With the advent of the internet and social media we find more and more information about our interests and hobbies increasingly more available and abundant. Casting news as soon as the contracts are signed, Set photos from the movie still currently in production and trailers from that new videogame which hasn’t even been announced keeps “leaking” online. This begs the question: when is there TOO MUCH information?
The latest set photos from Suicide Squad find its way online again for the nth week in a row. Joker slapping Harley? That’s cool. You keep scrolling down your Facebook feed. Falcon’s Civil War Costume revealed! Its got more red in it just like in the comics. That’s cool. You keep scrolling. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate gets its trailer “leaked” Again.
Stop me if you know where this is going.
We live in a wonderful time where all this information about all our favorite things are available to us. Information, which a few years ago, was only available to backroom executives and cast and crew. Information that we, as geeks on the street, would have had to search long and hard to find pre-internet and social media. I get it. Its awesome.
But when you scroll through your Facebook feed you run into 13 posts about photos from a movie you’re gonna watch in 2 years, doesn’t it ruin the magic for you just a bit?
Now, I am of two minds in this:
First, I feel like the sense of not knowing contributes to the overall appeal of the movie. Not knowing what the actors look like in their costumes, or how the effects are done or which people are going to be on-screen at the same time, all add up to the mystique of the film.
I mean, its basically what movies are and what they try to do. Movies craft a world which feels real and where the characters’ stories take place and present them to the audience as convincingly as possible. Now you can’t have that when the internet is filled with photos of actors, playing characters who are supposed to bitter enemies, laughing together in costume, on set. It just plain ruins the illusion.
On the other hand however, I also believe that when used sparingly and responsibly, the odd costume reveal or set leak does indeed effectively raise interest for the fanbase. It satiates their thirst for the actual content. It also helps fans get a feel for what the thing is going to look like and how its going to turn out. I remember way back when the Dark Knight came out, and everyone was in an uproar about this pretty boy Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker. People were up in arms about it, outraged and opinionated, as people tend to be in these situations. Then Warner Bros released an elaborate viral marketing campaign in which the final “prize” was the first photo of Heath Ledger in the now-iconic Joker make-up and costume. I remember it was the first palpable point at which the tide began to turn and more and more positive opinions began to take hold.
That to me was an example of how its done right. It was done towards a goal of creating positive feedback. It was done without over-exposing the final product. And, most importantly, It was done without ruining the illusion.
As a conclusion of sorts, I think caution must be exercised on both ends. Content Creators need to mitigate the amount of information they make available. They also need to be more aware that there “leaks” which can benefit their products and “leaks” that can hamper them significantly.
On the other end, It also falls upon us, as Content Consumers to also be responsible in our quest for more information. If we follow the product’s like page or Twitter, we know what we’re getting ourselves into.
To paraphrase a local liquor company:
Raffy Leynes is a geek of all trades (master of fun).He loves videogames, comicbooks, movies, cartoons, wrestling, science and art. Lately, he’s been liking his geekery with a dash of “Indie”. He doesn’t know what the f*ck musings are but he is told he does them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.