Feed on

I’m fascinated by the wide range of ways that movies are promoted these days.  It’s almost impossible to walk into a movie theater without extensive expectations for what you’re about to see, and in many cases a pretty intimate understanding of the plot.  Trailers obviously play a big role in these expectations, but there is so much more that shapes our expectations.  There seem to be more and more cases where the director opens up to their fans and describes aspects of the production process through online features ranging from blog posts to “webisodes” to interactive features.  I’m thinking specifically about Zach and Miri Make a Porno, the latest from director Kevin Smith, set to come out on October 31st.  At the movie’s website, fans can read Smith’s blog about the production, create their own “Porn ID” or link to another site to watch “money shots”—short web videos featuring on set-interviews and shenanigans.  Smith had similar web features prior to the release of Clerks II.


This online content is reminiscent of DVD bonus features, but—very importantly—it comes out before the movie, thereby informing our understanding of the film.  How does this content influence our understanding of the narrative or construction of the fabula? Could be an interesting paper topic.

While exploring the Zack and Miri website, I couldn’t help but notice the poster, which got me thinking about how posters try to convey a sense of the story in a single frame—also a potentially fascinating topic… assuming no one else is already planning on tackling the subject (?).


2 Responses to “Thinking about a paper topic”

  1. Brett – this is a good topic, broadly falling under the realm of paratexts. You should look at Leslie’s blog as well, as she’s interested in a similar but not identical topic. I’d encourage you to think about how posters & websites frame films using some of Bordwell’s types of schemata, providing a reference point for engaging with & setting up the narrative before the film starts. Finding good case studies would be helpful, especially if they’ve been written about in the press. Another film website that comes to mind is for Be Kind Rewind, which encourages a similar mode of participation.

    Good luck!

  2. […] just read Brett’s blog and thought her idea for a research paper was quite good. I started writing this response on her […]

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