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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.                                  

The Original

The Remake

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 Recasting

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                      

Movie Abilities


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

Release Date

Competitive Positioning

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

Creative: A/V

          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.        

Teaser Trailers

Theatrical Trailers

TV Spots: 30, 15, 10 seconds

Creative: Print

    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

Train Wrap

Movie Poster

Media Breakdown

    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.  





Special Events

          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.




Promotional partnership

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.

Amtrak  Commercial

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.

Trailer Contest

        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      

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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

Both Actors

Press Junket

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                                                                                

Sullivan's Travels: A Remake  

A campaign for the remake of 1941 film, Sullivan's Travels, recast with Robert Downey Jr. and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, directed by David O'Russ...