Picking Up The Spare: Justice League, The Florida Project, Coco and More

Justice League

Warner Bros. worked with GIF platform Tenor (a Giphy competitor) on a sponsored Justice League GIF keyboard app takeover, offering exclusive GIFs from the film. That effort was promoted with a social media campaign as well.

justice league poster 31That Superman’s part in the story was now public knowledge also meant the release of a new poster and banner that included him in the team lineup. These used the same artwork as was previously released, just with Superman now filling in a conspicuous gap.

Slightly spoilerish, but here’s a list of scenes from the trailers that didn’t make it into the finished film. Also kind of tipping the hat is a picture shared by Joe Manganiello of him in full Deathstroke gear.

Cavill was finally allowed to speak for himself and talk about Superman’s role in the story, including how the character changed due to the events of Batman v Superman.

justice league gilette twitter adGillette continues to run social media ads for its movie-branded products, with a link to purchase those items at Walmart.

More details on the IMAX virtual reality experience that was offered in select cities here.

Much like Suicide Squad last year, reports are starting to emerge that studio micromanaging heavily influenced the final structure and tone of the film, something that’s been much-discussed by fanboys who believe there’s some magical, unadulterated “Snyder Cut” of the movie sitting in an archive somewhere.

The Florida Project

Another profile of director Sean Baker that presents him as a Hollywood outsider who’s eager to maintain that status and keep making his indie features.


Insights from writer/director Lee Unkrich and others here on how he and the rest of the Pixar team worked hard to make sure the movie was respectful of the culture being portrayed as possible. The same topic is covered here as well.

Actress Natalia Cordova-Buckley shared her thoughts on voicing the late real life artist Frida Kahlo and the experiences that led her to embrace such a challenge.

Lady Bird

Writer/director Greta Gerwig has continued making media appearances like this one to talk about the film and the satisfaction she felt by finally directing.

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Director Dan Gilroy and star Denzel Washington talked here about how the former wrote the part specifically for the latter and how Washington boarded the project, helping to shape the character as filming went on.


Another interview here with writer/director Maggie Betts on the inspiration for the story and how she tackled such sensitive material.

Beauty and the Beast

The movie is returning to theaters in what appears to be not only an attempt to reach holiday audiences but also remind awards season voters of the costume design and more.

Call Me By Your Name

Buzzfeed posted a hit-piece on star Armie Hammer, pegging him as an entitled white guy who gets multiple shots at stardom because of his position while others are quickly discarded after multiple misfires. Hammer reacted to the piece in what is a pretty appropriate manner.

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Director Martin McDonagh spoke here about how he found star Francis McDormand and worked with her to get the story’s tone right.

A new short TV spot hits some of the same beats as were seen in the main campaign but with the addition of plenty of positive critics quotes.

There have also been some new character posters released that show the three leads surrounded by positive quotes praising the movie.

Blade Runner 2049

Director Denis Villeneuve offers some time-enhanced thoughts on making the movie and developing the characters in this interview.

Beach Rats

Director Eliza Hittman talks about the view of masculinity and other topics taken in the film here.

The Disaster Artist

A couple new TV spots have been released by A24, one that shows the enthusiasm of Wiseau in making the movie and one that shows he refuses to accept the negativity of others.

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

Picking up the Spare: Sacred Deer, Wonderstruck and More

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

This profile of Colin Farrell frames the actors’ resurgence in the last 10 years to his embracing of small and quirky roles instead of the big-budget nonsense he was leaning toward pre-2006.


Another look here at the casting of Millicent Simmonds, the deaf girl who plays the lead in the movie and how she got to know her costars.

And here’s another profile of director Todd Haynes that focuses on how he took the turn into making a movie about and starring children.

The Meyerowitz Stories

While Stiller and Sandler dominated much of the pre-release press, co-star Elizabeth Marvel, who plays their sister in the movie, is finally getting a moment.

Only the Brave

Michael Phelps at the Chicago Tribune asks the same question I did about movies like this, which is whether audiences are interested in seeing stories that are too damn similar to those dominating the news cycle.


Writer/director Maggie Betts finally got an interview of her own where she talked about developing the story and avoiding certain topics that are too often the central focus of other movies. She also talked here about her long-standing obsession with nuns and how it influenced her and what it was like working on a female-dominated movie set.


Fandango’s MovieClips has offered up the movie’s opening scene as a way to try and reach the last few people who haven’t seen it.

The Florida Project

Another interview with the movie’s young star about how she got ready for such a demanding part and handled the insanity of production.

Picking Up the Spare: Marshall, Spider-Man: Homecoming and More


There’s a new poster that arranges the members of the cast in a courtroom. This is selling it as a straight procedural drama, free of any historical context.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

TV spots promoting the home video encourage the audience to make the movie part of a “family movie night,” emphasizing the all-ages nature of the story.

Transformers: The Last Knight

Caterpillar is running ads promoting a sweepstakes to win a custom industrial-strength toolbox.

The Dark Tower

The exact same approach used to sell the movie theaters is being used to sell it on home video if TV commercials like this are any indication. How’d that work out again?

The Florida Project

Another feature profile of director Sean Baker appeared on Wired where he talked about the freedom and constraints that came with having a much bigger budget than he did on his previous films.

Blade Runner 2049

The movie’s overt product placement has come under some criticism, which as this post points out, may actually be because of the organic, natural way brands were worked into the original movie.

Only the Brave

TheWrap has a feature on how the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots went from the pages of GQ to the big screen.

The Florida Project – Marketing Recap

Childhood adventure is at the core of the story in this week’s new release The Florida Project. Written and directed by Sean Baker (who made a splash with the highly-praised Tangerine), the movie focuses on Moonee (newcomer Brooklyn Prince) who lives with her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) in a low-rent motel just outside Disney World.

Moonee is a free spirit with a rich imagination who turns every day into an adventure. She’s constantly exploring the area, which is decidedly seedy despite the presence of so many glamorous tourist attractions. Sometimes those adventures involve Bobby (Willem Dafoe), the manager of the hotel. The lengths Halley goes to in order to support her daughter become increasingly dangerous, though, which could impact the innocent childhood Moonee enjoys.

The Posters

The first and only poster shows Moonee running through the parking lot of the hotel where she lives, living her best childhood life, it seems. A rainbow streaks through the sky behind her while copy reads “Find your kingdom,” a nice nod to the setting of the movie.

The Trailers

As the first trailer opens with Bobby lovingly scolding the kids for dripping ice cream inside the office of the Magic Castle motel. They leave complaining he’s no fun. From there we’re primarily following Moonee and her friends as they wander about from place to place on endless summer days. Bobby becomes concerned no one is looking after the girl when her mom Halley gets a new job. Things quickly return to Moonee and her childhood adventures, though.

It’s…well…it’s kind of amazing. There’s no shortage of movies that are about childhood in some manner, but this one seems to double down on the idea that we’re not only following the kid but seeing the adult world from her perspective. That’s unique, as is the Florida landscape that’s captured on film here, the one that’s meant to appeal to tourists but is filled with locals just trying to make things work.

Online and Social

The title treatment is the main element on the front page of the movie’s official website. Below that is a rotating series of quotes from early reviews praising the film. At the bottom are links to the movie’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles as well as a prompt to buy tickets.

Accessing the menu in the drop-down in the upper left the first section is “Story,” which offers a brief synopsis of the plot. “Trailer” is next and just has the one trailer. Finally (with the exception of another “Tickets” link) is “Acclaim,” which collects more positive quotes from critics, though it doesn’t link to the full reviews.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

There may have been some online advertising done, particularly in the first markets the movie is opening in, but I can’t confirm that. A24 did boost the trailer with some paid promoted posts on Twitter and Facebook. Nothing on TV that I know of.

Media and Publicity

A first look at the movie, specifically Dafoe’s character, came via IndieWire which also shared comments from Baker about why he shot in Florida again, some confusion surrounding the title and how he cast a good amount of the roles via social media or other unorthodox channels.

Things went dark for a while until Baker spoke more about the movie, both its story and his experience making it, as it was about to debut at Cannes, which resulted in very positive buzz among attendees. That buzz lead to it being acquired by A24. Much later it announced it would screen at the 2017 New York Film Festival. It also appeared at the Toronto Film Festival, where it continued accumulating positive word of mouth and reviews.

In the last few weeks both Dafoe and Baker have made the media rounds to talk about the movie, working together, what it’s like to shoot so close to the Happiest Place on Earth and more. Many of Dafoe’s interviews took unfortunate sidetracks into his work on the upcoming Aquaman movie, but that’s inevitable.


The strongest thing this movie has going for it is the word of mouth that’s come out of various festivals and screenings. The critics who have seen it have almost universally loved the film, praising Baker’s writing and directing as well as the acting work of Dafoe and especially Prince, who anchors the film as Moonee. If that buzz can break out of Film Twitter and into the mainstream, it could help this small film become a box-office success.

As for the campaign itself there’s a lot to like. The consistent use of the title treatment across media ensures a singular brand identity for the movie, no matter where people might encounter it. The variable is how widely those campaign elements have been spread and how many people have seen them. It’s a case where if they’ve seen the trailer and can be swayed by the critical praise, they’ll seek out the movie. Hopefully it hasn’t been buried by all the coverage awarded to bigger blockbusters.


That’s just one of the movies called out in this New York Times profile of studio A24, which also includes mention of Lady Bird, Moonlight and a handful of others.
Distributor A24 has pledged a percentage of the revenue from the movie’s home video release will go to a charity in Kissimmee, FL that supports families living in motels and other temporary housing like those in the film.