JJ Abrams’ SUPER 8, Rodriquez’ MACHETE and ‘Viralocity’

JJ ABRAMS is at it Again.

I wonder if that guy sleeps. Ever. With the leaked release of his recent film, JJ Abrams has gotten the ball rolling in what appears to be his latest transmedia promotional campaign for SUPER 8. Having looked over the trailer, I was intrigued at the get-go, and here’s why; the trailer doesn’t tell us much, leaving us to ponder just what is going. What we do get is this; some materials are enroute from Area 51 to an Air Force Base in Ohio, circa 1979. A catastrophic truck/train wreck changes plans, and the mysterious ‘cargo’, apparently alive and very unhappy, wants out of the train, badly. Let the fun  begin!

To heighten the believability factor, the vid itself has been pulled off several of the more prominent movie news blogs, (but left up on several YouTube sights). The hits keep coming, and yet, the trailer remains available. Hence, the above (working , so far…).  IMHO, this thing’s a growing viral concern ’cause it’s got alot of what it needs to snowball; fans, fun, mystery, and a very cool, home-spun ‘super 8′ look (ala 1979). Remember the Dharma Initiative footage sprung  prior to LOST? Oh yeah.

Following the trailers popping a proverbial hole in the dam, Abrams’ online Super 8 site has just gone live and of course, there’s not quite anything obvious there, either. It’s cryptic, with a mere option to register for updates. Register? Of course I’ll register! It’s just where he wants us; wondering what all this is going to be about, where’s it all going, and signing up for the ride into the funhouse. Brilliant. I for one will be tracking the trajectory cross-platform to follow along– sort of a How-To in transmedia promotion.

Another great take on the viral approach is maverick director Robert Rodriguez’ “illegal” MACHETE trailer. Brilliant approach, with it’s timely release during Cinco De Mayo, starring Danny Trejo leading the charge with his classic intro and of course, the Arizona immigration law tie-in that’s got folks screaming on both sides of the border. Is Rodriguez cashing in on the fiery immigration debate or is he playing commentator? You be the judge. As for the trailer, it’s pretty clear which side of the line it drops.

Timing is everything. A great case for seeing an opportunity & grabbing it. Arguably, the rights/ wrongs of using current political firestorms to push a film like MACHETE are piling up, but Rodriguez is planting his trailer in front of alot of eyeballs. Maybe it’s even got folks looking more closely at what all is happening in AZ. Definitely want to see what comes of the viral campaign efforts with this one, too. I think we may all have the opportunity to learn from the two models.

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