Daniella Zuccheri SiLA Spring 2013
Film Title: “Sullivan’s Travels” Genre: Dramedy
Anticipated Rating: PG-13 Primary Target Audience: Adults 25+
Secondary Target Audience: Women 18-25 Tertiary Target Audience: Men 18-25
Release Date: April 18, 2014
Release Pattern: Large Release Top Fifteen Markets Prints and Advertising Budget: 60 million
“Sullivan’s Travels” is the story of a successful Hollywood director who decides that rather than do more generic films, he wants to branch out into the world, really experience the downsides of life, and then come back and direct a film about the things that occurred during his sabbatical. Along his journey, he meets a girl who decides to come along for the ride. They managed to get themselves turned around several times and end up in some unpleasant situations. Together they learn that even the dimmest expectations can be sorely disappointed.
This time around, the film will be set in modern times, and the character of
Sullivan will desire to direct a period movie that requires him to live as a
hobo from the 1950s—his version of ‘method directing’, if you will. As an
adaptation of an older film, the appeal
to see a remake of an original black-andwhite will draw in a large amount of the older crowd, both male and female, in
order to see a classic reawakened and brought back to life. The movie will highlight the seriousness of the
situation, and the fact that people do still live like that, even in this country and
time, but it will also focus greatly on the comedic aspects of the overall journey the characters take.
New Director Choice
David O’Russell will be directing this remake. He is currently well viewed in the public eye, so many people will be interested in seeing his ability to direct a successful remake of a classic film. He has had the opportunity in career to direct both serious and comedy his films, such as The Fighter and I Heart Huckabees. Since the main goal of this remake is to embrace both the serious thematic parts of the storyline as well as affecting a witty amusement from the comedic situations, David has the experience and skill to blend and mesh drama and comedy together into a masterpiece, shown perfectly in Silver Linings Playbook. He will bring a level of wit to the project that I think other directors lack.
The re-casting will play a key role in drawing attention and creating buzz, and this
will be particularly important due to a key change being the gender of the Veronica Lake character shifting to male. Due to the relative lack of romance in the original movie, casting “The Guy” instead of “The Girl” will give the adaptation a stronger sense of camaraderie (leaning towards older/kid brother relationship) rather than potential romance, though no doubt there will be people who see it that way
regardless. While the gender change may not seem like too big a decision, it will be that extra something that defines the new film and sets it apart from its inspiration. Of course, there is always the traditional fear people have that remakes aren’t
successful enough to be worth seeing so the film’s success will rely quite a bit on
the already established respect movie-goers have for the chosen actors, as well as the original story.
Robert Downey Jr. as John Lloyd Sullivan
The character of John Lloyd Sullivan, originally performed by Joel McCrea, will now be played by Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr. has an
incredible rapport with audiences of all ages and genders. In the past few years, he has primarily played the parts of iconic characters such as Iron Man or Sherlock Holmes, and thanks to the astounding popularity this gained him, his presence in the cast brings an already established fan base to the table,
and one with a wide reach at that. He is one of the few actors of the present
that can be said to dominate all demographics, attracting both young and old, female and male. He possesses the acting ability to play a character that has
many facets, both serious and comedic, which is ideally what this film will aim to do.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as The Guy
Veronica Lake’s original character of “The Girl” will now be transformed into “The Guy” and performed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The purpose of the gender change is draw out more of the camaraderie in the relationship between “The
Guy” character and Sullivan. I believe in the original, having a female in the role
placed too much expectation on the possibility of a resulting romance at the end of the film, while casting the character as male will give the opportunity to truly bring out the friendship that builds from traveling and sharing experiences together, without the overarching anticipation that something will occur between a pair. While Joseph is in his early thirties, his character will be
considered to be mid to late twenties, a look he is more than capable of pulling off. With this age difference, the film will demonstrate the quality of a
relationship one might see between two brothers with a larger age difference. JGL is an enormous hit with younger adults, particularly women, so his casting will help to attract the both the Women and Men 25 and under demographics.
The movie holds appeal on several levels, many of which overlap and support each other: Capability: Remake of a classic film, all-star lead actors Playability: Fun story, popular cast, unique adaptation Marketability: Remake of a classic film, well-known cast, relatively broad concept, major competition on opening weekend no Buzzability: Well-known cast, unique adaptation
Thanks to our brilliant cast and concept, we are able to class this movie as a fourquadrant film. In rough order of who we will target mainly: Primary: Adults 25 and Up Secondary: Women 25 and Under Tertiary: Men 25 and Under With chance to see a remake, the primary target audience will be Adults 25 and
over. The lure of the talent and classic story will be what brings in the secondary
target, Women 25 and Under. The appeal of the talent and possibility for comedy is what will attract Men 25 and Under. Due to the more mature ideology behind some of the film, the 25 and Under categories will be clarified as 18-25.
Our proposed release date will be April 18, 2014. This lands roughly some time in the middle of college and secondary school spring breaks, and will give plenty of opportunity to all of our demographics to come out to see the film. Also by releasing in the springtime, we eliminate the worry of having to compete with the summer tent-pole movies. Sullivan’s Travels will be the only major film appearing in theaters for the April 18th opening weekend. We have given ourselves a two-week buffer to either side of our release to account for two major films being released within the same general time frame. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be released April 4th, and then the following month on May 2nd is the release date for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Both of these also run as four-quadrant movies and will be our biggest competition within this time. However, with our incredible cast and already established storyline, we can absolutely stand alongside them. Our Positioning Statement As a remake of a classic movie with a cast that holds such a broad appeal to the masses, we
will be able to target all four quadrants during our campaign.
Sullivan’s Travels will be a large release out to the Top Fifteen Markets in the United States. Chicago/NY/LA: 350 locals each
Boston/Philly/San Fran: 250 locals each Seattle/Atlanta/Dallas/Minneapolis: 175 locals each
Miami/Columbus/Cincinnati/Denver/ Phoenix: 100 locals each 3000 total locations
be shown in June 2013 preferably Will Two full theatrical trailers will be during The Internship, This is The End, released into theaters starting and The Heat. The teaser will be 20 November with release of The Hunger seconds, consisting of a single scene of Games: Catching Fire. December will RDJ and JGL sitting on the edge of an play in Monuments Men, Anchorman: open boxcar as the train moves through The Legend Continues, and Jack Ryan. January will play in Ten. February and the desert. Mid-scene, JGL will comment on the beauty of it. Towards March still TBD. Trailers will have clips the very end of it, JGL will wonder of some action-drama parts, some comedy, and the scene that gives the where they are (“So where are we exactly?”) and RDJ will have no idea. basic premise of the film. Each trailer Then the screen flashes to blue sky and will focus on one of the characters in particular. Trailers will be edited for clouds and copy will announce “SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS APRIL 2014”. sound bytes to play over certain scenes. 30-Second Spots: Three different trailers. First one will incorporate the Drama-Action scenes. Second trailer will incorporate the comedy scenes. Highlights both actors at the time in each version. Both trailers will be placed online (movie website and YouTube) same a week before airing on TV. For third trailer, see Promotional Partner Amtrak. 15-Second Spots: Promotes the Dramedy genre of the film. Two different trailers, one highlights Robert Downey Jr., the other highlights Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 10-Second Spots: One version only. Promotes release date of film.
TV Spots: 30, 15, 10 seconds
For our campaign, we settled on the following tagline: This embodies the entire nature of the film, and how despite going in with pre conceived notions of what they would experience, they ended up with an education they had never imagined. We went with an older train motif, since it is Sullivan’s Travels, after all. We chose images of RDJ and JGL standing on the edges of an open boxcar as they’re traveling. We decided to utilize altered versions of our movie poster for billboards and bus stop ads, and we also created a special train wrap as part of our promotional agreement with Amtrak.
An Experience They Never Saw Coming
First of 30-second commercials will run twice a week during Primetime on CBS, NBC, ABC during the first half of February. Amtrak Promo commercial will air once a and week starting second half of February and continue through the first week of March during Primetime on NBC and Travel Channel. First and Second spots will alternate play three times a week during Primetime on channels CBS, NBC, ABC, and CW and for the month of March. 15-second commercials will alternately run three times a week during Primetime Both on channels CBS, NBC, ABC, and CW in April all the way up to week prior to the premiere. The 10-second commercial will run once in Daytime and once in Primetime twice on channels CBS, NBC, and ABC for one week running up to and then following the premiere on April 18th. Train wraps to be placed on Amtrak Twitter/Instagram: Full control by trains running out of NY, Chicago, LA, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He will be the Sacramento, and Boston (biggest perfect figurehead to get our younger Amtrak hubs in the country) demographics involved and talking about the movie. Billboards surrounding all market cities Facebook: Campaign for Facebook will Bus Stop Ads in top ten market cities begin towards end of production and will contain behind-the-scenes photos not available on movie website or Instagram. Movie website with cast and major YouTube: Will have sneak previews of crew bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and video gallery. trailers one week prior to TV airing.
We will be submitting our film to three festivals, two in 2013 and one in 2014. For 2013, it will be Cannes and TIFF. For 2014, it will be Sundance. Some of our future promotions rely on being accepted to the festivals, but we are confident that our film will among those lucky few that are chosen. appearance by Possible Gordon-‐Levitt Joseph Possible appearance by Robert Downey Jr. Advanced screenings will be held for We intend to hold our Red Carpet two weeks at the end of September and Premiere on April 16, the Wednesday beginning of October to assist in the prior to the selected opening creation of the full theatrical trailers. weekend. It will preferably take place The showings will be free, four days per on Hollywood Blvd. at Grauman’s Chinese Theater. week, twice a day, and a questionnaire will be given out at the end. Following Sundance in January, there be promotional screenings twice will (Tuesdays and Thursdays) every other week for eight weeks.
Aside from the obvious traveling
qualities that led to our decision to
theme, Amtrak has several great
partner with them. In the span of a
single day, Amtrak services roughly 82,000 passengers domestically with more
than 300 trains, and more than 30 million people per year. What this means for us
is a great place for promotion and advertising. We will be pushing for the cover of
Arrive, one of the publications offered during their trips. We will also utilize the passenger cars to do train wraps, similar to bus wraps often seen in cities.
Amtrak has generously agreed to sponsor all travel accommodations during and after production, actor traveling if ideal, as well as travel for the winner of the trailer contest (to be discussed later).
In exchange for their sponsorship, they will be listed in the movie credits, as well as have their logo appear in a commercial created specifically for them.
The 30-second spot will show the scene from the film where RDJ and
JGL are running after a train trying to get on. They will finally make it on the train and they’ll both flop back
exhausted. JGL will look over to RDJ and say his line, “There’s a better
way to travel, you know.” Amtrak logo and name will pop up as he’s
saying this in the bottom corner. This will take place during the months of February and March as was laid out in media.
Immediately following Toronto Film Fest, specified clips from the movie will be released online in a bundle, and a trailer contest will be announced. Participants have to create a 20 to 30-second movie trailer from the clips and their own creative copy. These will be posted to the movie website between the months of September and November (filtered for content and quality prior to posting). The contest deadline will be Thanksgiving, when the full theatrical trailers come out. People are allowed to vote for their favorites up until a week after the contest ends and the winners will be decided upon from the Top 20 by the producers, director, and actors of the movie. The winner will receive two tickets to the movie premiere in April, transportation via Amtrak provided, and have their commercial showcased prior to the premiere screening. the event that we are accepted to Sundance, the five runner-ups will each receive In two tickets to attend the Sundance Film Festival and to have their commercials showcased there before the movie screening. They will have to provide their own transportation to the festival. Top 20 will remain on the website.
Talk Show Appearances: • Jimmy Fallon at end of August, prior to Toronto Film Fest, where JGL will possibly make an appearance • Jimmy Kimmel in mid-March Magazine Covers: • People in August • Rolling Stone in December Talk Show Appearances: Leno two weeks prior to release of movie • Jay • Ellen DeGeneres one week prior to release of movie Magazine Covers: • Arrive in March, to support the Amtrak partnership • Hollywood Reporter in September, week after TIFF • Entertainment Weekly end of February
Robert Downey Jr. Talk Show Appearances: •
Conan O’Brien at end of December, prior to Sundance, where RDJ will possibly make an appearance
Chelsea Lately in mid-March
Magazine Covers: •
GQ in June
Vanity Fair in November
The junket will be held in
Los Angeles on March 28th
and 29th and it will be open to international press.
David O’Russell, Robert Downey Jr., Joseph
Gordon-Levitt, and the Senior Campaign Publicist will attend.
It’s gonna be quite the experience