Thursday, September 21, 2006

MySpace Black Carpet Screening - Borat

Last night I managed to get into the London screening of the new Borat movie, about 2 months before the official opening, courtesy of MySpace.

This is how it works: You have to be a member of MySpace, and add both BlackCarpet and Borat as a friend, and then put them in your top eight friends. then print your profile page out to prove this, and go along to the cinema with this as your ticket. It's all first come, first served.

I'd expected a big queue, so I turned up about 15 mins before the doors were due to open at 8pm. They let me in straight away - and I'd estimate of the 300 seats in the cinema 200 were already taken.

I sat down and expected the film to begin a bit after eight, but no - the rumour then went round that it wouldn't start until nine.

What was good about it -

1 - The film is pretty good. Borat follows the Jerry Sadowitz model of 'offend everyone' rather than the usual model of 'pick on the minorities'. Most targets were hit, and it was very gag-heavy for the 80 minutes

2 - It was free, and there was a goodie bag

3 - On a professional level, Fox got a lot of good buzz out of it. MySpace users like to blog, and when I got in this morning there were >100 new blog posts about the film. & lots of people would recommend the film to their friends, increasing the word of mouth for when it does finally come out

What was bad about it -

1 - We had to surrender our mobile phones when we went in, as persumably scared of us bootlegging the film. On a Nokia 6310i? But... they didn't search my bag thoroughly, and they missed my digital camera in that. It was a pain getting the phone back at the end, and as they don't exactly body search people I'll just deny I have a phone next time

2 - There was too long a wait before the film. It's not a gig - making people wait for an hour (or more) doesn't increase the anticipation, it just makes you bored and fed up. If I'd seen the film 10 mins after I'd gone in I would have enjoyed it more. It would have been a 'very good', not a 'pretty good'

3 - The whole thing was a bit shambolic in other ways too. Too heavy security, long queues to get phones back, no trailers (huh?), no end credits... There are lots of negative comments on MySpace from users in the US who had to queue outside for hours with even more shaky organisation

But... if they sort out the negatives, it'll be great next time. The concept is great.

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