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David Poland

By David Poland

Trailer: Weinstein Co (Smartly) Rebrands Big Eyes As An Amy Adams Oscar Vehicle

And Yahoo! reminds us why giving them a trailer exclusive is not a good idea.

Update 5:21p – And now, it is working… thanks…

Update 5:19p – This link seems to work…

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19 Responses to “Trailer: Weinstein Co (Smartly) Rebrands Big Eyes As An Amy Adams Oscar Vehicle”

  1. leahnz says:

    hells bells i’m pretty sure using the word ‘brand’ to describe living human beings, as a verb, or anything other than boxes and bottles is a sure sign of the apocalypse – that the marketing machine has steamrolled into cinema, shrouded in puffs of oil-fuelled smoke, flattening everything in its path that is growing, verdant, and green in creation and culture into a generic flat supermarket label sweepstakes concocted by constipated moustache-twirling bean counters whose imaginations dried up in childhood, bought and sold, the marketing machine rolls on like thunder

    that might be slightly hyperbolic. the movie itself, i’m wary of movies that the trailer makes me want to slap the shit out of people, but trailers are trailers.

  2. YancySkancy says:

    I hate the word branding too, but it’s really only giving a new name to something that has always existed in cinema. Hitchcock was a brand. John Wayne, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, ad infinitum. Not that they never worked outside the brand or didn’t try to expand it, but it’s ultimately not that different from what we have traditionally called “image.” This terminology was inevitable once the studios became the province of the bean-counters and MBAs.

    The movie looks good to me, though one can’t help but suspect that the trailer has been “de-Burtonized.” The return of Karaszewski and Alexander to the Burton fold strikes me as promising.

  3. Hallick says:

    “brand” is just PR/biz-speak for “reputation” anyways. Such a tediously overused word that make the people saying feel like they’re 21st century smart.

  4. leahnz says:

    i like the visual of her seeing real people/her own reflection with the huge eyes in the trailer, kind of creepy and disarming, i hope there’s more of that type of bad hallucinogenic, possible madness stuff in the movie, the rest of which looks almost insufferably vanilla in the trailer. it would be nice to see burton get back to his simpler, charming oddball roots.

  5. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Sorry Leah, on this one we disagree. People became brands when the first celebrity lent their name to a product (apparently that honor goes to Chess Master Howard Staunton, who was paid by Jaques of London in 1849 to use his name for their design of chess set. It’s now the single most common chess design in the world.)

    People bought Air Jordans because of Michael Jordan, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs singlehandedly turned Ciroc from a 40k cases/yr vodka company into a 2.1mil cases/yr company, and companies killed to get their products/books/whatever endorsed by Oprah.

    Happens in movies too. Cloverfield and the new TMNT movies are known as JJ Abrams and Michael Bay flicks, despite those two people being producers only – the actual writers and directors being relegated to IMDB credits. The amount of actual influence on the creative process might be dubious, but you can be sure as hell that the name with the biggest reputation will be the one most mentioned (except in rare cases like Se7en where Kevin Spacey insisted he NOT be included in the promotion because it would spoil the twist).

    “Brand” isn’t “reputation” – it’s a specific beancounter/MBA term referring to how much people are willing to pay for something bearing the specific associations that come with that name/logo/design, versus an equivalent thing without that name/logo/design.

    Names sell – probably more so than actual performance. There are hundreds of talented actors/writers/directors out there who are just as good as those represented by the agencies – as good as J Law, Amy Adams, Burton – but who you don’t see in your theaters because no-one is willing to invest that kind of money in an unknown. Hell, even when talking low/micro budget it’s still in play – festivals are flooded with product featuring A-List talent who have waived their normal fees. You could get any number of aspiring talent to an equal job to, say, Robert Pattinson for exactly the same money – but someone like Harvey Weinstein doesn’t want to buy the non-Pattinson version. He wants the one that he can hopefully get both the arthouse crowd AND the Pattinson faithful to cough up money for.

    And that’s why Robert Pattinson is a brand as well as a person. Because his name can get projects made in Hollywood, where other people of equivalent talent can’t.

  6. leahnz says:

    “Sorry Leah, on this one we disagree”

    WHHHAAAAAAAT!!! hahaha no, i had a feeling you might take the marketing POV (not that i hold it against you). but i think you’re equating ‘star power’ and ‘brand’/’branding’ – people can sell a brand, a product, and not BE a brand and product, you gotta admit that assigning that label, to ‘sell’ complex, fallible human beings as ‘brands’ is kind of an extreme, detached, dehumanizing paradigm that shouldn’t be the default – particularly people engaged in the creation of art, which in many ways is the antithesis of commerce. i think there are two mind-sets, and in any artistic endeavour with a commercial component, such as film, the art and artistic vision must take precedent over commerce, there’s a balance to be maintained lest the artistic process be insidiously corrupted and compromised by commercial interests, and i believe that’s the sea-change we are seeing now (ironically the days when star power actually ‘sold’ movies are waning in the age of branding of movies themselves).
    ‘marketing’ has been around since year dot of course but, mainly, as far as the film industry goes, where once people made movies (good and bad) basically for adults or children and then it was up to marketing to figure out how to sell it to the public, the paradigm is now shifting to where movies are made (or not made) based on pre-existing properties that supposedly appeal to a pre-sold demographic, if movies and which movies are made at all is being influenced and determined by marketing to an unprecedented degree, and therein lies the difference and the devil. because marketing should exist to sell art/entertainment effectively, not dictate the types of art/entertainment that are produced, which under the current pre-existing/pre-sold paradigm is narrowing film as an industry on the whole. (not to mention the whole disgusting Oscars dog-and-pony show run like a political race now, an industry with campaigning that costs a kazillion dollars just to get (buy) a nomination for a silly AWARD, while there are people starving to death, caught in wars and living in poverty while a ‘regular’ person’s annual income/salary is being paid to get nominated for a statue, it’s a fucking shameful disgrace and everybody involved should be embarrassed beyond belief). i don’t know how anyone can argue that the shifting influence of marketing is in any way a positive thing for film.

  7. movieman says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t recognize Tim Burton in this trailer?

    It looks fine, I suppose, but more like typical Weinstein Company awards
    bait-y fare than an auteurist work by a director with one of the most recognizable styles in current cinema.

  8. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Brand isn’t star power – star power (at least in my book) is exclusively how much people are willing to pay to see a celeb, whether in person or perform. Branding is different – branding is David Lynch Coffee, Danny deVito Limoncello, Dan Aykroyd Vodka. It’s “Drink this and you’ll be as amped as Lynch”, “As fun-loving as deVito when he showed up drunk on The View”, “You’ll be following the mystery of the ancient crystal skulls”.

    It’s more than the person – it’s what they represent.

    Also, 4 more years of National? Thank god I’m overseas at the mo…

  9. YancySkancy says:

    “Am I the only one who doesn’t recognize Tim Burton in this trailer?”

    No. See the second post in this thread.

    I suspect they’ve either downplayed the “Burtonisms” in the trailer or the material simply didn’t allow Burton the same opportunities for his usual aesthetic. This story isn’t Alice in Wonderland or Dark Shadows; at some level it’s a biopic. However, the shots of Amy Adams seeing big-eyed people do suggest that it might not be as Oscar-baity as it looks, at least around the edges. It’ll be interesting to see the final product, that’s for sure.

  10. Daniella Isaacs says:

    The headline says they are re-branding the film, not turning Amy Adams into a brand: Branding ‘Big Eyes’ as an Amy Adams vehicle. The worst that’s happening to Amy Adams is that she’s in a film that’s been seen, metaphorically, as a “vehicle” showcasing her acting talents. How horrible! The brand is: type of film that shows actors acting, as opposed, say to “vehicle showing Tim Burton’s quirks.” Do we have to diagram the sentence to make that clear? All these arguments over misreading a headline. Sheesh.

  11. movieman says:

    I missed that, Yancy.
    It seemed like everybody went off on a “branding” tangent and wasn’t acknowledging the white elephant in the room.
    It’s not that I was expecting “Alice in Wonderland” or “Beetlejuice” from “Big Eyes,” but a few Burton stylistic curlicues would have been nice.
    Maybe they’re in the actual movie?

  12. leahnz says:

    “Also, 4 more years of National? Thank god I’m overseas at the mo…”

    way to ruin my coffee high foamy! blech that lying, skeevy fascist fucker john key makes my skin crawl…for several more years apparently, yay

    and ftr nowhere did i insinuate or imply that DP was referring to amy adams as a brand, i didn’t misread anything — i was commenting on how insidiously marketing and ‘marketing-speak’ is infiltrating the world of film, where making a trailer that focuses on Amy Adams and her character is referred to as a RE-BRAND of Big Eyes for the Oscar ‘campaign’, the mechanics of which i also referred to in my comment.

    (movieman, not sure if you read my other comment above, “i like the visual of her seeing real people/her own reflection with the huge eyes in the trailer, kind of creepy and disarming, i hope there’s more of that type of bad hallucinogenic, possible madness stuff in the movie, the rest of which looks almost insufferably vanilla in the trailer. it would be nice to see burton get back to his simpler, charming oddball roots”, but i think that kind of concurs with your assessment that the movie looks bland and non-descript for a burton joint)

  13. movieman says:

    Yeah, Leah.
    While I’m intrigued by Adams, Waltz, Schwartzman and the subject matter, the trailer is cut to make it look like just another Weinstein awards grab type of movie.
    Odd that they would deliberately downplay any Burton-isms (if there are any). The “Big Eyes” being sold in the trailer looks like it could’ve been directed by Tom Hooper.

  14. leahnz says:

    ha for some reason i was thinking ron howard afterwards of all people, but that seems weird now so i’d have to watch the trailer again to ‘confirm’ that reaction, maybe i was trippin.
    i would like to see burton get out of whatever odd rut he’s been in (and get away from depp, which he’s done so that’s nice, those two need a time out like co-dependant toddlers playing dress-up with a lot of pale face base), burton seems to have lost the ‘delicate whimsy’ part of himself that gave his early work and weirdness a unique fragility and charm that’s deserted him in recent years, more just garishness lately, which doesn’t always appeal to me (‘big fish’ is probably his last film that i thought captured some of that unique early delicacy and wonder integral to the burton ‘magic’ – and corpse bride perhaps, but a different kettle of fish being animated. this one looks like he’s gone to the other extreme, from garishness into relative dullsville, but maybe they’re not showing the weirder aspects in the marketing so much)

  15. Daniella Isaacs says:

    Not to beat a dead horse, Leahnz, but here’s a quotation from your first posting: “using the word ‘brand’ to describe living human beings…is a sure sign of the apocalypse” How can you say that and then write “nowhere did i insinuate or imply that DP was referring to amy adams as a brand?” That’s EXACTLY what you did. Never mind.

  16. leahnz says:

    uh, what?
    daniella, if you’re going to cherry-pick something i said from a complete sentence, yeah you can twist my comment to be about only human beings, but the fact is i wrote: “i’m pretty sure using the word ‘brand’ to describe living human beings, AS A VERB [which was the specific context here, a simple grammatical fact], or anything other than boxes and bottles is a sure sign of the apocalypse”, by which i meant that using the word ‘brand’ to describe a TRAILER about amy adams as a marketing ploy for Oscar. if i meant to indicate that i believed DP was referring to Amy Adams as a brand, i would have said exactly that, and not bothered to write the rest of the sentence, which put DP’s comment in to context and qualified my statement about the use of ‘brand’ in this instance, to describe the trailer/movie. hope that clears it up for you, since you seem quite intent on telling me what i meant while neglecting to read or simply ignoring what i actually wrote.

  17. Daniella Isaacs says:

    Oh. I see Leah. You’re critiquing the use of the word from a hard-core Marxist position. Carry on. 😉

  18. leahnz says:

    oh definitely, hard-core marxist – but western Marxist really, emphasis on humanism and existentialism (i suggested using a tiny portrait of jean-paul sartre in our logo for letterheads and business cards, and i’m pleased to report this was greeted warmly by the membership).

    within our ranks there have even been rumblings towards anarchism, advocating the complete and total dismantling of the marketing machine in the film industry — to wipe the slate clean of its creeping influence and abolish all notions of film as pre-sold brands, box office horse race fodder and Oscar Product that feeds an insular self-perpetuating industry of politicking glad-handers and prognosticators, to once again focus time/energy/resources on the simple fostering and creation of great stories and dynamic, thoughtful, entertaining art for all the people. extreme, i know. revolution, it’s a bitch.

  19. leahnz says:

    what the heck, is the hotblog working? how can this comment be at the top after what seems like days (looking at the dates it has been days)

The Hot Blog

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So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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