Digital Courtesy in a Digital Age.

Have a Jeffers day.

07/12/2009

I have seen a few things in my day. People have gone to great lengths in order to promote the things they are looking to promote (band, movie, product, etc.). People are always looking for a way to drum up attention to their project. Obviously these days, the biggest methods of promotion are on the Internet.

Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter are all no-brainer’s if you want to promote your project/brand/product. Even though I’m not surprised to see constant efforts to be noticed on these things, there is one instance I have to reflect on.

Tunt.

Tunt.

Last week, Misty (@mistybluecullen) and I went to the local Blockbuster Video retail outlet to borrow some movies from them. We didn’t know which movies to ask for, we just browsed the aisles. Long story short (I cannot go to a video store without ever spending less than 25 minutes browsing), we rented 3 movies. The three were are follows: “Away We Go”, “The Goods”, and an independent satirical comedy titled “Visioneers”. Given my aforementioned descriptions, I am sure it is obvious which of these films I am writing this blog about.

We watched the first two movies that night, I took “Visioneers” home to watch on my own. The film’s synopsis, as copied from it’s website is as follows:

“First time feature filmmaker Jared Drake makes his directorial debut with this quirky black comedy set in the near future, and concerning a curious spike in cases of spontaneous human combustion. The Jeffers Corporation is the largest business in the history of mankind, and they got that way thanks to their strict philosophy of happiness through mindless productivity. But when people begin literally exploding due to unhappiness, Jeffers Corporation Level Three TUNT George Washington Winsterhammerman (Zach Galifianakis) begins to fear that his time will come sooner rather than later.

George lives a comfortable yet completely uneventful life, and when he starts having dreams in which he’s the first President of the United States, his doctor informs him that they could be signs of impending explosion. Later, as the dreams become more frequent and his co-workers continue to detonate, George is prompted to reevaluate his mundane existence. Judy Greer, Missi Pyle, and James LeGros co-star in an existential black comedy featuring music by Tim DeLaughter of the Polyphonic Spree.
~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide”

I watched the movie at home and I will say, I rather enjoyed it. I admit that at times it struggled to keep my attention, though that was probably the fault of the blog I was most likely writing at the time. In either case, I watched it, and took a few quotes to mind.

When I had begun watching the movie, I made a tweet expressing this fact, which is generally expected whenever I do anything. I am one of THOSE tweeps. After a few minutes of watching the movie, I received an email. @Visioneers was now following me on twitter. I was not surprised, as most people trying to promote something have a robot under their employ. A robot which constantly checks to see when a keyword is tweeted, and begins to automatically follow them. I paid no mind to it, and went back to the movie.

After about a day of watching the movie, I tweeted one of my favourite quotes from the movie. “Give me productivity or give me death. @Visioneers”. Anyone who has been on my page in the last week will know that I tend to include any twitter users I know that may apply to things I say. I was just mentioning the movie, and naturally mentioned the known twitter account which applied. I posted the tweet and then went about my day.

The next day, while checking twitter for my 500th time (barely an exaggeration), I happened to notice a reply/mention. It was from @Visioneers, thanking myself (along with a few other users) for mentioning them. I’ve been thinking about this for about the half of a week since its happened. A small gesture, a very small one, but still a very (for lack of a better phrase) kind one.

It’s not very often you see somebody thanking you for appreciating their work. I mean, when singers win a Grammy, when people are on stage, they thank. They thank people so vaguely, it’s basically meaningless. And yes, there was most likely a twitter robot program at work that started following me. The thanking though, that was done by hand. Whether it was done by the creators of the film, or it was done by somebody hired to tweet on their behalf, there was genuine gratitude for being mentioned/promoted in some way.

There is something I think that people have forgotten, something that’s been lost in time. People are famous because WE make them famous. Movies make money because WE pay to see them. WE allow these people to gain a sense of entitlement and walk all over us in return. I’m not saying that we should boycott big budget movies, I am not even saying that people need to embrace the independent features/bands. All I am saying is to think about it, when was the last time somebody thanked you for your patronage?

I end this post in saying this; a little bit of courtesy goes a long way. I will be purchasing not one, but two copies of the film. One for myself, and one to give to someone for Christmas. Two copies of the film won’t do much for the people who made it, but I can do a little as well.

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