Best and Worst Publicity Ideas of Sundance (As of Saturday)
When you've got press credentials at the Sundance Film Festival, your e-mail in-box overflows with press releases, party invites, notifications of red carpet appearances, and lots more grease for the hype machine. And just a few days in, a few notably awesome and awful publicity gimmicks have stood out:
Best: The Shut Up, Little Man! press kit on a USB drive hidden inside a cassette tape. This documentary about the 1990's pre-Internet hipster-irony sensation -- audio cassettes of two elderly drunken roommates having legendarily vitriolic arguments -- celebrates the notion that what would be two-day YouTube sensation today used to go viral in a more analog way, via word of mouth, zines and hand-dubbed tapes. So this tchotchke isn't just cool-looking; it encapsulates one of the movie's big ideas.
Runner-Up: The fake BrownStar Insurance agency set up by Fox Searchlight on Main Street, tying in with the Ed Helms film Cedar Rapids.
Worst: Also from Fox Searchlight, alas: The studio sent out a press release saying that the cast of Win Win (the lovely and charming new comedy from Tom McCarthy) would be wearing Kenneth Cole Sundance vests to show support for the festival's volunteers, who are also wearing them. As signs of solidarity go, wearing a down vest doesn't exactly compare to, say, a hunger strike.