How Being A Movie Rep Made Me A Geek

Almost every week, I find myself at the movies watching literally, anything. Not because I have nothing to do, but because it’s my “job” as a screening representative for Honolulu’s market. I don’t think you could define this as a “job” really. I like to think of it as a hobby.

I happened to stumble into this side job around 5 years ago when I was a senior in high school. One of the local newspapers had partnerships with the publicity agencies (local and in LA) that handled the publicity for movies in Honolulu’s market. Oddly enough, this newspaper had no one on staff that wanted to go to EVERY movie to put up a banner. I mean because its so difficult to go to the movies right? Enter… me 🙂 This golden opportunity essentially set my role as “the movie girl” for Honolulu. I left the newspaper for a job as a promotions assistant at a local radio station, I was again given the responsibility of Advanced Movie screenings, just because I had already worked the circuit. My duties included working with the studio, submitting proposals, making sure we had legit sponsors, and writing trivia questions for the screenings (yes someone actually writes those questions for the DJs). By this time, it was difficult to not enjoy the films I helped promote. It was my favorite part of being a promotions assistant because I don’t really like night clubs or concerts… I’ve met my fair share of annoying people at club promotions. At the movies, everyone (typically… unless theres’ a crying baby) is quiet… no conversation, no screaming. Bliss. After a year with the radio station, I decided to part ways and focus on school, when a very interesting call came in. I got picked up by the local Movie Marketing/PR agency to run advance screenings for a handful of studios. How could I say no?

Initially, it was just exciting to have money in my pocket, but as time went on I saw a lot of movies. I’ve screened Epics like LOTR: Return of the King Dramas like Hotel Rwanda, blockbusters like Spiderman, retarded comedies like Superbad (5 times in a row mind you), and of course the absolutely obscure movies like Margot at the Wedding. To be honest, in the early days of this experience, I had no appreciation for cinema. Movies were just movies. I’d see a something I knew absolutely nothing about and almost every time my reaction was, “that was pretty good”. That was before I met The Dark Knight viral marketing campaign while writing my college thesis. The topic of my thesis was centered around movie marketing because of my Movie Rep position. I figured doing research would be easy with the access to screenings and crowds, but then I visited whysoserious.com and my interest in the next Batman movie peaked. The marketing campaign put on by Warner Bros & 42 Entertainment blurred the lines between fiction and reality by creating a Joker presence on the web that selected a group of fans and gave them tasks to complete in real life. These tasks included taking photos of themselves with Joker face paint and picking up cakes from bakeries with active cellphones in them that the Joker himself would call. For uber geeks of the Batman franchise, this wasn’t marketing it was a game and they played. This was where it began for me because only the mega hardcore fans followed the whole campaign. It started at Comic Con 2007 (where all true fans go for info and goodies) and ran all the way to the movie’s release date, but you didn’t see Entertainment Tonight talking about it, did you? I fell in to this group of hardcore followers that are so passionate about film and the characters brought to life in the cinema that I couldn’t help but get in on the conversation. I’ve fed off of the passion from extreme fans and listened to the critics (I prefer bloggers who have made themselves critics) to care about the movies being released and stalk the ones I’m dying to see. I look out for the latest trailers and turn to fellow bloggers for their reaction to movies. I crave Entertainment Weekly, which I don’t subscribe to and have to wait for my BF to finish reading before I can get my hands on it. I can’t stand waiting for a limited releases to get to Honolulu (waiting to see Benicio Del Toro as Che had me all antsy). The movie industry has become an addiction, which is hilarious because it was fueled by a random job I happened to stumble into 5 years ago. I guess its true… you have to love what you do.

In case there was still a question of my geekiness, you can check my updates in July 2009, which will be coming from my pilgrimage to San Diego Comic Con. WOOOOOHOOO!!!!

Until next time *Makes Vulcan Hand Sign* “Live Long & Prosper”

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