Have you noticed how movies have come to regard pre and post-ambles as de rigour? Fake websites, character based webisodes are standard and now, even higher end virals like this TED talk to hype Prometheus (which I found more fascinating than the actual film) are becoming more and more usual .
It’s as if the experience of the actual movie is not enough, it needs to a life beyond and before. The movie becomes part of a wider engagement and not an ends in itself. I hope this isn’t the case, and that all this is a response to information creep. It’s near-impossible to watch a movie “clean” these days, you’ll likely have heard something about it from somewhere, even if you try to avoid. So why not let there be official sources to whet your appetite beyond an IMDB tagline. Perhaps that’s why trailers seem to be getting more spoilery too – let you know the plot as they want to tell it.
I wonder about how this disrupts an audiences viewing, and if this will come to influence the actual filmmaking. For example. will a film bother spending twenty minutes pretending to the audience that the Main Character is just some bit player in a scene? Or that someone’s not going to die when we know they will? When you know every twist that’s coming, will they bother with such techniques less or work harder to hide them? I used to argue that the recent prominence of non-linear films, in which the conclusion is front ended, was a way to fight information creep – in that, the film stops the audience asking “what happens?” and gets them trying to work out how instead. Now I think the preferred method is just to feed a clued up audience tonnes of ancillary material in the hope to stuff you so full of experience that you still get the same satisfaction from an old fashioned moofie. Shame.