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Five cool things about “Prometheus” marketing: A post-mortem

Prometheus

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The build-up to “Prometheus,” or, as I like to call it, Geek Christmas, was pretty amazing. The film’s subject is artificial intelligence. The anticipation of the film involves the artful release of trailers and websites which has led, not surprisingly, to much social media conversation, magnifying the impact two months before the release date. In the future — because this is what this film is about — Hollywood will probably try to figure out and reproduce just how Scott managed, with little precedent, to build so much buzz around this project. Here are five things about “Prometheus” that, in a really personal way, made this film, after Batman, the thing I — and many avids — most wanted to see this summer:


1. Ridley Scott returns to science fiction

Ah, the prodigal son returns. God bless Ridley Scott and his many incarnations — one involving a story of the Crusades as the West went off to war in Central Asia and modern day Babylon — but it is in his role as a master of science fiction in which he can do no wrong. From the infamous Apple 1984 commercial, where he cut his chops creating arresting video, to “Alien,” where Scott once and for all proved his geek bona fides as a master of the genre.

2. Who is Sir Peter Weyland?

Forget Howard Roark, Ayn Rand’s cartoonish Creator. Weyland, the founder of the Weyland Corporation, which caused so much trouble in the “Alien” films, has always been a bit of a mystery. Is Sir Peter a bit of a Sir Ridley, and vice versa? Both, clearly, have been fascinated by mythology and by science. Sir Peter, according to his fictional TED Talks biography, is the son of an Oxford educated Professor of Comparative Mythology and a self-taught software engineer. And Sir Ridley, like Stanley Kubrick, seems obsessed by the intersect between science and art, between artificial and artistic intelligence.

3. The Weyland Corporation

With a 218 trillion dollar valuation, the shadowy Weyland Corporation’s ambitions are more than international in scope — they are, indeed, galactic. “There are other worlds than this one,” Sir Peter boldly declared, “And if there is no air to breathe, we will simply have to make it.” Hello?

The company’s “website” is just masterful, the stuff that social media geek conversation is made of. There is actually an Investor Information page on the site, the sort one would find on any corporate website, only this one has fictional — but fascinating — charts (“Weyland Employee Satisfaction Rate”) as well as graphs of data that, no doubt, added value to the whole “Prometheus” experience. It only heightens the excitement.

Hello? If Weyland Corporation had a fictional LinkedIn account, how many people would apply? Which brings us to …

4. The viral marketing strategy

They had me at the fictional TED Talk, given in 2023. It was, of course, an instant social media success — to date over 6,000 re-Tweets and over 21,000 Facebook likes. There were also viral movie posters. This viral video campaign has been studiously calculated to tickle the g-spot of every tech geek, every aficionado of science fiction practiced at the highest levels. Sir Scott is best when he allows his creativity full reign, creating whole worlds out of thin air (for further reference, see “Blade Runner”). In the video, douche archcapitalist Peter Weyland chews up the scenery, giving an epic, Gordon Gekko-ish speech full of hubris about the Greek Titan Prometheus and a big technological breakthrough by his Weyland. At the end of the video — conceived and designed, incidentally, by Ridley Scott, Damon Lindelof and Luke Scott — we get the fully fake corporate logo of the hubristic Weyland Corporation..

5. The Stars

Nooni Rapace, Michael Fassbender and, of course, Sir Ridley. I. Was. So. There.

What made you stoked for the release of Prometheus? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

SAE SDCC 2017

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Stan Diego Comic-Con

Stan Against Evil returns November 1st.

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Photo Credit: Erin Resnick, GIFs via Giphy

Another Comic-Con International is in the can, and multiple nerdgasms were had by all – not least of which were about the Stan Against Evil roundtable discussion. Dana, Janet and John dropped a whole lotta information on what’s to come in Season 2 and what it’s like to get covered in buckets of demon goo. Here are the highlights.

Premiere Date!

Season 2 hits the air November 1 and picks up right where things left off. Consider this your chance to seamlessly continue your Halloween binge.

Character Deets!

Most people know that Evie was written especially for Janet, but did you know that Stan is based on Dana Gould’s dad? It’s true. But that’s where the homage ends, because McGinley was taken off the leash to really build a unique character.

Happy Accidents!

Improv is apparently everything, because according to Gould the funniest material happens on the fly. We bet the writers are totally cool with it.

Exposed Roots!

If Stan fans are also into Twin Peaks and Doctor Who, that’s no accident. Both of those cult classic genre benders were front of mind when Stan was being developed.

Trailer Treasure!

Yep. A new trailer dropped. Feast your eyes.

Catch up on Stan Against Evil’s first season on the IFC app before it returns November 1st on IFC.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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