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DID YOU READ

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.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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via GIPHY

We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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