Tale of two trailers

I wonder how much productivity was killed this week by the arrival of the Batman v Superman and Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers?

In my office, where we have desk space reserved for action figure battles, everything came to a halt on Thursday when the latter was streamed online during Star Wars Celebration. I saw tweets from people I follow who said they’d put the trailer on repeat and spent the afternoon breaking down every frame. Ain’t nothin wrong with that.

The money shot from the "Force Awakens" trailer.

The money shot from the “Force Awakens” trailer.

But for me, Star Wars was just the appetizer. Although I got goose bumps during the trailer, I’m still having trouble channeling my inner Jedi. I loved the first trilogy as a kid, and got into the books in the 90s, but I’ve never been a die-hard devotee. The last trilogy may have cut me too deep. I have no doubt The Force Awakens will be a return to greatness, but some memories are hard to flush out of your mind. Perhaps it’s still too early. I haven’t even gone full Avengers mode yet, as I’m still coming down from my Furious 7 cloud.

It’s not too early, however, for me to freak out over Batman v Superman. That teaser wasn’t supposed to debut until early next week – a fact that I kept trying to erase from my brain so the wait wouldn’t bother me so much.

Batman revealed.

Batman revealed.

I’m sure a lot of people weren’t surprised when that bootlegged, subtitled version wound up online late Thursday night. I was surprised, however, by the amount of negativity thrown its way. Nobody can even see the thing and they’re hating all over it.

The blurry version was posted to the Now Playing Podcast page on Friday morning, igniting a daylong debate over whether the finished film is garbage. Fans who felt they were burned by Man of Steel are ready to hate Batman v Superman, and not being able to see the teaser in full context just gave them more (imaginary) ammunition.

That’s why it was even less of a surprise to see director Zack Snyder tweet a polished version of the teaser Friday afternoon, days ahead of a planned theatrical debut event. I can’t imagine how many studio, theater, marketing, and public relations folks are furious the event got spoiled. Hopefully, Warner Bros can make the same move Marvel did when the Age of Ultron trailer leaked, and release another trailer with additional footage in the coming weeks.

Although I had the same issues everyone else did with Man of Steel, I’m all in for this sequel, because it’s all about Batman. I can’t believe we have to wait another year for this flick.

Affleck. Unblurred.

Affleck. Unblurred.

Everything stopped in my office again when the teaser was released Friday afternoon, but this time the reaction was different. Some of my co-workers just gave it a “meh” and said Star Wars did it better.

I say they’re two different flicks. One is full of hope and nostalgia; the other is dark and ominous. They’re not selling the same movie, that’s why I don’t think you need to poll the public on which one is better, as if they were going head-to-head the same weekend.

Since I brought it up, a glance at Wikipedia’s 2016 in Film calendar shows Batman v Superman opening March 25 against a Beverly Hills Cop sequel that I can’t ever see happening. And if it does happen, it’s not getting released that same weekend.

That means a clear field until May 6, when Captain America: Civil War hits. I gotta start getting excited for that one too.

Around the Web:

io9 breaks down Every Key Detail and Killer Moment from the Batman v Superman teaser.

Blurry or unblurred, some Now Playing Podcast fans still split on Affleck.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Graeme McMillan wonders where to start with the new Star Wars trailer.

McMillan also penned this piece on fan reaction to the leaked Batman v Superman teaser.

Everyone picked up on the “My father has it” line from the Force Awakens trailer, and here Entertainment Weekly looks for signs that Darth Vader is still alive.

And, Furious 7 is the fastest film ever to $1 billion. Awesome.

Catching up

Easter weekend is winding down and Opening Day is tomorrow, so I wanted to get a quick post in before I’m completely consumed by work and baseball. At least until next month when I’ll be completely consumed by Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Snip20150405_111) Now Playing Podcast

This weekend I posted a brief Q&A with the hosts of Now Playing Podcast. We talked about the upcoming Spring Donation Drive, which will finally see the hosts cover the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park films. There will be a few other surprises mixed in there, you can find all the details in the article.

 

Snip20150405_122) Furious 7

I thought about writing a longer post with all of my thoughts on Furious 7. After seeing it for a second time this morning, I decided to just put down some brief thoughts here. It’s not the best entry in the series, but it’s still a great flick, and if you’re a fan, you’ll get real emotional at the end. I’m not gonna say I didn’t cry like that time when Bruce Willis pushed Ben Affleck back onto the space shuttle in Armageddon, cause that would be a lie.

3) Furious 7 and Now Playing Podcast

Don’t forget that the final entry in Now Playing’s Fast & Furious retrospective will be released on Tuesday. Also, on the Now Playing Facebook page, I’ll be posting a link to my F&F Spotify playlist. I’ve been asking fans to name their favorite songs from the flicks and help me put together the ultimate playlist, so that’s something to look forward to.

Historic finish

Venganza Media’s first Kickstarter project turned out to be a ridiculous success. When the clock ran out on the 30-day campaign this morning listeners had pledged more than $115,000 to fund “Underrated Movies We Recommend.”

That means there’s enough funding to deliver “Underrated” as a hardcover and audio book. You can read more about that here.

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I should probably hold off on posting this, because the good news is likely to become great news in the next few hours.

What’s the news? If you’ve been following my tweets today, you saw that Now Playing Podcast’s Kickstarter project passed its $95,000 stretch goal. That was just before noon, and as I write this, the campaign is just a few hundred dollars in pledges away from hitting $100,000.

That’s insane. I don’t have a lot of experience working on Kickstarter campaigns, but to hit $100 grand — with an original $40,000 target — is crazy. This is a runaway success, and the campaign doesn’t even officially end until early Thursday.

It’s been such a thrill working on this campaign, and the listeners came through in ways no one expected. It had me wondering today, how many independent podcasts can claim this kind of success and this fan base? Now Playing is legit, too legit, like the song!

Even better, today the Fast & Furious review was released. I urge you to listen and find out why this is the best podcast on the planet.

What a year

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Around this time back in 2014 I was explaining our surprise move to Seattle – a surprise because we’d never given much thought to leaving Las Vegas.

But, as we all know, things change. We’re lucky when good things happen.

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Axel Foley approves.

I mean, here we are now in Southern California. You should see this place. I’ve already been to the house where they shot Halloween, and last weekend I went to the Long Beach Comic-Con where I saw the voice actors from the G.I. Joe cartoon, and I even drove around Beverly Hills blasting Patti Labelle like my hero, Axel Foley.

It’s perfect.

The best thing that happened to me while in Seattle was becoming a part of the Now Playing Podcast team. The work I’ve done over the past several months has given me the chance to stretch beyond a newsroom, and that’s really opened my eyes.

So I’m very happy to announce that I’ve accepted a Content Manager position at Bridgepoint Education in San Diego. This role is very good for me, because it combines my favorite parts of my previous positions – story development, editing, social media – with new responsibilities in marketing and brand management.

Also, it’s in San Diego. They’ve got a zoo, and the Padres, and this place called The Lamplighter where I’ve thrown down some of the best karaoke in my life. A few of you were there to see it. Plus it’s close to Las Vegas, I’m hoping everyone will come down to visit.

So that’s that. I’m really looking forward to what’s to come.

Also, before you think it, I’m not going to end this post with “Stay classy.” Instead, I’ll end it the way I end all correspondence, with “Good journey.”

Dolph Lundgren. Great hair.

Home stretch

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As of this writing, there are 700 backers for Now Playing Podcast’s Kickstarter campaign to fund the show’s first publishing venture, “Underrated Movies We Recommend.”

To sweeten the deal for supporters, the hosts added some new rewards, including Kickstarter-exclusive podcasts. You can read about those shows and the rest of the rewards here.

After blowing past their $40,000 funding goal, the hosts are hoping to make a stretch goal, and they’re reaching out to all Now Playing listeners with the hashtag #ABuckForNowPlaying. The goal is to get every listener to donate just $1 to the campaign. You can hear more about the “Dollar Baby” effort during this week’s review of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

It’s remarkable to see how the listeners have rallied around this campaign since it was launched 23 days ago. There are just seven days to go, can’t wait to see what happens.

Gold star

Snip20150228_218I’m a little late with this post, but I wanted to congratulate the Now Playing Podcast team and all of the listeners on a successful Kickstarter campaign.

The 30-day campaign to fund “Underrated Movies We Recommend” was fully funded in just 10 days. That’s insane.

Now things get really interesting. The pledges haven’t stopped, and the higher they get the more rewards are added to the campaign. Since reaching the $40,000 target the hosts of Now Playing have added exclusive bonus podcasts for donors, and even the option to get “Underrated” as an audio book. The latter could end up being 25 hours long.

We’ll see what happens over the next couple of weeks. I’m incredibly grateful to all of the listeners who have supported the show and shared the campaign with others. This is just a really great time for Now Playing Podcast.