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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

oh, for the love of Tim Berners-Lee…

You know what, dude? You can read our minds. We’re totally predictable. When you mention RedMist.org in your little Kick-Ass movie, you already know what 10 million geeks are going to do the minute they get home: They’re going to punch RedMist.org into a Web browser. (Hell, they might even do it right in the movie theater with their smartphones.)
And this is what they are going to find:

I do not understand this at all. How does anyone make a movie with the kind of geek appeal of Kick-Ass and include as an important plot point a Web site such as RedMist.org — it’s the virtual home Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character sets up when he takes on the superhero alter ego Red Mist — and then not have something utterly kick-ass related to your movie up at that domain?

At least they didn’t forget to register it: redmist.org is indeed owned by Kick Ass Productions. But why is there not, at a bare minimum, a redirect to one of the film’s official sites, either the U.K. version or the North American one? Why is there not, at a step above the bare minimum, some sort of silly interactive junk about the character Red Mist? (And please don’t say, “They’re just waiting for the film to open.” It’s been playing for two weeks in the U.K., and has already earned more than £7 million. That’s pretty big. That means something on the order of three quarters of a million people have paid to see it. It means that, I’m guessing, something on the order of half a million people have tried to access redmist.org. Half a million Web visitors is nothing to be throwing away.)

Does anybody realize what an astonishing marketing opportunity they’re missing out on here? How is it possible in the year 2010 that the moment a domain name is typed into the first draft of a screenplay there isn’t instantly some sort of something at that domain?

I’d call this a pet peeve of mine — that the makers of movies so often forget to take advantage of a previously fictional Web site they invented for their movies — because it happens all the time and it drives me bananas. But it’s more like it drives me crazy on behalf of the filmmakers rather than for myself. I don’t give a shit if there’s nothing at http://www.redmist.org/. But how can the filmmakers not give a shit?

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