A few days ago I was called into a development meeting at Gestation with Arnold and George, the executive in charge of distribution. The long and short of it was this; they were cutting the advertising campaign from $350,000 to $675.84. To assuage my fears that this might have some effect on the way the film was going to be marketed George explained this new idea he’d had while surfing the net one night as he was watching a movie, checking his email, playing online poker and downloading the new Bon Jovi cd from iTunes.
He wanted me to come up with a series of skits using the main actors from the film which we would then leak to websites like YouTube and MeToobe. Gestation would provide the video cameras and crew and I could do whatever I wanted just as long as it generated real, measurable buzz on the web. You can actually view this meeting because George had his nephew there with a video camera.
So, to keep my sanity and to keep from committing suicide or homicide I enlisted the aid of young video filmmaker and web activist Chioke Nassor. Together we sketched out a series of ideas. The first one was with Steve Buscemi. I suggested we do something where Steve and I get into a fight and I accuse him of doing more press for his film Interview than for Delirious. Steve was into the plan and as a matter of fact it was his idea for what came to be the actual set up. He was doing a long press day in a hotel room full of journalists in NY. He said, “Why don’t you just come by and we’ll see what happens?”
Nothing was rehearsed. The basic idea was agreed upon between Steve and me and Chioke was there with the camera. You can view the result HERE. The original intent was to leak it as if it was real. Most people responded that it was funny though many told me they were deeply saddened to see my relationship with Steve so seriously deteriorated.
We had such a good time–it made me able to take less and less of the Prozac/Thorzine booster my shrink had recently prescribed–that we plunged ahead and did one with Gina Gershon. The idea that Chioke and I sketched out was that I was to bring Gina to a hotel room with her under the impression she was going to do a very personal, intimate video portrait about her career and about Delirious. Chioke directed, cast, prop mastered and edited the whole thing. Again, we did not rehearse. There was no written dialogue. We simply turned on the cameras and did 6 complete takes in quick succession.
This is what resulted.
There is method to the madness. And madness to the method. The point of the endeavor is to show the absolute desperation and hysteria that goes into promoting a film. But beyond that, what goes into promoting a career, a personality—a life. It may be extreme but it is not far from the truth: Everything is promotable. Anything is valid if it brings attention.
Chioke and I are going to do a couple more if I survive this trip to LA. If you like the clips drop a comment on me. You could really help too by passing on the links to fellow inmates, reform school residents and filmgoers.