Last time I posted on my blog about a work project it was the faux torture we created in Seesmic to promote the release of UNTRACEABLE. I got a right ticking off from my mum next time I saw her, so I’ve since been reticent about posting anything work-related.
Dr Jan Light notwithstanding, I can’t resist posting an amalgam of stuff we’ve created for what looks like one of the movies of the summer. Such is my anticipation of IRON MAN that I declined the opportunity to attend a preview screening this morning, in order to be able to share the pleasure of watching it with Ems at Mile End Genesis once it’s out on general release.
Any self-respecting comic fan will tell you that Iron Man is simultaneously one of the coolest and one of the most complex superheroes. As a character he expresses a potent fusion of strength and speed, power and grace – made of iron, but powered by rocket fuel. His alter ego on the other hand, arms dealer Tony Stark, has traditionally been depicted as a symbol of human frailty as well as fortitude, through his battles with alcoholism and other personal difficulties. This being the case, Robert Downey Jr has always looked like an inspired bit of casting, and everything I'm hearing at the moment appears to confirm this. In fact, what I'm hearing is that it's just a GREAT movie, and that it should be right up there with the best of the Summer '08 blockbusters.
As far as our work on the campaign goes, there have been two principle strands; a widget, and a Second Life avatar. The widget is right here, and gives you an immediate opportunity to get a piece of the trailer:
In a few days this should automatically upgrade to the Mark 2 widget, currently going through the final approval process. This includes a bundle of movie content and a very cute little puzzle requiring you to assemble Iron Man’s electromagnetic battery in order to access some exclusive content we’ve created.
The avatar compliments this beautifully, being another way in which we’ve used social media to forge a stronger connection with fans. The avatar is currently being dispensed on PPC's Second Life island, Silverscreen, as part of a contest giving anyone the opportunity to win their share of L$125,000. That’s Linden Dollars by the way – the native currency of Second Life. It works out at about US $500.
Fans can enter the contest by creating a piece of jaw-dropping fan art, the only pre-requisite of which is that it must feature the avatar. What I love about it is creating an opportunity unique to this medium tapping into the relentless creative energy of typical Second Life residents, at a time when the hype bubble has undoubtedly burst and many of the early adopting corporate players have abandoned offices in virtual worlds shortly after their much vaunted arrival. I also love the fact that we got to create something that ROCKS this much.
We’re now working with the immensely affable Annie Ok, the ‘multimedia artist, video director and metaverse evangelist’ who has agreed to produce a machinima short showcasing the av. Annie is also bringing all sorts of extra value to the party on account of her many connections in this space, including the tantalising possibility of Iron Man writer Matt Fraction (currently working on the new Invincible Iron Man series) being on the contest’s judging panel.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve become very personally involved in some of the work we’ve done in Second Life over the last couple of years. It would have been difficult to avoid doing so, given that our promotions for 300, DIE HARD and TRANSFORMERS came virtually back-to-back and each required a fortnight of 18-hour working days to execute, punctuated by some moments of bewilderment and abject terror.
As is invariably the way, they are the projects that have truly defined my growth – and, I would suggest, the growth of our department – during that time. I like to think that PPC is now recognised as an agency ready to take on the challenges and realise the opportunities presented by social media, be it web 2.0 or web 3D, and that we’ve managed to become more relevant in the process. Insofar as that keeps things interesting and keeps me on my toes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.___
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