features in the movie

Serenity was promoted by a series of films that were released on the internet as a form of viral marketing. There was nothing linking the five films with the movie at first, which made people wonder what it was and made them go out looking for answers. The videos were released out of order, making them like a puzzle that the audience would put together to get the bigger picture. The excitement of finding out that there was a television series based on these intriguing videos would be like winning a prize after working to achieve something. [1]

Viral marketing is effective when it works because the audience is actively being used to promote the film for you. It is basically a way to encourage people to help you spread the word for free!

Cloverfield used viral marketing to advertise. The clips would show normal scenes and then something happening at the end, like an explosion. There would be no identifier to which film or what it was from, so people at the time wondered if they were real or not and people on the internet debated about them until proof came in the form of a more substantial advert – although i think that it was a couple of trailers before the films name as released – creating buzz because people now knew it was film but had no idea which one or where it was from.

Viral marketing like this is not always something that works 100% of the time super effectively. There have been cases where people have been offended by viral marketing material, and people have even been arrested over their viral marketing campaigns. Forgetting Sarah marshall made a website called http://www.ihatesarahmarshall.com and nearly 300 Sarah Marshalls complained to distributors once they realised it was advertising a film. (the website is no longer operational, but even without complaints the distributors would only have paid for the amount of time the film was being promoted. The website was from the main characters point of view and left off where the film picked up, and was updated often. The blog writer said that they bought all the billboards in town (which they did). So people thought it was a real life terrible break up being broadcast to the world – DRAMA brings all the people to the viral marketing  campaigns quite effectively it seems, even with complaints the film was a success with critics and made a lot of money. [2]

 

[1] http://firefly.wikia.com/wiki/R._Tam_sessions

[2] https://entertainmentblur.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/spoilers-marleyandme-ads/

* * * * *

Terry Gilliams 12 Monkeys

I have always enjoyed Terry Gilliam’s films, from his Monty Python animations to his big budget Hollywood films, he’s always produced high quality and interesting stuff – from the actual projects he chooses, to the characters, and his own unique style that he brings to each film- which makes watching one of his films a more unique experience because he doesn’t adhere to these Hollywood norms, etc. But life has not always been so easy for him in Hollywood, and his career seems full of intense ups and downs/ highs and lows.

This is a 1 and a half hour documentary about 12 Monkeys. A big budget Hollywood film with Hollywood stars and a Hollywood sized budget.

The film is full of big names stars (Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt) who should help to drag an audience into the cinema, but will they enjoy this unusual film? For a number of different reasons there is some doubt about whether this film can be a success when they are making it. I love watching movie documentaries that show a lot of details when things are going wrong, and you can get a real insight into the world of filmmaking!

The hamster factor is the Terry Gilliam element, everything is in order, but there is detail he needs to get right. Terry spent ages trying to get the hamster to do what he wanted during the film – but in the end he did get the shot he was hoping for. Terry adds elements into his shots that other directors wouldn’t bother with, and it can often cause delays in filming, problems – unnecessary difficulties that weren’t planned for because it’s being added at the last minute! I think this is one of the reasons his films are so enduring and interesting, even when the scripts are not his original work – he adds these little elements that can really alter how a scene feels and adds another level to the world he is building for the audience.

What is the target audience for 12 monkeys?

12 Monkeys is a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, action, thriller, fantasy, romance, film noir, crime movie, with mental health themes. It’s a pretty unusual movie, but this doesn;t mean that the audience will be as diverse, as parts of the movie will not appeal to some demographics at all, and what they do like isn’t really there for them in the way they are used to.

12 Monkeys was a commercial success, and made a lot of money. It’s a story that grips you and keeps you from the beginning, and the twists and reveals are satisfying and clever.

 I think terry challenges audiences. He does this by showing them things they didn’t expect from the genre and making them uncomfortable, he takes them out of their comfort zone and makes them experience things in a different way. This can be very dangerous when making commercial films, but really rewarding for the artist, who can really express themselves and make something that isn’t just another cookie-cutter genre movie.

The newspaper campaign they are debating about using to promote the movie is really interesting. Showing small red monkey images with the numbers increasing on each page. Then at the 12th there is a big advert. The red makes it stand out against the black and white of the newspaper text. Readers would still not be sure what the 12 Monkeys adverts are promoting, but they see that it will be coming this winter. The rough style is similar to the style activists would use – spray paints and stencils and handmade things – fitting the films style aesthetic.

The reality of making films for me is just hard work, and uh, and the disappointment that i can’t actually achieve what i can imagine.

                                                                                                                          -Terry Gilliam

They also look at bus advertising, as many people will see those adverts. Not just bus users, but anyone travelling the same route as the bus, anyone who’s outside that sees it. Also these adverts will be seen by a lot of people at rush hour commuting times. It’s important to note they use the stars of the film to promote it where possible, aside from the monkey teaser image. They have high profile stars that will bring people to the film. The promotional material is really well tied into the themes of the movie.

Posters around large cities, reaching a large audience, would be a good tie in with the movie, maybe in less travelled out the way alleys and areas – although it would require hiring people to do this and is not as simple to roll out. Guerrilla marketing is something that is much bigger now, but was in infancy for 12 monkeys.

Terry Gilliam worked on the feedback sheets that the screening audiences would be filling in after they’ve watched the movie. It’s important that you get the audience to tell you what they think about the film, and not miss important details and things that could affect the final version, so you can properly gauge reactions to your art, and hone in on things that work and things that need work/changing.

The movie didn’t receive fantastic feedback scores initially. The discussion about the feedback during the making of film give the audience an insight into the processes of the people working to get this film marketed properly and make it successful. The writers and director and producers all discuss the feedback and how they should move forward together – any changes they need to make, etc..

What’s interesting with the 12 Monkeys feedback is people seemed to enjoy the experience of watching it, but after they would have questions and problems and issues and not score it very highly. So the feedback appeared somewhat negative, even though the film was really well received. In the end they made only minor alterations and Terry was able to release an absolutely amazing film, and without hugely compromising his vision.

Of course the feedback is vital, we see here where it is also a Hollywood tool to gauge how much they should spend on marketing the film, because it wont be popular enough or something. The Hollywood film machine appears to be a sometimes cruel and unforgiving beast, caring only about money and profits (not going into how Hollywood can end up making a loss on a hugely successful and profitable film – the joke being that the most creatives minds in Hollywood are the accountants – check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting for more info).

I think that sometimes Hollywood just wants the film to read, but often they want happy endings and Terry’s ‘Brazil’ film was actually held back by the studio and edited because they wanted something more commercial – a happier ending and a shorter film so audiences could digest it easier. But in the end, due to illegal screening Terry held and public statements in newspapers perhaps, the critics loved Brazil, and Terry’s original film was released as he created it. He held true to his vision and ended up proving that he could make money without conforming to the norms. There’s this idea in Hollywood that you can just spurn out certain films and they will make money – we see it all the time with remake after remake – safe bets. It’s a money making machine, naturally. But it’s more than that, and it shouldn’t be forgotten. Films are the way we sit around the campfire and tell stories in a modern age. They inform and educate, entertain and challenge. They affect us. Films reflect our culture, (they are our collective cultural timeline) and in my opinion we need people like Terry Gilliam contributing to that cultural history.

It’s difficult for me not to mention that many people made the film what it is. Even though Terry had a hand in all of it, everyone’s contributions to the film made 12 Monkeys what it is. Terry isn’t just battling evil Hollywood execs either, he works with them to make the film. Everyone works together. One of the coolest things about film making is that a lot of creative people come together and make art together – art that tells a story and carries messages. It’s really kind of amazing when you think about it.