In Which We Must Call In The Experts To Explain The Promotional Foibles of Hollywood

courtesy Defamer, Fantastic FourThe Transom is obsessed. Herewith, our third and final report on last night’s Fantastic Four premiere. Then we’ll never mention it again. Pinkie swear.

But. The fireworks were perhaps what we most enjoyed about last night’s Fantastic Four washout on Liberty Island. They were of the Fantastic Four logo. In reverse. Which, in fact, happened just last week to the Fantastic Four skywriters in Los Angeles.

Struck by this dyslexic repetition, we called up the Hollywood expert Mark Lisanti, the editor of Defamer. (For the record, the Transom used to sort of be Mr. Lisanti’s boss. And no: he wasn’t particularly easy to supervise.) Mr. Lisanti: exactly how do the hyper-anal Ritalin-addicted promotions folk in Hollywood allow this to happen?

“When something like that goes wrong,” said Mr. Lisanti, “it not only negates what they’re trying to do, it makes them look very stupid. I’m sure every reporter at that thing was ridiculing it. But even if it showed up correctly, everyone would have groaned and rolled their eyes.” That is indeed correct. But what desperation drives these tactics?

“This is the thing; you have a lot of people at the studios in the promotions and marketing departments, and they get paid big salaries. They have to justify them with things like this. A regular campaign isn’t going to earn them promotions. When ABC promoted Lost, they littered the beaches with bottles with notes in them.”

Our greatest fear: the escalation of promotional tactics. “We’ve had skywriting, we’ve had fireworks… Maybe they’ll launch one of the stars into space. What’s next? The next disaster movie, they’ll stage an earthquake?”

“It really screams of waste,” he said. “I’ve never seen a stunt that makes me think, ‘oh, that’s pretty cool, i wanna go see the movie.’ The Fantastic Four skywriting makes me want to see the movie even a little less than I would have. They’re trying to save it from Punisher territory. Look who they hired to direct it — the guy who did Beauty Shop and Taxi?”

“If they really believed in this project, where’s the Bryan Singer? The Taxi guy? That was one of the worst disasters in recent years. Instead, they’ve saved some money on the director’s salary, and farted it up into the sky.”
—Choire Sicha

In Which We Must Call In The Experts To Explain The Promotional Foibles of Hollywood