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CapitolTV: Mandatory for Fans and Marketers

In News & Media, Sci-Fi on October 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

Watch CapitolTV. It’s mandatory.

Lionsgate is ramping up publicity with a new video marketing campaign for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I” in the final month before the movie’s Nov. 21 release date.  After the numerous trailers, TV spots and teasers for the penultimate Hunger Games movie, Lionsgate did something different to capture fan attention without overexposing the movie.

There are 3 big reasons CapitolTV is awesome (I’m not being forced to say that, either).  It enhances the series with world-building, it celebrates YouTube and it embraces viral marketing to reach the film’s key demographic.

Check this out:

District Voices harkens back to the propaganda theme of earlier trailers.  The new campaign reinforces the movie’s trailers and, in a subtle way, tells the reader what to expect when they get to theaters in November.

Mockingjay was the most politically complex book of the series.  Transferring context for page to screen is tricky.  Building the atmosphere ahead of time will allow the movie to flow faster and focus on plot.

If you watched the video above closely, you may recognize some big name YouTubers such as Threadbanger.  Lionsgate (AKA The Hunger Games marketing team) acknowledges a cultural shift in how people – not just Millennials – consume media.

But CapitolTV spots don’t just star YouTubers.  They celebrate them.

Watch Closely:

Where was the video located on YouTube?  I’ll give you a hint/answer:  the District Two spot, starring YouTuber and self defense teacher fightTIPS, is uploaded on his channel then saved on a CapitolTV playlist.

The placement acknowledges that fightTIPS and other CapitolTV guests aren’t just performers. They’re creators.  Uploading the video to a YouTuber’s channel is a tip of the hat to the people who make YouTube such an interesting and entertaining community.

This is great because it increases movie exposure to a population segment that might not have tuned in otherwise.  District Two’s video on fighting skills highlights the action you’ll expect from Mockingjay Part I, targeting viewers who are obviously into defense and fitness.  District Eight’s video is about DIY crafts and costuming, an aspect of the movies that some viewers really enjoy.

That’s also why you won’t see a CapitolTV video posted to the Vlogbrothers channel.  Nerdfighters didn’t need any motivation to go see this movie.

Three Great Lehigh Valley Events This Week

In Pop Culture!, The Lehigh Valley on June 11, 2014 at 7:41 am

The summer season is roaring to a start in the Lehigh Valley!  Here are some of the top events you don’t want to miss this week:

Weyerbacher Wednesdays – Centre Square, Easton
(4 p.m. – 8 p.m.)

craft beer tasting, Weyerbacher tasting, sample craft beer, Lehigh Valley beer scene, Easton breweriesThe Easton Farmers Market hosts a special Wednesday edition featuring music, crafts, food vendors and beer sampling.  Find unique jewelry and locally sourced goods or spend the evening looking for an excuse to talk to strangers about their dogs.  The choice is yours!

If you can’t make tonight’s event, fear not! Weyerbacher Wednesdays run from June – September in downtown Easton.

Southside Film Festival – Southside, Bethlehem
(Tuesday – Saturday, showings vary)

independent film festivals, Pennsylvania film festivals, Lehigh Valley film festivals, independent films around the world, Bethlehem’s Southside Film Festival opened its 11th year with The Bachelor Weekend, a comedy about a quiet man pressured into a raucous weekend camping trip before his wedding.  The film earns bonus points for being Irish and featuring Andrew Scott as the groom’s best friend.

Southside Film Festival screens numerous independent films in three venues across Bethlehem’s south side until Saturday.  This year, the film festival is partnering with several Bethlehem restaurants to provide discounted meals to attendees.

Two movies make their worldwide premiere at this year’s festival.  Check the screening schedule for more details!

The PA Playhouse presents To Kill a Mockingbird – Bethlehem
(Thursday – Sunday, showings vary)

Lehigh Valley theatre, PA Playhouse showings, local theatres in LVPA, Join the Pennsylvania Playhouse for its final weekend performance of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Inspired by Harper Lee’s classic novel and based on Christopher Sergel’s play, TKAM is a Lehigh Valley must-see.

The Pennsylvania Playhouse is a small, non-profit organization with an intimate theatre and a friendly atmosphere.  The creative stage crew, along with local actors and directors from across the Lehigh Valley, bring theatre to life for audiences year round.

If you miss the final performances of To Kill a Mockingbird, come back at the end of July when the PA Playhouse hosts Annie Get Your Gun.

Why Supernatural’s Bloodlines Got Called Off

In Movies/TV, Pop Culture! on May 14, 2014 at 9:51 am

CW’s planned spinoff of Supernatural is officially dead in the water.  Bloodlines, which entered the picture during Supernatural’s season 9 episode (9×20), felt too much like The Originals for many longterm Supernatural fans to stomach.  The backdoor pilot episode earned a slew of negative reviews on Tumblr that outweighed the positive response and killed its future.

Bloodlines wasn’t a bad show.  It wasn’t even a bad concept.  Many fans miss the “good ol’ days” of monster hunting before Supernatural began using the Bible as a reference book.  Setting up a monster mafia in one of America’s most historically corrupt cities was a stroke of genius, and writers could have explored Chicago’s mafia-ridden roots.

But the CW pilot failed in several key points, which they should acknowledge if they expect to keep the Supernatural giant from sinking after season 10.

Upper class, white monsters

Margo Lassiter, shape-shifter family, lassiter shapeshifter, spn bloodlines familiesThe CW hosts slew of glamorous shows about betrayal, monsters and fashion trends.  And they could have continued the run with Bloodlines but for one worrisome fact:  upper class white monsters.

Spinoffs aren’t expected to be identical to their origin material, but Bloodlines proved too jarring a transition for many fans.  While Supernatural chronicles migratory life of blue collar roots, home town cops and your small town Everyman, Bloodlines set its eyes on a more glamorous life.

The pilot split the story between Ennis Roth, the urban man with more traditionally Supernatural roots, and the posh world of monsters.  After giving a courteous head nod to other monster families, Bloodlines focused in on the very wealth – very white – shapeshifter and werewolf families.

I hope the writers planned to expand the story in future episodes, but I was left miffed by how they handled race and class.  Surely the Lassiter family, pure-born shapeshifters, didn’t need to be white – or at least not entirely white.  And where are the other factions, the Djinn and ghouls, who could be cast with more diversity?  Why is Ennis, the protagonist and only minority character, simultaneously given blue collar roots and the less captivating storyline?

Man Pain and Women in Refrigerators

Supernatural has the dubious legacy of beginning its nine season run by killing Sam Winchester’s girlfriend, Jess, and setting a long precedent for killing off the show’s female characters as a plot device.  Bloodlines had the misfortune of mimicking the trope and doing so clumsily.  Not only have audiences become more aware of Women in Refrigerators – when TV shows, movies and video games kill off the main character’s significant other as a motivating plot device for the male protagonist – but they know when it’s not done well.

supernatural man pain, Spn Bloodlines, Ennis Roth spn, women in refrigerators, sexist tv tropes

Ennis’s story is fueled by the death of his girlfriend.  David Lassiter spends the pilot grieving his lost relationship with Violet, which is dead in another sense.  The villain is a grieving man, driven crazy by victimization at the hands of monsters.  Even Sal, who departed within minutes of the show’s opening, died grieving and remorseful.

Too close to the Supernatural pilot

A successful, independent young man is called back home by his sibling to take care of family matters.  He struggles to reconcile the loss of his girlfriend while taking care of the job, eventually deciding to stay on with the family business.  Surprise!  I’m talking about David Lassiter, not Sam Winchester.

Jessica Moore, women in refrigerators, tropes in TV shows, women representation in Supernatural

A hot-headed young man takes up hunting to seek revenge following the brutal death of his girlfriend, but things are more complicated than they seemed.  Then he receives a surprise call from his “dead” father telling him not to get involved with affairs in Chicago’s underworld.  No, I’m not talking about the Winchesters.  I’m talking about Ennis.

I enjoyed the clever characters in Bloodlines, but witty banter and brotherhood forged in loss couldn’t save the show.  Maybe the Winchesters will return to Chicago in season 10 so we can get some closure – and the spinoff that longtime fans deserve.

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