Sharing Behind-The-Scenes Photos For A Movie On Twitter: Good Marketing Or Criminal Behavior?

from the take-your-pick dept

Remember how Summit Entertainment was pushing for criminal charges against someone who shared some on-set photos of the latest Twilight installment via Twitter? We still can't figure out how this makes any sense at all. How would sharing some on-set photos hurt the production at all. I can only see how it would help.

Thankfully, not everyone in the film business is quite so clueless. Ross Pruden points us to a story from filmmaker Lucas McNelly, who's apparently spending a year volunteering on various indie films and documenting the process. The post highlights how the current film he's working on, called Fat Kid Rules the World, had a somewhat mystery crew member tweeting a bunch of photos from the set under the name TheiPhotographr. The photos are pretty impressive. Here are just two, but the link above has many more (as does the Twitter account, obviously).


Now, if you're Summit Entertainment, apparently, this is something that you seek to put people in jail over. However, in this case, it's something that's celebrated. McNelly talks about trying to figure out who's actually taking the photos, before realizing it's likely to be Key Grip Patrick Barcroft. But, rather than worry about this, McNelly thinks it's something to be celebrated. Actually, it goes beyond that. It's a way to connect with more fans, build a better audience... and build a better film crew for future projects:
I think this is the future of production. Instead of being a rarity, people like Patrick are going to be the norm. You'll have a crew full of people sharing photos and thoughts from your production. They'll all bring their own built-in audiences along with them and it'll be the production's job to maximize that contribution. Some productions will clamp down and try to control it in the same way that corporations try and get their employees to toe a line, but the smart ones will give them free reign. Sure, they'll give parameters like "don't reveal the killer", but it won't be much more than that. And the productions will be better for it. They'll have an easier time of finding their audiences because the audience will come from the processes that get the film made in the first place.

Plus, they'll draw better crews.
Unless you put them in jail.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    First, where's the limit? Don't give away the ending? That'll be violated by someone who just has to be a big shot for fifteen seconds of fame. 2nd, I don't want to see a movie being made. Removes all "suspension of disbelief", and even young people won't get the full effect of all at once if it's dribbled out, will just worsen the decline. A movie should be to enjoy, NOT endless details of how the tricks are pulled off. -- The latter appeal only to a few who make movies at a remove from the /work/ of implementing the tricks.

    I can demonstrate my point by getting a webcam so you can watch my fingers move in typing. Bore you to tears. Only the finished product holds any interest, see? (Yeah, I set up a cheap shot. Go ahead.)

     

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  2.  
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    StarryKat, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    This particular movie was based on a book, so we knew the ending already. There are particular scenes that have been kept secret as not to spoil them, and they haven't been shared as people believe in this movie.

    As an overseas fan, Patrick's photos and Lucas's articles from onset, have shared a lot of the passion and enthusiasm from a young and talented cast and crew and makes me more excited for the film. It feels like you're on a journey along with them, making this film.
    Seeing a daily photo from theiphotographr was a highlight for us following him on twitter as he's not just showing us a scene, he's also got a great eye for a shot.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    Interesting opinion, however, simple minds are easily entertained, so it does not strike me as odd that you only have an interest in the final product.

    Part of the fun of a trip is getting to where you are going... so grow up or I will turn this car around.

     

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  4.  
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    MrWilson, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    Of course you only speak for yourself. There are people (who don't work in the movies) who do find this stuff fascinating and who want to see more. A lot of them are fans of particular franchises or actors or directors. I too prefer not to have movies spoiled for me, but most spoilers are accessed voluntarily, so if people want to know the ending before they see the movie, who are we to say they shouldn't?

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    First, where's the limit? Don't give away the ending?

    Need we point to the study that said people who know the ending tend to enjoy the works more?

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110812/02140715488/spoiler-alert-people-enjoy-books-more -when-they-know-spoilers.shtml

    2nd, I don't want to see a movie being made. Removes all "suspension of disbelief", and even young people won't get the full effect of all at once if it's dribbled out, will just worsen the decline.

    Um. So, maybe don't look. I don't recall where this was forced upon you.

     

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  6.  
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    RobinDearest, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    I honestly think it just adds to the excitement & makes people want to see the films even more. Summit's case doesn't even make sense since it was for Twilight. Most fans of the Twilight films have already read the books & therefore know what's going to happen in the movie anyway. People who didn't read Fat Kid Rules the World wouldn't be able to figure out the plot through Patrick's photos or Lucas' blog. As StarryKat pointed out, the photos allow others to feel they are a part of the movie magic or "journey." Some people are actually interested in how a film is made (hence all the special features on dvds). It's not like you are forced to look at the photos if you don't want to.

     

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  7.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    So I take it OotB isn't like me and only buys single-disc DVDs? I bought the Extended versions of Lord of the Rings and spent hours watching the behind the scenes footage: it was fascinating seeing Andy Serkis act out his lines as Gollum.

     

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  8.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:00am

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    "I don't want to see a movie being made."

    I do. Why do you think your opinion is more important than mine? Typical TD troll - "my opinion is all that matters and it's the TRUTH!!!!".

     

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  9.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    Decent behind the scenes features (like LoTR and the extras on The Thing - my all time favourite movie) are the main thing that gets me to buy DVD/Blu in the first place. Literally hours of fascinating in-depth views of how the film was put together, really adds a lot of value for me.

    Barebones / 10 minute info-free fawning over each other "behind the scenes"? No sale. Give me a feature-packed 4 disc set at a premium, please.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 6:05am

    I would enjoy seeing the movie being made, but only after the fact. Part of the joy of a movie is getting there and knowing very little, and gleaning the story and the characters as you go along. Having it all handed to you on a plate for the 12 months before the movie comes out would sort of ruin part of the mystery and joy of the movie.

    Further, I think that while there is some good, allowing this sort of thing could knock down the wall too much, and really make movies less special, more common. There is a fine line that is hard to see, but it is there somewhere.

     

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  11.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Nope, misplaced enthusiasm by a weenie specialist.

    "First, where's the limit?"

    Who cares? You are not interested in this material anyway so this should have absolutely zero effect on you.

    "Don't give away the ending? That'll be violated by someone who just has to be a big shot for fifteen seconds of fame."

    That is certainly a possibility but in your book it's already a done deal and somehow I can already sense you trying to figure out what their punishment should be.

    "2nd, I don't want to see a movie being made."

    This simply means you are not the audience they are seeking. Don't take it personally. Personally, I don't like fashion shows, but they hold them all the time. That's not a problem for me since I choose not to be a part of the audience.

    Make your own choices for you, and quit sniveling about the choices others make for themselves. There are things others enjoy that you simply have no interest in, so be it.

     

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  12.  
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    Boojum, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Expectation of Privacy?

    I love the behind the scenes footage of movies and almost always buy the expanded DVD/BlueRay disks that include it... but in this case I have to wonder if Summit Entertainment might not have a point.

    Forget, for a moment, about if the behind the scenes pictures secretly taken would hurt the movie. I'd be more worried if it would hurt the actors. Do they have an expectation of privacy while on the set? For example.. Actress A has a tasteful nude scene, a back shot where she's wading into the water. No true naughty bits are shown, but very sensual. But someone secretly takes full frontal nudes of her from another angle and puts them out on the internet. To me, that would be a definite invasion of privacy.

    If it's an official behind the scenes, they can make sure it is editted so that things the actors/actresses don't want out there don't get shown. But someone who goes onto a private set and secretly takes pictures and reposts them? Particularly if they have signed an NDA of some sort? Then I really don't have a lot of sympathy for them and think they should at least be prosecuted in civil court.

    Criminal seems a bit much unless it was something like my example above.

    Boojum the brown bunny

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Lock 'em all up!

    We seem to be losing the point - taking pictures of a movie being made is something this society is willing to send people to jail for? What's happening to us? Whether or not you like the idea of these pictures is entirely beside the point.

     

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