Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Life Aquatic

Wes Anderson's latest is coming out in December. Starring Bill Murray and longtime collaborator, Owen Wilson, this $25M film is poised to make Disney (Touchstone/Buena Vista) a few bucks. Getting Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huton, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum on the set at that budget says something about the project. Early "buzz" is sounding positive from online sources. Compiling Anderson's social network in Hollywood shows how "ties" to others can broker & leverage talent and resources. Interestingly, this is the first script NOT co-written by Owen Wilson. Gwyneth Paltrow was slated to be on the project but had a conflict. The talented Blanchett was third choice. Jaguar shark. Trailer below.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


From Frontline. Struggling Delta Airlines wanted to launch a new value-positioned airline (akin to United's failed Shuttle) but went a different route. Trying to appeal to women and creating an emotional branding campaign, the execution and timing may have been off. Delta's profit pressures in a cut-throat market, a narrow target, and murky identity results may cause the plug to be pulled on the project. While the ads are catchy, using Petula Clark's "Downtown" and Jem's "Wish I" and strong imagery, they may have failed in linking the brand to consumer motivations and desires.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Life Imitating Art

Tangent Post: OK, so the Scott Peterson guilty verdict is in. I was thinking, I swear this story sounds familiar. Racking my brain, I recalled this oldie from 1951, A Place in the Sun, with Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters.

"Young up-and-comer George Eastman is thrust into the blue collar life of a rich friend's family business where he's expected to learn the ropes from the bottom up. While paying his dues Eastman becomes involved with Alice Tripp, a simple, trusting girl on the assembly line. When Eastman is finally introduced to high society he meets the gorgeous, sophisticated Angela Vickers and promptly forgets all about Alice. Only Alice won't be gotten rid of so easily - espcially since their affair is about to result in an unexpected and (especially from Eastman) unwanted dividend." --Summary written by A.L.Beneteau {albl@inforamp.net}

Not to give the plot away but art & life both involve boats.

Watch more IFILM videos on AOL Video

The Virtual Thespian

The technology behind The Polar Express reminded me unremarkable Andrew Niccol film, S1M0ne (2002), with Al Pacino as a second-string director who uses software to create a virtual star. 

The Virtual Tom Hanks & the Future of Digital Cinema
This NYTimes article explains a bit on the process.

"For one thing, Mr. Hanks plays five roles, ranging from a 7-year-old boy to Santa Claus. Not all of these characters look like Mr. Hanks, but they all contain the spark of his individuality. "
With Tom Hanks playing 5 roles in The Polar Express (above), the handwriting may be on the wall for how studios cast actors. So, as the technology becomes more and more sophisticated, how will this affect the demand for acting talent and intellectual property rights? The guilds and actors should be very nervous and the entertainment lawyers will have a field day.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Brand Nation

Long Beach: McDonalds (11) Starbucks (12) Wal*Mart (3)

Irvine: McDonalds (16) Starbucks (23) Wal*Mart (5)

Berkeley: McDonalds (10) Starbucks (20) Wal*Mart (4)

Anyone for Turkey & Gravy or Green Bean Casserole Soda?

Branding & Franchises: Los Angeles Angels?

The Sunday LA Times mentioned the Anaheim Angels new billboard campaign. No phone numbers, catchy phrases, season ticket reminders...just Vladamir Guerrero in action and the team logo. The billboards aren't in the OC but elsewhere in the Southland, as the Angels are trying to build up a regional presence. Moreover, since earlier this summer, the Angels are considering renaming the team the Los Angeles Angels. Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, has given Angel's owner Arte Moreno his blessing to rename the team but "Anaheim" is required for the Angel Stadium lease.

The Angels' ratings last season rose 29% on Channel 9 and 62% on Fox Sports Net, Angel Senior VP of Sales and Marketing John Carpino said.

The Angel's contract with KCAL Channel 9 is up for renewal after the 2005 season. For next season, the Angels will receive $5.2 million from KCAL, while the Dodgers will get $8 million from KCOP Channel 13.

Moreno has already removed the "Anaheim" from uniforms, schedules, and ads last season. According to Carpino, the Angels sell 65% of their season tickets in the OC, 24% in Los Angeles County, and 10% in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.