Okay, some of you have probably already seen this… but if you haven’t, check out this funny letter from Primer director Shane Carruth that was sent to people on the Landmark Theatres email list. What this letter helps illustrate is that – despite making one seriously mellow film full of deep thinking – Shane is a pretty humorous and fun guy in real life. Read on:
A LETTER FROM THE WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF PRIMER, SHANE CARRUTH:
Dear FiLM Club,
By now you must be sick of seeing the countless television ads,billboards, Today Show appearances, and Happy Meal tie-ins promoting PRIMER. I was elated when the lead actors in the film were approached to have a laserscan of their faces done for the action figures, but even then I think I knew it was overkill. At its core, PRIMER is a small story – although with big ideas – about a few engineers that develop a device that is too powerful for them to cope with. So when I see the actors’ faces all over the sides of buses along with the all-too-famous tagline “Prepare to be PRIMED…for fun!”, I wonder if, in the words of one of the marketing guys, we’re not “oversaturating our core demographic.” Having said all that, I would like to invite you personally to see the film even though this is just another voice in the sea of publicity compelling you to do so.
Actually, I’ve just received word that the Happy Meal promotion is not going to happen; something about engineers not being kid-friendly enough and lacking any “cool powers”. So, maybe that’s good news. The marketing was becoming an unwieldy behemoth. It should be more manageable now.
Also, it seems that the television ads were dependent on the merchandising money from the Happy Meals so that’s gone too. Okay, I’m not going to lie. That’s disappointing. We’ll recover, sure. Nothing can stop the juggernaut that is PRIMER. It’s just going to take some ingenuity. We’re going to need to be more strategic with the placement of bus ads. We’ll only advertise on bus routes that penetrate the smart, affluent, age 18-49, street traffic. It can still work.
Alright, I should have seen this coming, but the buses are out.
Billboards too. Don’t ask why. Just know how much I suddenly value this opportunity to invite you to see the film. Maybe I was a little glib before, but I now understand what a privilege it is to be able to communicate with you on a more intimate level. Also, I’ve rigged something together with some leftover PRIMER posters and magnets. If anyone has a van or a camper that I can affix it to, please contact me.
Shane Carruth – Writer/Director