RUMOR CONTROL! Let’s Talk About CLOVERFIELD/SLUSHO/1-18-08!
Published at: July 20, 2007, 6:50 a.m. CST by Moriarty
Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.
If we’re going to talk rumors about INDY 4 this morning, we’ve definitely got to spend a little time talking about CLOVERFIELD.
Now, before you say, “well, how do we know you know anything?!”, let’s take a look back at the first mention of the film here on the site. On June 21st, before the first screening of TRANSFORMERS with the trailer attached, before anyone outside of Paramount had mentioned word one about the film anywhere, we broke the entire story here on the site. Check it out for yourself.
That story was also used to challenge the veracity of a blog that claimed to be about the production of THE DARK TOWER. I’ve since learned that the guy who ran that blog may well have been hired to be on an Abrams film... just not the one he thought he was working on. That may have been the first leak on CLOVERFIELD, but he didn’t know enough to make it worthwhile. I followed up this piece with more details on June 25th, and together, those two stories became the basis of almost everything you’ve read since.
When I wrote that story, I didn’t realize that Abrams was going to be pursuing a sort of veil of complete secrecy around the film, and I didn’t know he’d be creating a game leading up to the release. I actually feel bad that we sort of spelled it out as completely as we did. The one thing that he should be happy about is that no one really knew what the hell CLOVERFIELD was, so they didn’t read the article when I ran it. It certainly didn’t set the world on fire until people saw the trailer themselves, at which point we got flooded with e-mails asking, “What is that trailer? Why don’t you know anything about it yet?”
Well, 90% of everything that’s out there now came from one source, guys. Me. I broke the following facts about CLOVERFIELD exclusively: The title being a cover. It being a giant monster movie shot as if from a hand-held video camera. The low budget on the movie. The fact that Drew Goddard is writing it, and that Matt Reeves is directing it. The fact that the creature is nicknamed “the Parasite” by those working on the film. I described the trailer beat-for-beat before anyone outside the studio had seen it.
And yet nobody is citing us as the source of that information. Check out this asshole. And, yes, I just called you an asshole, Kirk Montgomery, because you’ve passed off other people’s work of the last two weeks as some sort of exclusive on your part. You didn’t learn anything “exclusively,” since everything in your article is regurgitated from other sources. You’re not the first person to simply re-run the information we broke about the movie in the past ten days, but you make it sound in your article like no one else anywhere has already written about the viral marketing sites or the way it’s being shot or the budget. There’s not a single piece of new reportage in your piece, and the way you try to make it sound like you somehow broke this wide open makes you... well... an asshole.
I don’t blame him, though. I’m sure he was told to write a story about this by his editor, and that’s because this has become a huge deal very quickly. Already, we’re starting to see some backlash in the talkbacks, as people talk about the film being overhyped. Fandom moves so fast these days that they’re starting to reject movies that are still shooting based solely on things like release dates or their own illogical expectations. Case in point: the way people started to get really attached to their pet theories about what this film is. “It’s VOLTRON!” “No, it’s a LOST tie-in!” “It’s not a movie at all! It’s just a LOST season four promo!” “No, it’s GODZILLA!” “No, it’s C’thulu!”
And when it turns out to be none of those things, fans are going to hold it against the movie, as if they were promised something. But they weren’t. They’ve been projecting, and they’ve gotten invested in their own ideas, and now they’re going to be mad when the film isn’t what they decided it should be.
Relax. Seriously. In a way, I don’t think JJ Abrams had any idea how much his teaser would set people off, but in another way, I think he got exactly what he wanted.
I have a theory about Abrams. I think he was a biiiiiig fan of Disneyland growing up. One of the great things about going to Disney (I lived near Orlando as a kid, so I always think about the Magic Kingdom when I think of the parks) is the way they don’t just have rides. The rides actually begin the moment you step into the park. Everything on the property is about setting a mood, getting you ready for the rides. When you’re standing in line, you get gradually immersed in these environments that drop you into the world you’re about to visit. Like the grave stones outside the Haunted Mansion or the docks on the Jungle Cruise or the ramps up into Space Mountain. You start the ride before you start the ride, and I think that sums up the attitude JJ Abrams and Bad Robot have towards entertainment now. Don’t scream at Abrams that he owes you all the answers right now. He doesn’t. Not yet. He’s got six months to go before this film comes out, so all he’s trying to do is get you intrigued. Hooked a bit. I’d say he more than accomplished that task. Now let him give you the bread crumbs as a game, and enjoy it. You’ll get onto the ride soon enough, and then it’ll be over, and why rush that? Why not enjoy the build-up?
When you get overexcited, you get an Ethan Haas situation, and people spend a lot of energy that they shouldn’t spend in the wrong direction. To be clear, all the Ethan Haas sites are interesting and well-coordinated, but none of them have anything to do with CLOVERFIELD. Instead, they are marketing for an upcoming game called ALPHA OMEGA by Mindstorm Labs. Cool stuff, but it’s not connected to the film at all.
I think the one thing that’s undisputable about the trailer is that it worked. It got people talking. Not putting a title on the teaser was a genius idea, and someone deserves a promotion for that one touch. I think that, more than anything, got people buzzing. People seem intrigued at the idea of a whole film being shot like that, and that’s pretty much what you’ll get. The film starts with a rescue crew cleaning up after the entire incident, and one of them finds a camera. They rewind the tape, press play... and the playback is the movie that unfolds.
I promise... we’ll keep you updated as more things break on this one, but for now, I think people are actually overanalyzing and they’re starting to invent things, create sites to support their crazy theories, and it’s all turning into such an overwhelming sound that it’s going to start to turn some people off.
Me? I’m excited and intrigued, and I look forward to learning more about the film as it develops.