Transmission Eleven: Goodbye, World!

I know, I know. Believe me I know. Saying goodbye is never easy, crime fighters. But we knew what this was. We both knew this time would come. Oh, I promised I’d stick around, did I!? Well listen here, buster, it takes two to tango in this crazy game called —

Phew…you’ll have to excuse me. I’m just a little sad, and on edge, what with this being the last blog entry and all. But on that note, I figured this week would be a good opportunity to end on a high note, and get down to some of the fun details of our Runaways adaptation.

And what could be more fun then CASTING!?

Yes indeed, crime fighters, after ten weeks of gruelling Academia, we’re going to send off this blog with a fun, foot-loose, and fancy free look at some of the faces you’ll be seeing on screen as a part of our hit-TV-show-to-be.*

* User End License Agreement: All readers should note that the reference to fun, and seeming dismissal of Academia, is a lie. This week’s entry will focus on a handful of our casting choices as they relate directly to our project’s strengths.

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Transmission Ten: A Fantastic Idea…Honestly I’m Not Even Trying With These Titles Anymore

Pictured: A room full of Runaways fans

In adapting Runaways, considering “the fans” is proving to be a  particularly interesting and challenging area of exploration, for the simple reason that…well…the property doesn’t have any. Okay, that’s certainly an exaggeration – the comic was arguably a mild “cult” success, with very positive critical reception, but as we presented in our pitch to the board, sales numbers per-issue went nowhere but down from the inception of the series onwards. A testament to the property’s struggle to gain a loyal following can be seen in the decision to put Runaways on hold mid-stream, and bring in Joss Whedon as a new writer/creative lead to the property, in hopes of harnessing his history for creating fervent devotees. And even then, sales numbers saw only a mild climb, and eventually dropped to the point of spurring Marvel to attempt to salvage their investment by re-releasing a Runaways omnibus combining a multiplicity of volumes (Again, as specified in our pitch).

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Transmission Nine: There’s No Business Like…Well, Business.

Pictured: I'll never tell you how.

Join, us crime fighters, as we begin this week’s blog entry rejoicing in good news (unfortunately you missed all the joicing, but we thought it would be polite to redo it with everyone present)! Our pitch to the board of industry financiers with which we were meeting went swimmingly, and our proposal for a pilot television season of Runaways, based on Brian K. Vaughan’s teen-superhero narrative, has been approved! As of fall 2012, you can look forward to weekly episodes of more-than-normal-powered awesomeness streaming through your vision spheres and into your brain box, from small screens everywhere!

I know, I know, believe me I know what you’re thinking. And no, I won’t give you a detailed explanation of how to get a cat to successfully mate with a dog. But seriously, I’m right there with you: 2012 is a long way off, and the wait is already killing you! Take comfort, however, in the fact that it might end up killing us as well. Between now and the big premiere day, we have a ton of work to do behind the scenes in order to successfully birth this brain child. After all, there’s much more to making a television show than just being ridiculously good looking.

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Transmission Eight: Online Markets Are 1337

Pictured: Marketing G

Salut crime fighters! So you want to sell a movie eh? Luckily (or not so luckily) there are thousands of different ways to sell a product – anything from modern online viral campaigning to the standing on a street corner. The challenge is to get something that stays with you for a long time.

Based on the lecture this week I’d like to address a few specific points. If we are to take some of this data at face value, the section on market research has us believing that the target demographic for the majority of Hollywood films, according to “MacDonald and Wasko”, is men under 25 (I’m not going anywhere near whether this is right or wrong, but as a man under 25 years old, I have to say hellllllz yeah! Go us!). Obviously I have to thus make direct comparisons between the marketing strategies employed by large studios and what I personally engage with in my daily life. Let me give you a hint Mr. and Mrs. Marketing… I’m writing this blog online… you’re reading this blog online… and all of this market research data? You know where I found it? Online! Ding ding ding!

Now forgive me for making the following assumptions without sufficient numerical data to back these claims, but I feel as though I’m not saying anything too outrageous. Being a 23 year old, I am on the cusp of the internet generation (Web 2.0 generation, if you will). While I’m extremely familiar with the internet and have become very accustomed to using it not only in school, but in social frameworks as well, I am still in tuned with the previous generation’s reliance upon print and television media. So I can say with ease and confidence that internet and social media, plain and simple, are by and large the most effective means of advertising to my generation. I wake up in the morning, I’m on the internet. I go to bed, I’m on the net. We’re in a culture of immediacy where information is easily accessible via the web. It is absolutely startling to me that under Advertising Costs, MacDonald and Wasko cite the internet as accounting for a mere 2.6%. That’s it!!! Newspapers take in a whopping 12.6%. Who the hell even reads newspapers anymore? It’s all about CNN on twitter, DUH! To be honest, almost everyone I know my age these days streams most of their favourite television shows online, bringing into question the percentage (23.3%) of advertising budget spent on television. For this purpose our Runaways group would actually focus majoritively on online viral campaigning as it’s cheaper and more effective for our target demographic(14-21 years old). If I had to make up a percentage (and believe me, it’s made up) I’ll say 39.81% of our advertising budget would go towards internet marketing. I have no basis for this, it just sounds like a lot more than 2.6%. In fact it’s 1531% more percentage than 2.6%. How about that!

Now I’m certainly not suggesting that all or even most of a movie or television show’s advertising budget should be spent on internet marketing. I realize that there is some tangible legitimacy given to print media and network television. Especially in our day and age, anybody can publish something on the internet (Twitter, Facebook, BLOGS), however only the “privileged” and “professional” studios and media circuits have advertisements in mainstream media. In this sense, I would argue that for the purpose of branding and not advertising or marketing, print and network media are most effective in establishing a legitimate and professional base for a product. To support this point, I’ll refer to the section in class where we discussed the New York Times raking in $156 million in 2001, and the LA Times bringing in $106 million that same year. It’s not as important to have the physical adspace as it is to have the prestige of referring these renowned newspapers. Being a part of these well known establishments instantly turns a television show or movie from simple entertainment into a legitimate brand. Even though our target demographic for Runaways is EXTREMELY unlikely to pick up a copy of the New York Times or LA Times, we would still invest in advertising our television show there so that it would lend a formal legitimacy to the show. Going with the assumption that I have very limited knowledge (yet) of transmedia production and ancilliary markets (next week!), I’ll leave you with that. Take my advice: ONLINE ONLINE ONLINE! It’s the new… not… online.

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Transmission Seven: ?

Pictured: the topic of this week's blog entry.

In these, the dying hours before reading week, I’ve decided to go a decidedly different route with the blog. I’m going to write without looking back. A testament to this is the fact that I just said “decided to go a decidedly different route.” Why, crime fighters, would I do something so foolhardy? Well, you see, with all of the previous blog entries to date, I’ve taken the “painstakingly proofread” route, which in turn has led to massive overages in the way of word count. And so, in the spirit of the break upon us, I’ve decided to give myself – but more importantly, you readers – a little break from the my long-winded ramblings. In their place, I present to you this week’s short-winded ramblings. About what, you ask, dear crime fighters? Hell if I know, I’m making this week’s blog entry up as I go.

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Transmission Six: Genre-Borderline is the New Genre

I must warn you, dear crime fighters, as we head into this week’s entry, that there is likely to be some significant overlap in discussion. This is not, of course, to say that I will be repeating points from transmission five verbatim, or in any sense plagiarizing my thoughts outright.

Pictured: Significant Overlap

You see, crime fighters, the thing is…blogging is an interesting venue for expressing one’s opinion, as it is both epistemological, and private, by virtue of the form and style, and yet exposed and highly public due to the platform on which it takes place. And speaking of things that have liminal qualities to them, this week’s transmission centers around an analysis of the concept of revisionism and contemporary superheros, and the relation of Peter “I desperately want to call you Steve” Coogan’s theory on generic classification to the place of modern superhero texts within the stages of a genre’s evolution.

…Shit.

Okay some of that that may have been outright plagiarizing, but I promise you, crime fighters, this entry is going somewhere. And somewhere different, at that. Continue reading

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Transmission Five: The Borderline of the Precipice of Liminality

Pictured: Your Worst Nightmare.

Blogging, dear crime fighters, is an interesting venue for expressing one’s opinion, as it is both epistemological, and private, by virtue of the form and style, and yet exposed and highly public due to the platform on which it takes place. Why so serious, you ask, (as the good comic book (and comic book movie (TRIPLE PARENTHESES (WE NEED TO GO DEEPER (INCEPTION!!!))) fans that you are)) ? Well this dilemma between the private and public nature of blogging occured to me when studying our blog’s WordPress statistics, and noticing that since its inception (pun fully intended (or was it? (it was! (okay I’ll stop (OR WILL I!?!)))), the site has received 311 hits, but gotten 0 comments (cue shameless implication of the desire for comments!) In this way, I started to realize, content that exists on the internet has this highly liminal element to it, whereby it shares simultaneously all the qualities of content that is publicly consumed, and that which is privately shared.

Truthfully, I got on to this mental tangent because I intended to start the blog with a crass joke about how our lack of comments made me feel like I could say anything on the blog that I wanted, because the holocaust didn- no one was listening. Kind of like that. But now that I’ve taken it way too far, into the realm of borderline self-parody, there’s surely no way I’ll be able to smoothly segue into this week’s topic of disc—

SPEAKING OF THINGS THAT HAVE LIMINAL QUALITIES TO THEM, this week’s transmission centers around an analysis of Peter ‘I desperately want to call you Steve’ Coogan’s assessment of the qualities of the superhero, and more specifically, around a discussion of the way that Runaways (and our take on it) lies firmly in that “genre-borderline” (Coogan, The Definition of a Superhero, 88) space between superherodom and other popular narrative categories.

…Okay it’s final. If they made a superhero movie about written segues (not to be confused with ridden segues, which I can’t use well), I’d be in it.

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