Picking Up the Spare – American Animals, Adrift and More


New interviews with both star Shailene Woodley and director Baltasar Kormákur offer insights into the story and process of making the movie, though the latter contains significant spoilers so beware.

American Animals

The narrative that’s emerging of how MoviePass, which partnered to release the film as its first move into film distribution, helped the film succeed is that it used its own platform to heavily promote the film, utilizing the user data it has to target ads. If I’m *any* other distributor right now I’m pretty honked off.

Both the cast and crew and the real people the actors are playing are interviewed here about the blurring of fact and fiction in the movie.

Girls Trip

Details on a creative campaign for the movie involving Snoop Dogg were shared here by Viacom, which ran that campaign across some of its networks and platforms.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

To the surprise of [looks around quickly] literally no one, a Wall Street analyst has blamed the marketing for the movie’s lackluster box-office results. He’s like 27% right, in that the marketing campaign was dictated largely by the release schedule, which was dictated by the other Star Wars movies coming out before and after it.

There’s a trailer for the Solo-related material coming to Star Wars: Battlefront II.

First Reformed

Ethan Hawke continues to make the press rounds to talk about the movie, which keeps getting positive reviews and buzz.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

All of you jackweeds who have hijacked Star Wars fandom to disseminate your backwards-thinking, anti-women, regressive worldview and mindset: Please get off my franchise. There is no place here for you and never was. Leave. Now.

Ocean’s 8

More from Anne Hathaway and others in the cast here about how they hope the movie will help burst the myth that female-led movies are question marks theatrically.

Another quick profile of breakout star Awkwafina here. And Helena Bonham Carter is finally getting some attention with a profile where she talks about how fun it was to work on a light caper movie.

Hearts Beat Loud

Nick Offerman has done a bit of press in the last few days to promote the movie, which is nice to see.


Jeez, even Annabelle Wallis has been forced to talk about Jeremy Renner’s broken arms during her portion of the publicity cycle. Hamm and Helms have also done a bit more publicity.

A clip from the movie was played in an episode of Machinima’s “Inside Gaming” to try and reach that crowd.

Nice profile of co-star Jake Johnson here at GQ. And there’s more from Hannibal Buress as well as an interview with the comedian.

A Kid Like Jake

Claire Danes has continued to do press for the film and talk about the issues raised in the story.

Avengers: Infinity War

Viacom offers details on a creative execution involving Comedy Central’s show with Jordan Klepper.

The Incredibles 2

Good story here about how Pixar got the band back together for the sequel after over a decade.


Apparently star Trevor Jackson initially rejected as the lead because it was felt he was too young. More about how he got involved in the movie here.

The Kissing Booth

I know I didn’t give this movie a full campaign review, but that’s largely because it didn’t get a full campaign from Netflix. That’s too bad since it seems like the story’s origins on story-sharing website Wattpad seems like it would have been a decent hook for the press.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Picking Up the Spare – Solo, Black Panther

Solo: A Star Wars Story

A substantial profile of Harrelson here that touches on why he decided to get involved in a big movie like this and how it fits into his overall career.

Screenwriters Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan talk about working together and how they wanted to stay true to what audiences knew about the title character while also adding new elements to his background.

There’s a lot of Solo-related content coming to various Star Wars video games.

Black Panther

Angela Bassett spoke about working on the movie and what it meant to her as part of THR’s Actress’ Roundtable conversation.

The movie took home the top prize at the recent Golden Trailer Awards.

A Kid Like Jake

Jim Parsons spoke more here about the gender identity issues and other elements of the story. And Claire Danes hit the late-night talk show circuit to talk about the movie.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.

A Kid Like Jake – Marketing Recap

a kid like jake posterParents Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg (Jim Parsons) are just trying to do right by their son Jake (Leo James Davis) in the new movie A Kid Like Jake. The kid is just four years old but has for a while now shown more of an interest in princess movies and frilly dresses than anything else, interests they’ve indulged without concern because kids are going to be kids.

As they prepare to send him to school, though, the fact that he’s not like other young boys is about to become an issue in some way. There are some who think this isn’t just a phase he’ll eventually grow out of and may be a sign of, to use the modern parlance, gender nonconformity. Alex and Greg struggle with the responsibility of making a decision for their son that could impact his life.

The Posters

Jake’s parents are getting him ready for school or some other sort of event or outing, which in this case includes making sure his jacket fits over the dress he’s wearing. They both look happy and supportive, as do the smiling faces at the bottom of the poster. Basically this is meant to present the story’s premise and set the audience up for what they can expect, which is unconventional in many regards.

The Trailers

The dominant theme of the trailer is not just Jake’s propensity for dressing in princess dresses and skirts but also the struggle Alex and Greg are undertaking in wanting to support their child but not make a mistake in one direction or another. They’ve been dealing with this for a while but now that Jake is entering school it’s all coming to a head as they want him to be himself but also don’t want him to be singled out but also don’t want to make decisions for him at such a young age that can’t be undone later on.

It’s an interesting trailer and one that certainly is meant to position the film as one that wants to participate in and spark discussions about gender identities as well as parental choices and the pressures that come with both.

Online and Social

Just the basic information about the cast and crew along with a synopsis and the trailer on the single page on IFC Films’ website. There were Facebook and Twitter profiles IFC set up to share promotions and other material.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’m aware of, though having visited the website I’m guessing I might see some retargeted ads in the near future.

Media and Publicity

The movie debuted at Sundance, though it didn’t receive a ton of critical buzz. Still, it was acquired by IFC Films shortly after the festival wrapped.

At the movie’s premiere the stars talked about what attracted them to the story and how they hoped to bring a sensitive conversation-starter free of moral judgments to audiences. Parsons hit some of those same points, along with what hesitations about the subject matter he worked to overcome, in a feature interview of his own.

Danes also did a few interviews like this one where she talked about why she got involved in the film and how the subject matter was much different than some of her other recent projects.


IFC has certainly done what it could to position the movie as being timely and relevant as well as respectful of the people for whom this really hits home. Parsons emerged as the biggest public face in the publicity campaign, which makes a certain amount of sense. All put together it’s a good campaign that may find some success with a niche audience not necessarily because of the subject matter but just because of the release pattern.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.


Jim Parsons spoke more here about the gender identity issues and other elements of the story. And Claire Danes hit the late-night talk show circuit to talk about the movie.
Claire Danes has continued to do press for the film and talk about the issues raised in the story.