Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Fresh releases?

Spring is everywhere.

Flowers are blooming, birds sing from every tree and that means itsss.. trailer time!

The big movies & book releases are gearing up for their summer sales. Electronic games are preparing for E3 coverage, and the net is full of downloadable tidbits.

So far the best trailer I've seen is actually for Harry Potter 4: Goblet of Fire. It begins with a overview of how much the main characters have grown, throws in some exciting bits & plot exposition, and ends with the best new quote I've heard in awhile :
"Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry. Soon we must all face a choice between what is right and what is easy."
That resonated deeply with us. That's the same thing I have said to so many people, including myself. I'm seriously starting to cut people out of my life who are consistently choosing what is easy over what is right. Pretty much sums up my view on current events too. I'm expecting trouble in our land from nature, at least, and perhaps other sources (and hoping I'm wrong, in case you are wondering.) This prescient line seems to be taken from a speech of Dumbledore's. Smart fella. Good warning. & full kudos to the trailer makers for challenging people to actually think for a change, as well as offering what promises to be a thumpingly good adventure film.

So...That trailer has done its job! We are definitely looking forward to Goblet now! That is so much more than we can say about most we've seen lately. Most of them have failed to turn me off of projects we were interested in, but I had real doubts about whether they advanced 'the cause' much.

What surprised me about this personal opinion, is that this includes so many big name titles we've been watching... like the newest Zelda, Hitchiker's Guide, Star Wars teasers/previews, Madagascar's teasers, and even Myst V's latest trailer. Felt better about that last when I found Cyan hadn't made it. People have laughingly compared the latest Myst advert to old Ultima art, Beyond Atlantis, & even old Sierra games. Sadly, I know just what they mean. Myst games are known for being cutting edge, intelligent & beautiful. Myst V is likely to be all of that and more. There have been some tantalizing clues about the newest story. Cyan's screenshots, especially, have whet our appetite...but that trailer looks like leftovers.

Is it just me or have trailer makers generally gotten into a rut? Action, mystery, sci-fi, whatever.... seems like every trailer I see reminds me of dozens of others. Star Wars, at least, has the distinction of having its own look to all the game teasers/movie trailers/etc...which just seems to mean, lately, that they have their very own, specialized...hole in the mud.

I'm not trying to be evil. I perfectly comprehend that it is hard to convey much in 30 secs or even 1:30 min. How many ways can people look excited, sad, happy etc about events of which we know nothing? How many ways can you show a lightsaber battle (especially when any fighting conventions are respected)? How many ways can you blow things up?

& As a form of marketing, originality doesn't always matter. To some extent, people like familiarity because they have some idea what to expect with it. Some of these trailers are actually playing on this in their new products (ie: if you liked Spiderman, you'll like this!)

Nothing advertising is likely to come up with, or fails to come up with, will prevent people from buying the newest installment of a favorite series. And then, if the newest effort is good enough, (at least good enough for horseshoes) it will keep selling as long as distribution is kept up. Thats what the big companies bank on (too heavily, imho)

So its nice when you see someone do better than that. This is for all those who did.


sometimes the whole corporate thing feels like...

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