So, there has been a terrific amount of press around our digital release of Wayne Wang’s The Princess of Nebraska. What few of these media outlets know about, though, is the viral video campaign that accompanied the debut of the film on YouTube. Most of the film-oriented audience was unaware of it, because the whole logic behind it, was to bring in an audience that had nothing to do with the cinema of the release. In short: when we discussed releasing Princess on YouTube with Wayne, a very crucial aspect of that release was using YouTube as a venue to create some new content that could serve as a compliment to the feature film. In other words, a parallel story featuring Li Ling, who plays Sasha, in the film.
Wayne and Ling made a few short videos exclusively for a YouTube page, under the guise that this was the YouTube page of the film’s fictional main character. Would anyone care? It turns out that many people did, with tens of thousands of views now collected. The videos have become a great success. First, many assumed it was real and followed the videos as things progressed, leaving passionate comments about the content. After news of the film’s release (including, a posting of the trailer as a tip-off), viewers still tuned in, as if they didn’t care whether this girl was real or not. It’s been a fascinating look at the power of online video, not only as a movie marketing tool, but also as a way to continue the narrative of a film through the Internet. The entire video page can be found here. Meanwhile, this is a good intro to the video campaign from the page: