We're already well aware at how nutty some studios are getting with regards to marketing certain movies. Seeing the Empire State Building lit up yellow in honor of The Simpsons Movie DVD release was just one example of where movie marketing is heading in 2008. Some might feel all the viral websites, phone numbers and staged events are a little too much, while others welcome the additional moviegoing experience with open arms. Personally, I'm somewhere in between: The viral sites and videos are good time wasters so long as they don't ruin the film, but I'm not crazy about plastering an entire city with posters and images in order to promote a film people were already well aware of. That said, New Line is currently right in the middle of a fun promotion for Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, and according to an article in the LA Times, the marketing for that film is about to get a lot cooler.
Be Kind Rewind stars Jack Black and Mos Def as a couple of guys who attempt to re-create a bunch of classic movies after the VHS tapes at the video store they run are destroyed. This process of re-creating a piece of work using whatever crap one has stored around the house has been given the name "Sweding." While explaining "Sweding," Gondry says: "I wanted a name that meant nothing. I had in mind, like, the suede shoes -- a fake velvet. A sort of ultra-suede? But I always get the word wrong because I'm French." Fans already have a chance to "Swede" a whole bunch of stuff over on the film's official website, but New Line is taking it one step further by transforming a New York City art gallery into a "Sweding" studio for roughly a month, beginning January 24 -- one day before the film hits theaters. Here's how it's explained in the LA Times:
"Groups of people walk in and will have access to a workshop," Gondry explained. "There is a very simple protocol: You shoot in camera, edit while you shoot -- which means you stop the camera when you want to go to the next scene, you don't edit. Story lines last five to 10 minutes. And most of the exhibition will be a mini back lot with 15 little sets."
That sounds like all kinds of awesome. Additionally, while at the Sundance Film Festival (where Be Kind Rewind is set to have its premiere), Gondry will be on hand to perform music from the movie along with Mos Def and Jean-Michel Bernard (both of whom wrote the film's score). The LA Times also says that New Line will open up a "Sweding suite" on Main Street where folks can stop by and "participate in Sweding, such as inserting themselves into photos from the film."