Friday, July 27, 2007

There were so many possible puns for the title of this post my brain almost exploded

Steven Spielberg and Ford are putting a lot of money into On The Lot. And the show's still tanking in the ratings.

This week they're filming "car week" also known as "car commercials week" or "all of you ungrateful little film makers need to learn a little humility and beg for your almighty dollar by embracing product placement week." Some of them already have. Notice how may Fords have already been featured in their shorts since the show began? Or Verizon phones?

But this week they're actually required to use Fords in their shorts, so they're essentially directing car commercials. If I had this assignment I'd save the car for the very end and barely show it. I'd use it as a McGuffin for the rest of the story. I wonder if they'd let me.

I hate doing what I'm told.

Anyway, Ford is also sponsoring a thing for bloggers. They're inviting 20 bloggers to fly to LA on their dime and ride around in a Ford and stay in a fancy hotel and meet the cast and crew and see the show. If you've seen this offer come your way, know that it's legitimate. I have a good Friend who works on the show and he affirmed its legitimacy.

I'm just not sure why. I guess nothing else is working, so they're embracing the blogosphere as a way to get word of mouth about the show. If it works then maybe other companies will do it too.

But that's dangerous I think. If you take a blogger with a heavy base of readers and give him lots of presents and send him back to write about his experience, isn't that a bit like paying someone for a good review? I suppose they're not requiring a good review, but it is very difficult to take gifts from someone and then crap all over them. And if you do that you'll never be given the opportunity again. Many of the bloggers asked are trying to break into screenwriting. Perhaps there's a little hope dangled in front of the out-of-towners on this. If I write a good review, maybe the studio execs will take a look at my script....

I'll be driving around the show with Friend in a car that is not a Ford because I don't like opportunities that come with invisible strings. Unless Friend is just trying to get me to sleep with him. Then I guess I'll have to pony up.


  1. At the end the quality of your script counts. That is all Lala-Land wants from you.

    Most are afraid of simple things but not for greater believes.

  2. Spat from The Superblog is one of the twenty heading to L.A.

  3. Studios frequently do junkets for films where they fly out critcs, put them up, give them goody bags, feed them well, then show them a movie and give them access to the stars for interviews...

    Basically paying for a good review.

    Which is why even the worst movie in the world can have a TV ad with a dozen great review quotes (but the papers they are quoted from in print so tiny you can't read it). (If you could read it, you wouldn't know the newspaper or radio or whatever - some small almost no circulation thing.)

    - Bill (I completely stopped watchin the show, even though I know one of the DPs who shoot the shorts... and if you think the show is a train wreck...)

  4. I asked if we had to write a good review, and they said the only requirement was to "have a good time".
    I gots no problems with that! And I also have no problem bitching about the level of product whoreage even though they're giving me free stuff. Not like I'm going to poop in a pre-paid box and send it back to them, but they picked a HONEST blogger who exhibits problems with authority. What do they expect?
    I'm a product whore, and I revel in it.

  5. Oh by all means enjoy yourself. You'll be spending the day in CBS Radford. Wooohoooo!

    Be nice to the PAs.


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