Saturday, September 22, 2012


This ad season has been brutal. Ever since the primaries wrapped up, I feel like I've been watching a whole shit-ton of mass-produced, grave-voices-over-shocking-press-clips, formulaic ads. I didn't realize how much my distaste for political ads was from the fact that they're all exactly the same, except with the words rearranged.

So anyways, hat tip to State Supreme Court candidate Bridget Mary McCormack for leveraging connections to get this West Wing homage done. Ostensibly it's an ad to encourage people not to forget to vote for the non-partisan section of the ballot, but she gets her 30 seconds of self-promotion in at the middle. Whatever. The point is, I didn't feel like someone stole a few minutes of my life away from me.

That's what I miss about bonkers ads like Mike Gravel's:

Or even the bizarre ones Herman Cain put out.

Please! Obama and Romney! Or anyone else out there -- put a modicum of thought into your ads!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PRAGMATICS: Too Culturally Relevant?

As a producer, you want to stay culturally relevant with the work you're producing. But maybe there's such a thing as being too culturally relevant? At least when it comes to marketing.

Above is a photo on the Occupy Wall Street. The police are standing next to an ad for "Byzantium Security", which has that reference to the 1% "that matters," clearly intended as being provocative. If you go to the website, you see that this actually is a website.

Except in the bottom right hand corner, you see a "Copyright Cinemax" information, which links you to info about the tv show that this is promoting.

And you know, if Occupy Wall Street hadn't come back to lower Manhattan, I'm sure this would have just been a tongue-in-cheek satire and possibly effective (I have questions about whether ads that in no way look like ads for the things they are promoting are actually effective).

On the right hand side there's a range of reactions, like "Wow it's crazy that this movie hit a nerve like this!" and "THIS IS PHOTOSHOPPED OBVIOUSLY" and "No guys, it's real"!

But when I actually went and looked up what the TV show Hunted is, all I came away with was... is this it? Really? Because all it is is a pretty standard futuristic spy adventure. This ad just sets up the antagonist. The show (at least from the info I'm reading about it) doesn't seem to be any examination of class or privilege the way that the framing above seems to strongly imply.

So the question is -- as a producer, are you doing your show a disservice if you tap too strongly into the zeitgeist?

FOOD: A Worrying Sign:

It's definitely a bad sign when you have to answer questions like "What is this food?" and "Why is this food square?" and "Is your meat real or fake?"

Those are all screengrabs from the McDonald's FAQ page about meat.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

PERSONAL: Where Is CultureFuture?

There's a lot going on, and I'll fill you in soon, but mostly, I blame the internet. How am I expected to blog when people have put all the cut-scenes from the game Civilization II online?


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PRODUCING: Finding Non-Traditional Performance Space

Our friends over at Fractured Atlas have a post up about finding non-traditional performance space. I am not linking to it just because I'm quoted! I am linking to it because it's something very near and dear to my company, especially because of what we've done and what we're about to do.