While mashups are now the norm amongst DJs and producers in the music world, it’s only as of late that the concept—blurring disparate, familiar audio or video files to create a whole new production—has been embraced by Hollywood.
A prime example of this is Paramount’s new movie trailer mashup campaign for its upcoming Mark Wahlberg vehicle, “Shooter.” With the online/mobile video editing technology of partner Eyespot, the Viacom-owned studio is providing users with a virtual editing suite to create their own customized trailer for the film, the best of which wins its creator an Xbox 360.
According to Laurie Racine, Senior VP of Strategy and Business Development for Eyespot, Paramount is helping set the trend for a new wave of movie marketing. “I think this is the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way that movies engage audiences early on as they ramp up,” she tells ADOTAS. “As you allow fans to almost recreate or interpret different aspects of the movie based on the content and the assets that are released to them to play with, does it change the length of time that they want to really play, and does that bring other people into the theater? [Obviously], we think it allows buzz to be created early on in an engaging way that gets fans very close to the filmmakers and the actors before things ever open in the theater.”
With the “Shooter” promotion, which Racine claims took ten days for Eyespot to execute, Paramount has provided contestants with more than 20 exclusive film clips, as well as the official promotional trailer, sound effects, still photos, movie dialogue and music from the film’s original score. As an added bonus, contestants can also upload personal music, photo, and video clips to mix in with studio content to enhance their mash-up. Once the user has the mix down, they can share their piece de resistance via social networks, mobile phones or other online video sites.
“We’re giving them not just typical trailer assets, but other things where there’s music and photos, etc., that they can manipulate,” Racine says. “It’s something that Paramount and certainly Eyespot see as the future for…developing social relevance to events, activities, movies, etc. that are happening along the cultural zeitgeist.”
To enter in the “Shooter” contest, users must submit their entry by March 26th, three days after the film’s nationwide release. Throughout the entry phase, Eyespot members can watch submitted mash-ups and cast their vote online for the most artistic and creative film. Along with the Xbox 360, the user with the top-ranked “Shooter” video will also win three video games to go with it, “Call of Duty 3,” “Gears of War” and “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas.” Additionally, four runner-ups will receive official “Shooter” materials autographed by Mark Wahlberg.
Though this isn’t the first foray into the UGC arena for Paramount, Racine says the “Shooter” push marks a big leap forward for the studio. “I actually think Paramount is at the vanguard here, because it’s not that they’re saying we’re going to give you just Paramount assets and you can mash them up against Paramount assets,” she says. “They’re basically saying, you can take your own stuff, true UGC stuff, and integrate it into our assets. That’s huge. It’s very dynamic, very visionary and forward-thinking, and I am truly impressed. I think they’re publicly one of the first studios to do this, if not the first. And from a conceptual perspective, it’s huge. It’s not premium content versus premium content. It is premium content with UGC in an environment that is condoned, encouraged and sponsored by the studio.”
While the gaming community is a likely target for “Shooter”, Racine counters that there wasn’t a specific target market going into the launch. “As someone who doesn’t fit the demographic, but loves this kind of movie, I would suggest there is not a specific demographic,” she claims. “I think that this is about people who consider themselves to be creators and movie fans in general, people who are specifically fans of the director, and fans of the star of the film. It’s pretty much all-encompassing, and we will know once this over what the [true] demographic will be.”