I think the Film Clubs Mike Gray missed his vocation as a stand up comedian? Mike introduced last nights showing of POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011) at the Robert Burns Cinema in a jacket that he had decorated in advertising logos, very similar to the one worn by Morgan Spurlock in his movie. We knew from this that we about to see a film with a message.
Mike explained that his first experience of product placement was while he was watching a game of lawn tennis at Wimbledon in his teenage years, probable between the legendary Braddeley and Pim, when the TV camera captured a shot of the umpires stand and there was a chappy busily turning the bottles of Robinsons Barley Water so that the labels could be read by the BBC TVViewers!!! This had a profound and shocking effect on our host who has never touched a drop since.
|Mike Gray introducing tonights film.|
Directed by Super Size Me’s Morgan Spurlock this documentary examines the increasing proliferation of branding in every aspect of our day-to-day lives and how the big advertising agencies in big luxurious boardrooms get there big message across to us. Mike went on to give examples of some of the movies where you can easily see the influence of project placement for example Kleenex in Paper Moon (1973) Epson and Coca Cola in the recent awful remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and while we are on the subject of James Bond the 23rd movie in the franchise Skyfall (due for release in October 2012) is alleged to have one third of its production budget raised from product placement, that’s approximately 45 million dollars!! Iron Man 2 (2010) won an award for most product placement in a single film estimated to be 64 instances, that’s one for every two minutes of screen time. But this is nothing new in the dreadful It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) we had the National Geographic and I’m sure we could fine infinite examples in many more movies.
|The RBC audience gets excited about tonight's film.|
Mike went on to talk about the film and told us it was a very unusual piece of work by Spurlock, who indecently is a Stoke City fan, it’s meant to be an expose of sponsorship and product placement but uses sponsorship and product placement to finance the film setting a very strange precedent. It was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011 and followed this with a limited release in America in April, crossing the Atlantic for a UK release in October.
In the discussion that followed it was agreed that sponsorship and product placement was a serious worry with financial control being exerted by the richest corporations not only on movies but sport, TV and many other of life’s familiar day-to-day things of which to be fair George Orwell did warn us. The documentary was interesting up to a point, the message Spurlock was putting across was achieved in the first hour, and thereafter you tended to loose interest and turn off, your thinking turning to that nice glass of pomegranate juice you were going to have when you got home. Pom Video Clip.
PS. The computer on which I wrote this blog was featured in 30% of the top box office movie successes in 2010!!!!!!!
PSS. Payment for the promotion of the various products mentioned in this blog is open to negotiation.
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