Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Variety Shows Us... That Business Is Business!

Not 12 hours after the tragic death of Mr. Ledger, Variety show us how the gears of commerce begin again to turn.

Sure, the poor man's dead. Sure he left a young daughter and stunned family and after the media's tactless accusations of suicide, it looks like it may have been accidental. Groups like TMZ and even Good Morning America are ready to swoop in and make all that reactionary and crocodile tear memorials that the public can eat up with our sociopathic appetites. All this in a few hours? What a way to mourn premature death.

Well Variety shows us what it all means and it all means CASH! From the article "Heath Ledger dead at 28 - Warner Bros., Focus react to tragedy" by Diane Garrett:

-In Gotham, a crowd of several hundred media members, looky-loos and bereft fans gathered late Tuesday afternoon outside the apartment building on Broome Street where Ledger’s body was found. The actor had been living in the Soho neighborhood since splitting last year with partner Michelle Williams.

Flashes from paparazzi and cell phone cameras lit up the building’s narrow fa├žade next to the Nanette Lepore clothing boutique next door. As a lone policeman guarded the entrance, several people stood on window ledges across the street to get a better view of Ledger’s body being wheeled out on a gurney.-

Are you kidding me? Gotham? Do you mean New York City? What kind of tasteless tongue and cheek writing is this? The kind that gets down to what really matters.. what will happen to the latest Batman movie. Oh don't worry folks, the movie is done! Phew! What a relief, that Bat-fans won't have to wait for rewrites and re-shoots! That would have been inconvenient, wouldn't it!

-Principal photography on “The Dark Knight” finished in the fall; as of Tuesday, the pic is still skedded for a July 18 bow.

The status of the pic’s marketing campaign, however, is uncertain. The first phase is built around the Joker and pics of his character are particularly ghoulish. Warner execs were still grappling with the news on Tuesday and had no comment on how they would proceed.-

Wow, they probably didn't expect the vultures to circle, only hours after the death asking heartless questions. Don't get me wrong, as I said in my last post I'm sure the execs are coldly talking about these issues in private, but they're not stupid or tactless enough to comment on it publicly, at least not until the poor man is remembered and eulogized.

-The “Dark Knight” rollout will present more than a few challenges en route to opening weekend. One poster shows the Joker character drawing a clown’s smile on a mirror with red lipstick and scrawling the words, “Why So Serious?” Tagline was also used to launch a Joker-centric website that the studio used to bow new photos from the pic and a viral scavenger hunt, among other games.

“The Joker character is dealing with chaos and life and death and a lot of dark themes,” one insider with knowledge of the campaign said. “Everyone is going to interpret every line out of his mouth in a different way now." -

Wow, we really are callus and sadly socipathic. If we are not bombarded with Heath Ledger memorials and "inside story" content from every morning show, talk show, punditry and cable news cycle for the next week to month, I'll eat my yarn hat. I'm so sorry that being a public figure now means the public doesn't give people's families any respect at all. What a tragedy this is, such potential. What a sad thing that we can't learn to just hang our heads and count to sixty before coldly looking through the man's wallet.

I hear the Westboro Baptist Church is now planning to picket his funeral because of his role in “Brokeback Mountain," which just adds to the spectacle and sadly, to the length of its potential airplay. The media will eat this up! I can only hope his funeral will be in his native Australia and that they have better ways of dealing with
Westboro Baptists if the dare to venture down under.

My most heartfelt respects to those concerned..

4 comments:

mccain-schwarzenegger08 said...

Thank you for writing this piece. You took the thoughts right out of my head.

Stuff Daddy said...

I figured some people still understood ethics, morality and tact, they just don't work in media very often. Not in powerful positions at least. I wrote some more on the post from Yesterday too, let me know what you think. By the way, are you JD? If you're not I have a friend you should talk to who is hoping for the exact same Republican ballot in November.

KellTrenzer said...

I had to find that article after I read this, not because I don't believe you, but because I had to see the thing for myself.

Stuff Daddy said...

Yes, pretty shocking how quickly they start talking about positioning the marketing.. at least that reporter. But let's not kid, it's Variety and Hollywood's a cold ass place.