Or should I say non-existent Transmedia campaign?
Have you seen the film Snowpiercer, by the Korean Director, Boon Joon-ho?
It’s being a touted as a landmark multiplatform film release, due to the fact it has done such great business through Video On Demand; $5m VOD gross in 3 weeks against $3.9m in 5 weeks in US theatres…
Don’t get too wowed by the numbers though – watch the film, it’s a belter!
I was very surprised that wasn’t made of its uniqueness and cult-status potential – to build a championing army of fans online.
If I had gone from watching the film (as I did) to the computer to find a bunch of content that explored in more detail aspects of the story that were fascinating, yet only shown in the film in passing, I would’ve shared like crazy all over social networks to my friends and colleagues. Who I’m sure would want to watch the film.
But I didn’t, as there was nothing there.
There is a Tumblr blog about the film and release (that splits content into front or rear of the train quite blandly echoing the story). The site has some nice content but misses the opportunity to expand the story in a way that would make me feel like I was part of something – as great transmedia should do.
Here’s the website: http://snowpiercer-film.com/
And for context here’s a précis of the story…
A Frozen Future Up The Tracks
Set in 2031. Mankind has perished as an ice age has swept the globe. The only humans left alive are on a train that is circling the planet endlessly, year after year.
We join the train after 18 years of travel, in the windowless back carriage where the passengers live in bad conditions. They are brutalised daily and have to watch their children forcibly taken up to the front – never to be seen again.
So this is a weird setup right? Let me continue a little further without giving the game away…
A rebel contingent from the rear carriage are determined to force their way up the train and take the engine at the front – effectively giving them control of the train.
That’s the mission. One that takes them though extreme violence, surreal sci-fi and quite a bit of magical fantasy.
It’s a VERY strange film – but I loved it. It’s being heralded as a new kind of distribution success but you know what?
It could’ve done better.
The lack of decent Transmedia content makes it look like the film was thrown out of a moving train rather than thoughtfully released. Other articles on the web suggest that $5m was spent on marketing rather than the usual $25m for a summer blockbuster. I don’t know for sure.
But this film was begging for some storyworld expansion so I thought I’d pour a few thoughts out onto this blog…
I want to see:
Carriages of the train – more detail, even as text and picture so I could read and imagine the journey up the train myself. Better still build some interactive media that could be explored as an app on phones – with push notifications to drive more story to us.
Character profiles – in the film, the characters have incredible backstories, but we don’t hear about many in that much detail – there must be a wealth of content in the other characters we could get into.
The global political situation that led to the apocalyptic future – expand what we see and hear in the title sequence into more content and some “meme” like stills.
The comic – the Snowpiercer story was a graphic novel before a script and a film. Let’s see some of those frames contextualised alongside the film graphic style. (If you can get the license of course)
Snowpiercer Game – find and licence a compelling online flash game that can be redressed and branded to the film’s mission and output as apps for mobile; Android and iOS.
I could go on – and none of this is THAT expensive. (Ok, throw out licensing the original comic and then it’s a no brainer cost wise).
I can’t help but think that even though Snowpiercer remains a landmark film they missed a trick by neglecting this kind of engaging content. Perhaps they should explore the “long tail” aspect and do something now that will extend interest in the VOD.
And hey – old media, new media, schnooo media – watch the film it’s ace! On Netflix, Amazon and other VOD platforms.
Now Over To You
Anybody got other ideas for Snowpiercer Transmedia content to rock the house?