Random Factoid #303

27 05 2010

What’s in a name?  (And no, the answer is not “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” all you Shakespearean scholars.)

I was browsing the web as usual and reading some interesting articles.  One particularly grabbed me from the New York Times website, an article by Brooks Barnes called “Invasion of the Big, Scary, Long Film Titles.”  Here are some interesting excerpts:

Pity the high school students whose summer jobs involve changing movie theater marquees. Hollywood has come down with a serious case of title elongation. That is, if you can figure out the title at all.

Consider the latest “Shrek” movie, which DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures released on Friday. Just what is its title, anyway?  “Shrek Forever After.” But billboards and newspaper ads seem to use another name: “Shrek: The Final Chapter.” More than a few theaters have just listed it as “Shrek 4,” perhaps running low on patience, or just colons … add in simultaneous 3-D offerings, and splice that into subcategories — “Shrek Forever After 3-D,” “Shrek Forever After: An Imax 3-D Experience” — and the listings become even more confusing.

Elaborate titles can bring danger. “The more a title describes the story, the less effective it generally is,” said Dennis Rice, a marketing consultant who has held top positions at Miramax, United Artists and Disney. “You want people to know what they’re getting. But you also want to leave them wanting to learn more.”

And in a very practical sense, wordy titles take up a lot of time in a 15-second television ad and a lot of space on a poster … none of these titles are selected without debate by studio executives and, in some cases, they are determined by focus group testing. With sequels, the strategy is generally to avoid adding a numeral, and to come up with a subtitle that makes the movie seem less of a rehash and more worthy of standing on its own … in some instances, long titles result from an eagerness of studios to piggyback on a brand that already has currency in the marketplace.

I can’t stand long titles, and if a movie has a long title, I try to find a way around saying the whole thing.  “Shrek Forever After” is “Shrek 4” in my jargon.  “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is just plain old “Prince of Persia” to me.  And you won’t ever catch me even writing the unwieldy post-colon addition to “Precious.”

Random Factoid #113

18 11 2009

Today’s factoid will again be building off the revelation of my former days of cutting the movie ads out of the newspaper and plastering them across my wall.

My favorite day of the year, in regards to movie ads, was the day of the Holiday Preview Edition.  On this day, the studios run page after page after page of full-page, color ads for their best movies of the holiday season.  I knew the general time frame of this edition, but I never knew for sure.  When I slipped the New York Times out of its blue bag on the right Sunday morning, it was like hitting the jackpot.

Random Factoid #101

6 11 2009

Today’s factoid will be building off the revelation of my former days of cutting the movie ads out of the newspaper and plastering them across my wall.

Often times, the New York Times would frustratingly layer two ads that I really wanted on my wall on the same page (that is, one on the front and one on the back).  Don’t worry, I almost always got both of them.  Usually my parents were kind enough to go buy a second paper just so I could get the ads that I wanted.

Random Factoid #100

5 11 2009

Here we are, folks.  Random Factoid #1-0-0.  I am honored that you have felt fit to bestow almost 5,000 views to my humble blog over these past days.  So now, as a treat to you, here comes a factoid that I have been holding back for a moment like this.  And without further ado, here it is:

I didn’t just get the New York Times to look at the movie advertisements.  I would cut them out and tape them on my walls.  Usually, I stuck to color ads.  But literally, these ads lined my walls for 4 years.

Now that it’s off my chest, you will be hearing plenty of factoids dealing with my infatuation with the extraction of these advertisements.

Random Factoid #23

20 08 2009

For several years, I subscribed to the New York Times for the Sunday edition only for the sole purpose of looking at the giant movie ads that they ran in the Arts & Leisure section.