Japan can be intimidating, even for seasoned travellers. You arrive to massive sticker shock, tiny octopi in soup, and 30 kinds of hot canned coffee (which all taste moreorless the same) in ubiquitous vending machines.
Japan is a long country with 80% mountains – covering several climates, from frosty Hokkaido in the north, to tropical Kyushu giving adventurous folks much opportunity to head to the outer provinces for exploration of the heady scenery of this varied archipelago. With some planning, politeness and persistence, combined with a little zen, you can find big adventures.
Indeed, it is easy to get lost in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka – crowded with skyscrapers and twisted alleys, piled high with screaming neon clubs pumping techno, reggae or karaoke and shops piled with futuristic technological gadgets that won’t make it to North America for another decade – but, far away from the expensive hotels and talking toilets of the huge Pacific metropolis, you may find yourself soaking in alpine hot springs on a starry night, drinking sake with strangers crammed into a mountain hut after a backcountry dinner of rice, seaweed, miso and green tea.
Due to an affection for stationery, letters, scrapbooks and whatnot, i notice such items when viewing moving pictures. As such, i am often inclined to capture screenshots for my memory. Sometimes, oddly enough, these are printed and put into scrapbooks in a sorta meta-remix. Either way, to keep these tidbits close at hand, assorted specimen are collected within.
My final act for my MovieSet.com was writing and presenting a white-paper-like guide, laden with tips, tricks and best practices for filmmakers to build audience for their movie during production – especially tuned for those filmmakers working outside of the studio system producing movies in the 1-10 million budget range. I suppose the learning began when making documentary film HempenRoad on shoestring budget back in 1996-7 and continued helping films like The Irishman, Daydream Nation and many others spread the word while working as Director of Fan Communities.
While some of the content is specific MovieSet’s production tools and movies marketing in general, most of the knowledge contained within can be applied to other products or projects you are promoting using social media and search marketing – plus all tools mentioned are free or cheap. So excuse the marketing sales stuff and you should gather a few juicy bits outta this guide. Happy to hear your comments however this is likely a final iteration as my time at the company is finished.
The article kicks off by asking: Care to wander onto the set of a movie shoot, chat with the actors, see the inside story on the stunts?
Well, do you?
This kind of set access has been the goal of MovieSet CEO Colleen Nystedt since 2005 and she continues to educate and push her industry forward with the belief that there is a universal interest in how movies are made and that the action on-set is something fans care about. MovieSet seeks to satisfy that hunger by delivering value to both the film industry, with the suite of production tools, and to all passionate movie fans, by providing exclusive access to great content.
The article quotes the erstwhile leader of the “social media renegades,” Dave Olson, who relates the focus on fan participation as the key to traffic growth and enthusiasm for the site, using our recent Death Warrior campaign as an example (links added):
For small very specialized films, such as Death Warrior, a mixed martial arts film that included livestream video among its offerings for fans, Movieset allowed it to find a core audience that shared a passion for the action film.
“We found out where fans of that genre hang out, we communicated with them in their language and we invited them to take part,” said Olson. “We even gave away the bloody sweatshirt that Georges St-Pierre was killed in to a fan at the end of it.”
Finally, Ms. Shaw’s article outlines some of the other tactics we’ve used to bring movie fans behind the scenes and a call to action for movie makers of all kinds ~ from indies to majors ~ to hop aboard the MovieSet cluetrain:
Indeed, there are now excellent examples which demonstrate the power of MovieSet’s two-headed monster. Cast and Crew members are employing our tools to streamline their daily workflow, they deliver content directly to their movies page including still photos, videos, news, or blog posts.
Once uploaded, the rich content gives the social media conversationalists an opportunity to reach out to an engaged community of fans interested in the film. Fans then become active contributors by following, supporting and commenting throughout each phase of production. And so on, and so on …
Read the full article: Online and on the set by Gillian Shaw (@gillianshaw on Twitter) in the Vancouver Sun, June 9, 2009 – please consider leaving a comment or sharing with your movie fan and filmmaker friends.
Seems 20th Century Fox is releasing crazy tongue in cheek comedy action about Borat from Kazakhstan (apparently another pop culture phenom i hadn’t noticed). Of course, clips abound on Google’s youTube – both of deleted scenes and an “official” clip posted by the producers.
I am fan of the mock-u-mentary format in general (faves include: David Byrne’s underrated masterpiece “True Stories,” (Byrne’s site) “(This is) Spinal Tap” (fansite and even “Best in Show” by the same crew) and hope Borat’s adventure doesn’t rely stricly on fart and sex jokes and boosts some underlying social commentary so it educates not just entertains.
Certainly, I am idealistic to hope the film offers a way of looking at ourselves (meaning “decadant” western cultures) from another lens. Is this a big and unrealistic request? Perhaps but Borat may well be up to it.
Incidentally, I wrote a play for a class about global issues featuring a country called Shtanastan (.pdf) which has some fun at these folks expense as well in the context of some oil exploration coddled by indifferent/drunken bureaucrats.
Ahhh, funny accents and huge mustaches amuse me fer sure but certainly, these central Asian countries are almost forgotten by western world despite vast size and likely abundant resources so there is something to be gained along with the chuckles.