Blog Archives

Posting Up Against Giants

Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg walk into a newsroom…

Journalism, not the shouting on cable news, is invaluable in a democracy. More specifically, the gritty, old-school reporting approach with pen marks galore, endless stacks of paper and the pursuit of revealing the greater truth to an “off-limits” story instead of merely getting there/yelling something inflammatory first is increasingly becoming a relic of the past.

And it’s in this pre-digital past that Steven Spielberg ventured into for a modern-day reflection. Plus, Mr. Spielberg was able to bring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep together for the first time for a major motion picture.

Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming film The Post isn’t necessarily aiming to revitalize print journalism as much as it seems to be directed towards reigniting the spark of a thoughtful, determined American media.

Considering the times we live, in which news in the political, sports and entertainment spheres are indistinguishably blurred together and run and broadcasted by powerful insiders (former athletes, political operatives, and commentators on both sides, etc.), the question that lingers is, “Who can those on the outside trust?”

It is likely that The Post won’t comprehensively answer this critical question, but this film will transport audiences back to a time when there was information you knew and information you didn’t know. “Metrics” and “analytics” hadn’t yet become fancy synonyms for information. Journalists took a breath, focused and refocused a few times, went to work all day and night while framing a report in a context that far exceeded the words and margins of the said story.

Even when the story was (like in this film) larger-than-life and full of high-level risks and stakes for a nation asking important high-level questions.

The leaking of the Pentagon Papers had its fair share of controversy. It will be interesting to see how the legendary director chose to tell and frame historically significant events involving real people. Nonetheless, the Pentagon Papers and the Washington Post have received the top-shelf Spielbergian treatment in The Post that stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep set for theatrical release this Christmas.

And then set for ordering on Amazon several months later.

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Remember Those Strange Things in Your Neighborhood…

Netflix has officially welcomed the second season of Stranger Things to its playlist for fans who have been waiting with eager anticipation to watch/binge and enjoy.

And for a spoiler-free season two preview…

See you in a few days when we’ll all try to remember what that thing called “the sun” looks like.

When Will VR’s Player One Be Ready?

How will customers be marketed to in the future?

Marketing, in the traditional sense, is two-dimensional. The next natural progression is three-dimensional marketing. But wait, that’s not new and exciting. That’s simply reality. The next progression from three-dimensions is four-dimensions.

Or a tesseract.

I would love to visualize a tesseract for you, but no spoilers on Jimmy’s Daily Planet (bonus point if you got that). Marketing’s next dimension is 4-dimensions in a way, in that it’s something we can’t see with our own two eyes alone. We’ll just need a helpful pair of special lenses…

Think I’m crazy for making this prediction? Think it’s absurd and foolish to make a connection between marketing real products and VR (virtual reality)?

I say think again.

Some of the most effective marketing is experience-centric. Regardless of industry, if a company is trying to sell people something by evoking an emotional connection (the “I have to have it” reaction), the ideal strategy is to personalize the sell to provide a dynamic, customizable experience. How about showing consumers what something will look like or be like in various situations as programmed by the VR experience team of each company?

Somewhere between the near and distant future, we may very well enter the next dimension of the classic “show, don’t tell” expression. Abercrombie & Fitch (or A&F), for example, is currently using interactive dressing rooms as part of their re-branding effort, in which the consumer can play music and change the mood lighting when trying on clothes.

Escapism isn’t just for the movies, it’s usually a primary driver of our emotional connection to buying all sorts of things, practical and impractical/the fun stuff.

And what better escape in the 21st century than virtual reality?

This Is Us

How can we best tell our story to the world?

According to Steven Spielberg, we can best tell our story by projecting it with the people in it…along with a little imagination and uncertainty.

Spielberg, a forthcoming HBO documentary, is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, I (and most likely everyone else on the planet) cannot wait to see this in-depth look into everything Steven Spielberg. The man is a cinematic and storytelling trailblazer. On the other hand, the fact that an in-depth documentary about Steven Spielberg’s life has been filmed, produced and is ready for showtime HBO means that he’s lived a full life and that it’s now time to just reflect…?

Fortunately, the greatest filmmaker in history (my humble opinion) isn’t slowing down one bit.

Ready Player One, directed by the man, the myth and the legend, is set for release with high-anticipation next year. Then, of course, the famed director has another Indiana Jones film. Plus, he has at least a couple more Jurassic World’s to produce and guide during the next several years.

That’s the good news. Now here’s some more. We won’t just be entertained by Steven Spielberg’s imaginative movies about virtual reality, genetically modified dinosaurs causing chaos in the modern world or an adventurous professor from the mid-20th century. Moreover, we’ll be entertained by stories about, well, ourselves. That’s the true storytelling genius of Spielberg.

He suspends focus on himself in order for all of us to believe in ourselves in ways we never thought possible.

And an accompanying John Williams score doesn’t hurt either…

Spielberg premieres on HBO on Saturday, October 7th.