The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Marketing Recap

cameron post posterThe first of two high-profile movies coming out this year about gay conversion camps, The Miseducation of Cameron Post stars Chloe Grace-Moretz as Cameron, a young woman sent to one such camp in 1993 by super-conservative fundamentalists. They’re convinced her attraction to other girls is a deviant sickness to be cured.

While there, Cameron meets the other teens who have been sent away for various reasons and transgressions. They bond and are determined to help each other through this terrible ordeal, each convinced they’re not sick and in no need of a cure. The story is based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth.

The Posters

Moretz is shown in extreme, softly-lit close-up on the poster, the orange-yellow of her face and hair contrasting with her greenish scarf. The movie’s Sundance credentials are on display and overall this looks like a character-driven drama.

The Trailers

Cameron is being pressured to join the God’s Promise group as the trailer opens, one we soon see is a gay conversion camp meant to repress and redirect sinful urges. Neither she nor any of the other kids want to be there and so act out in the way kids that age do, including considering running away from the camp. There are a few shots of Cameron’s past, which lead her parents to send her away, but mostly this is about establishing her circumstances for the audience.

Online and Social

There’s not a whole lot happening on the official site from FilmRise, just some basic information, a few stills and other tidbits along with the ability to buy tickets if the movie happens to be playing near you.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve seen on the paid front. The studio did partner with GLAAD on a campaign exposing the dangers of conversion camps.

Media and Publicity

The movie debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize while also picking up some very good buzz and word of mouth before going on to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival. It took a while after Sundance but eventually FilmRise picked up distribution rights. The delay was seen as being because despite its awards win it was still going to be a difficult movie to sell to audiences.

There doesn’t appear to have been a substantial press push in recent weeks, which is a little surprising, especially since we’re between major releases at the moment. Danforth was interviewed about seeing her book become a film, but that’s all I’ve seen. Moretz did a few media interviews here and there but nothing big.

Overall

Again, I feel like there was a chance for the movie to launch a bigger campaign but it never really got off the ground. It’s not that the campaign was bad, it’s just that the Sundance momentum was largely squandered with the marketing didn’t really kick off until early July, less than a month before scheduled release. That means it’s had to work hard in that time to get any buzz going and I’m afraid it’s going to amount to too little too late.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

Chloe Grace-Moretz goes all [fire emoji] on the idea of gay conversion therapy and talks about the recent moments that have dramatically changed her thinking on the idea. She also unloads on the studio mentality that marginalizes female actors and characters as well as her belief stories should be told by the kind of people portrayed in the story, highlighting the difference in reaction to this movie by a queer woman and the upcoming Boy Erased, which tells a similar story but is directed by a straight man.

A number of media outlets have been rerunning interviews they did from the movie’s festival appearances, while Chloe Grace-Moretz made a few additional media appearances like this stop at “Colbert.”

Director Desiree Akhavan has also gotten a bit of press, including this interview where she talks about her festival experiences and why it is she hasn’t yet had the same mainstream success some of her contemporaries have.

More from Moretz about how the 2016 presidential election made the story even more important to tell. She was also interviewed about what production and filming were like.

Dayveon – Marketing Recap

The new movie Dayveon stars Devin Blackmon in the title role as a 13-year-old young man in Arkansas. He’s just seen his older brother be killed and is aimless and restless. Despite the efforts of some around him, including his sister’s boyfriend, to support him, Dayveon falls under the influence of a local gang. Only there does he find the kind of understanding he’s been looking for.

The Posters

As far as I’ve been able to find there’s been no poster created for the movie, which is too bad.

The Trailers

We meet Dayveon as we hear someone informing him his brother has been shot as the trailer opens. We see there’s one guy who wants to help him through this and take him under his wing but Dayveon is drawn into the brotherhood that’s available in the game. That causes tension in the family, of course, and puts Dayveon in the position of having to act tougher and meaner than he really is. The rest of the trailer plays out the contrast between the two influences in his life but it’s clear he’s motivated by his brother’s death, rightly or wrongly.

There’s a lot of powerful stuff here. Coming at this from the perspective of a father, it’s hard not to see Dayveon is torn and want to protect him and help him make better choices. While those better choices might be what’s “right” it’s clear writer/director Amman Abbasi is more interested in presenting some reality and not create an uplifting story arc. At least that’s what the trailer conveys.

Online and Social

The movie’s online presence is pretty limited. There’s just a page on the FilmRise website that has the trailer and some basic information about the plot and release schedule. And there’s a Facebook page that has shared some of the stories that have come out of festival screenings and the trailer.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing here.

Media and Publicity

The movie had its premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it accumulated decent buzz and where Abbasi was picked as one of the young filmmakers poised to break out of the festival. FilmRise picked it up shortly thereafter.

Unfortunately that was about it. The release of the trailer is the only other pop in press coverage for the movie.

Overall

I’ll be honest, I’ve gone back and forth over whether to cover this movie’s marketing. The lack of major press or buzz and and the fact that the campaign never seemed to actually launch has given me pause.

Ultimately I felt this is just the kind of movie that needs an extra little nudge. It seems important and one that could create an important conversation. I also feel like it’s good to support new voices in cinema.

Based on the trailer I almost get the sense that Dayveon could be along the lines of Winter’s Bone, a story about a young person on the fringes of society who’s doing what he needs to do to survive and get along in the world. The marketing may not be huge, but it’s compelling.

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