Wednesday, September 19, 2012

how to sell a movie before it's made

Had the pleasure of speaking about social storytelling last night at Storycode, premiere meet up group for transmedia, at Lincoln Center where @BettyDraper shared the stage with creators of fascinating twitter campaign for forthcoming film Saving Lincoln. Two of the creators were still in LA but that didn't detract from their ability to answer questions via Skype. (Isn't technology bliss? When it works.) The film isn't coming out until later this Fall, but twitter campaign for it was aptly launched last year. The film portrays Abe's life through the eyes of his (real life) best friend who tweets @SavingLincoln in the voice of an 1860s soldier. What interested me is how they're using the twitter feed to flesh out stories that couldn't be included in the film. Tweets are ostensibly from his private diaries and are archived in an onsite "anthology" of stories that makes for pretty engrossing reading.

What also interested me was the mechanics of twitter campaign production. The twitter writer (yes! there's a twitter writer!) actually storyboards tweets in a serial comic strip format which can be sent to producer for review and edits. Finals are pre-posted onto Hootsuite, about 4-8 tweets a day, each day forming a story "beat." Story tweets are posted together, to keep the stream "clean", response tweets are posted later. No sell is put into tweets--the movie itself is rarely mentioned. The sell is offloaded to the Facebook page. All this might sound easy and no-brainerish, but that's because they (with no template) have figured it out.

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