reading CHUD’s interview with Robert
Downey Jr.
, I was struck by Downey’s
insight on how the trailers for big time movies have become just as important
as the film itself, if not moreso. And I found myself immediately thinking
about 1-18-08/Cloverfield and the record time in which it went from
heavily-anticipate to “We’re tired of the hype already” within a few weeks of
the trailer’s premiere. You can attribute some of that to the accelerated buzz
cycle that is standard in these Internet-driven days of ours. But a lot of the
blame has to go to J.J. Abrams, who watched people get all excited about his trailer
and float over to another well-done viral marketing campaign’s website
(Remember Ethan Haas? No, seriously…pour out a little for the lil’ homie. ‘Pac would
want it that way). Meanwhile, back in AbramsLand, the official campaign
consisted of a headache-inducing Slusho site, an official site that offers
pointless, new movable (now flippable!) photos every Thursday or Friday, and a seriously dropped
ball of an appearance at this year’s Comic-Con that told us nothing new except
that there may not be much there

The worst
part of it has to be the obfuscation of the film’s actual title, which will
inevitably disappoint lots of people no matter what it is or when it is
eventually dropped. But that moment may have arrived sooner than anyone
thought. According to some sleuthwork from a poster at Unifiction that was highlighted on Slashfilm, a new trademark for “motion
picture, television, and music production and distribution services” has been
registered for the word Overnight by the good attorneys at Jackoway,
Tyerman, and Wertheimer, the firm that represents Abrams. The actual attorney
of record appears to be one Lori Boatwright, who was the person behind the
trademarking of “Slusho!” “Bad Robot” and other Abrams-related phrases. It
could very well be the actual title or it could be yet another element in the
online campaign being that Abrams has alluded to a number of “other” official sites
for the film that are as yet undiscovered. But either way, it appears likely
that we’ll be seeing more of that phrase in relation to the movie.

I not
only hope, but also pray that it’s the title (Well, that or Colossus. I’m not that choosy) so that we can take some small
step on getting past the marketing of the film and onward to the film itself.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to know every detail or facet of the film before
it arrives, and it’s indeed exciting that such a film managed to slip under our
collective radar until the teaser trailer dropped. But now that it’s here, let’s
title the thing already and lay off the quirky viral marketing unless it
actually leads somewhere. The latest photo on the film’s official site actually
goes backward in time to just after midnight on January 18, and I can’t help
but feel that the same goes for the entire campaign.