If you take a walk I’ll tax your feet

Just one of the 1,736 things that are wrong with the idea being put forth by the music industry that everyone should pay a monthly surcharge on the Internet that would then be paid to the artists go to line music industry coffers is that it would create a precedent I don’t think anyone really wants to.

If the music industry can create a private industry tax on all Internet users then next it will be the movie industry. Then it will be book publishers taxing everyone with a library card. It will just go on and on.

In the face of failing business models the idea is to come up with a better one. Not devise a plan that’s almost singularly focused on punishment of the entire population.

You can read Mike Arrington’s posts on this ludicrous notion here and here.

CBS Films hires Miller for marketing

Debbie Miller has been hired by CBS Films to fill the role of EVP, worldwide marketing.

CBS Films is still getting its sea legs, launching just a year ago after CBS was split off from Paramount by Viacom. The studio plans on four to six movies per year being released and is currently in development on a number of movies.

Miller is still at Warner Bros., where she worked on campaigns for the Harry Potter films, Michael Clayton and more. She’ll start at CBS right after leaving Warners at the end of June.

Imax signs mobile screen deal

lg-film-imax.jpgThis is actually kind of funny. Imax, the producers and exhibitors of films on the biggest of big screens, has signed a deal with Northstar Media to have its movies put on to mobile devices. The deal also includes TV, VOD and other digital distribution, but still.

I don’t doubt that the sweeping documentaries of the moon or rain forests or other locations produced by Imax will lose something on the smaller scale screens. But I do think it’s actually a good idea for them to be putting their brand on as many distribution platforms as possible. And since mobile is the direction everyone else is moving in the deal makes more than a little sense.

It also makes sense since, as stated elsewhere, Imax is looking for ways to break out of the history museum and theme park niches it’s been in. That desire has fueled the recent influx of blockbuster films getting released to Imax theaters and the increasing number of suburban multiplex screens their building.

The bigger widget picture

widget_comics.jpgIn case you’ve ever been perplexed as to why I seem to get so excited about widgets as a marketing tool, it’s because it’s one of the few (sorry, just being honest here) online marketing techniques movie studios seem to be doing well right out of the gate.

It’s also because it’s one of the few (again, just calling it like I see it) tactics where studios seem to be in line with the larger consumer goods industry. ClickZ has an excellent article up that serves as a good primer on how brands are using them as well as the challenges faced in gaining adoption.

“The man ate bacon at every meal. You just can’t do that.”

Via Thrillist Chicago:

Eat: Bottomless Bacon Baskets
Mondays at Whiskey Road; 1935 N Damen Ave, at W Homer St; Bucktown; 773.315.2540
$10 gets you all-you-can-eat, deep-fried bacon (served w/sriracha/hoisin/mayo sauce), plus a double feature on the dive bar’s 8ft projection screen. Next Monday it’s Supersize Me and Grease, or wait ’til April for Stuck On You and Twins, served up with Canadian bacon (the meat, because showing that movie would be gross).

Oh goodness. I’d be so there. Bottomless Bacon Baskets? It’s like dying and going to Heaven, if Heaven meant I could eat all the bacon I wanted and have someone continue to refill my basket.

The Fanboys situation

kristen-bell-gold-bikini.jpgI haven’t devoted much coverage to the back and forth over Fanboys. In case you’re wondering, Fanboys is a movie set in 1998 about a bunch of friends who, since one of them might die before Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace comes out, decide to try and sneak into Lucasfilm in order to give him his moment of prequel pleasure prior to passing.

The movie has, to say the least, languished after being bought up by The Weinstein Company. There was some discussion a while ago that TWC had commissioned new footage to be shot that would eliminate the depressing death story arc and make it more a rambunctious comedy. The folks who were looking forward to the movie were aghast and a bit of protest followed.

The center point of their outrage is Stop Darth Weinstein, a site that’s looking to channel emotions and provide place for fans to vent. There’s also a protest being organized at two locations to boycott TWC’s Superhero Movie when it opens this weekend.

Now TWC says that two versions of the movie will be released on DVD, the original and the re-shot one, and it’s looking into releasing two versions theatrically as well. This has not satisfied fans, though, who say the announcement is just a move to try and kill the boycotts. But missing from the announcement was any release date, either theatrical or home video.

In my opinion TWC is pretty much screwed unless it just bites the bullet and releases the original cut of the movie and does so ASAP. Who’s going to go see this other than the diehard Star Wars fans, especially since TWC doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to full-bore marketing campaigns and extensive distribution plans. These hard-core enthusiasts, who have been championing the film through the years it’s been hanging on the sidelines, are going to make the movie whatever it is and they’re not going to go see the re-shot version. Neither will anyone else, for that matter, figuring the movie is just for the Star Wars geeks.

So just release the darn movie as the filmmakers shot it. See what happens. The alternatives are non-release, meaning the studio wasted its acquisition money, or releasing the edited version, meaning the studio wasted the acquisition money.

LOTD 3/25/08

We’ve been a little silent here for a while and for that I apologize. As we ramp back up the OTD engine grab a cup liquid caffeine and enjoy the LOTD while pondering just how hard the new Indiana Jones movie is going to rock. (CT)

  • No, social networking and online applications aren’t going to be big income earners. That’s for much the same reason playground parks aren’t big revenue sources. They’re community places.
  • This Search Engine Watch post says public relations people have been involved in search engine optimization efforts for five years or so now. Huh. Could have sworn this was a new concept.
  • Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li have unveiled a new look to their Groundswell Blog in anticipation of the release of their book of the same name.
  • Sarah at RW/W has an interesting post on how to keep up with the conversation as it becomes less centralized on blogs and more diffused to social networks, microblogging and other platforms.
  • Geoff Livingston makes the case for a renewed adherence to bottom-line-impact by social media PR specifically and PR in general as well as a way to ride out the tough economic times we’re in for a while.
  • The fallout from some blogger relations gone horribly, horribly wrong continues to escalate, with Queen of Spain providing a good recap of the SNAFU.
  • While the full usage of Starbucks’ new MyStarbucksIdea community conversation site still remains to be seen, I agree with Mack that it’s a great move in the right direction.
  • LinkedIn now lets you create company profiles, which makes so much sense it’s kind of ridiculous.
  • Interesting dovetailing between Lee Odden’s post asking what your social media strategy is and Jennifer Slegg’s on why social media marketing is important to your business.
  • Yes, reporter blogs make those reporters more human in the eyes of the audience. But they’re real power, I think, is that because of the power of links and comments they also become more conversational, bringing the previously aloof journalist into the community discussion pool.
  • At the same time Starbucks is launching an open community to solicit feedback on its stores from customers and others, Chrysler is launching a closed, private online initiative of just a couple thousand people to elicit the same sort of feedback. Both approaches are completely valid depending on the goals. Whatever the case, it’s good to see that listening is the new black.