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Posts Tagged ‘franchises’

My Tour aboard the Enterprise

February 5th, 2008 | Derek Johnson

I was in LA last month to do some research for my dissertation on media franchises.  In addition to my time in the archives and my interviews with executives and producers, I decided that as a part of my “research”, my last stop before heading back to Wisconsin would be to go with my friends Scott and Holly to the Queen Mary Dome in Long Beach to visit the first leg of Star Trek: The Tour, the exhibit currently making its way across the US.  You know, one of those sacrifices you make for your work. 

Okay, so I was looking forward to it all week.  But at the same time, I was really apprehensive about the whole thing, convinced that the hour or so I thought we’d spend there would be no where’s worth the ridiculously high ticket price (even with the student discount).  

 Captain on the bridge!

But four hours – and several awkward yet kinda awesome pictures – later, I found that I’d actually seen a number of pretty interesting things…

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Extratextuals’ 2007 Awards Extraordinaire, Pt. 1

January 9th, 2008 | Derek Johnson

Franchising, Merchandising, and Licensing: Sleekest and Weakest of the Geekest

2007 is over, and organizations like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science must now look back in judgment at a year’s worth of media production.  Unlike those august institutions, however, we here at The Extratextuals want to look for craftsmanship, innovation, and experimentation (and lack thereof!) not just in films and television programs themselves, but also in the networks of additional, extra texts that increasingly surround one another in our media-saturated experiences. 

So without further ado, we present to you our 2007 Awards Extraordinaire, highlighting the products and productions of the last year that demand recognition in our dense, overlapping, and cross-pollinated media landscape.  We’ll call attention to those that we think worked extremely well, but we’ll also point to some stinkers too—those that just didn’t seem to get it.  Of course, if you think we’ve got it all wrong, the real fun might happen in the comments section, where our picks can be interrogated, amended, and enhanced.  

To start off this series, we’ll explore Franchising, Merchandising, and Licensing.  A far cry from the austere nominees of the Golden Globes and Oscars, these are the categories in which the media industries and their creative personnel have worked tirelessly and without pause to extend intellectual properties to their maximum potential, multiplying them across product lines and across platforms.  As my terrible subtitle implies, these categories tend to involve appeals to those audiences (like myself) that will intensely follow properties from one market to another.  So for comics, toys, games, and other things you might expect to find in The Android’s Dungeon, read more below the fold…

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Bees and Donuts: Hyping Bee Movie and The Simpsons Game

October 31st, 2007 | Jonathan Gray

Bee Movie

 

Through much of the nineties, two television programs sustained me: The Simpsons and Seinfeld. Others came and went, but not only did those two shows consistently hold my interest, but their many repeats would too. One of my roommates would even record the evening reruns of Seinfeld while watching them, and watch them again first thing the next morning, and I’d often join him. So Jerry and Homer are close to me. I don’t spend as much time with them now as I used to, but I like to check in on them every once in a while, since they are old friends.

Recently, the Jerry Seinfeld and Simpsons franchises have been doing interesting transmedia jigs. Seinfeld’s Bee Movie is coming out on Friday, and television is all abuzz with cross-promotion: Seinfeld appeared on 30 Rock (and through that episode, he appeared on most other NBC shows too), he has an HP ad that refers to the movie, and he’s filmed a seemingly endless number of shorts that are filling ad breaks. He’s ubiquitous, so much so that I’m sure I’m missing about 453 other venues where he’s hawking his movie (I could’ve sworn the dude behind the counter at McDonalds looked familiar today), and in the time it takes me to type this, Seinfeld will have appeared in 58 more venues. The Simpsons meanwhile have a forthcoming video game, based on the film (so, yes, it’s the game of the film of the television show), with some ads on television, and a particularly innovative and fun official website. In case it’s not evident yet, I find the Seinfeld transmedia jig annoying, and the Simpsons one exemplary. More below the fold…

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FunnyorDie.com – How to Keep a Star Shining

October 17th, 2007 | Jonathan Gray

Judd Apatow has joined Will Ferrell and Adam McKay at FunnyorDie.com. This piece of news meant little to me, since I didn’t know what FunnyorDie.com was. Half-expecting a dark mix between Last Comic Standing and Battle Royale, I set out to take a peek. It’s a site that Ferrell, McKay, and now Apatow are using to circulate their own comic shorts, but that also acts like YouTube for comedy alone.

Here’s the announcement of Apatow joining:

The clip raises numerous issues regarding the site’s purpose, its prospects for success, and how “success” could be measured for its participants. Discussion below the fold… Read more…

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