An interesting aspect is that these days Superbowl commercials are screened before the actual game, which tells you quite a lot about how advertising has changed over the years.
It has already prompted cries of sell out (just check out some of the YouTube comments) but at least the agency responsible crafted something for genuine fans of the film.
See if you can spot all the references to the original John Hughes movie, which was the 10th highest grossing film of 1986 (US gross was $70m on just a $5m production budget) and went on to become a huge audience favourite in the VHS era.
The most eerie aspect is how little Matthew Broderick seems to have aged since the original release.
If you scroll down to the first reader comment by a user named Spadaque, there is this astute reply which hints at the film’s enduring appeal to all audiences:
I’m a 28 year old Haitian immigrant in New York. I came to America when I was about 4 or 5 years old. “Ferris Buellers Day Of”‘ came out when I was 3, my first time seeing it was many years later as part of a Saturday movie matinee that played on a local channel in Queens. We didn’t have cable and we didn’t go to the movies (It was really the only way my brothers and I got to see any movies) and we certainly didn’t own any Ferrari’s, unless my stepfathers taxi qualifies?. To say we weren’t privileged would be an understatement akin to saying BP had a “little” leak in the gulf. But watching “FBDO” for the first time as a 12 year old boy I instantly fell in love with it. To me, the movie was a fantasy. Ferris was well liked, cunning, mischievous, popular, and smart; all the things an often bullied immigrant kid with a super strict mother wanted to be. I even adored the awkward musical number in the middle; it made me happy. Yet, even back then I knew there was no way I could ever be Ferris or do the things Ferris did. I wouldn’t have a dummy fool my parents into thinking I was sick and in bed, I wouldn’t ride on a float in Chicago singing “Shake it up baby”, and I wouldn’t crash my best friends parents Ferrari. Ferris is a character that could never exist in real life and in hindsight there should have been more, ahem, color in the movie. But that was 25 years ago. Seeing black and Hispanic people portrayed as thieves or poor gangsters is not a crime exclusive to that movie. To this little black, poor Haitian boy “Ferris Buellers Day Off” wasn’t about all that, it was about being a teenager from the land of fantasy and having the most fantastically perfect day of your life. That is why I’ll never get over it.
As part of the viral campaign for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Sony have released an ingenious recreation of a 1990s TV show.
It has never ceased to amaze me how badly big budget movies have traditionally executed on screen news graphics (e.g. that ‘news report’ during climax of Spiderman 3).
But David Fincher isn’t the kind of director to allow sloppy visuals into his movies.
Even if he just oversaw it, his noted perfectionism and knowledge of various video formats may have influenced the final result, due to his extensive work in commercials and music videos since the 1980s.
So perhaps that was why this fantastic recreation of Hard Copy appeared on YouTube recently:
Those who have read the book, or seen the Swedish film, will note how events from the plot are woven into the news segment.
But check out the audio and visual fidelity to the original show.
It appears the look they were going for was a VHS copy recorded to TV, transferred to a computer and then uploaded to YouTube – note the tracking lines and period commercials.
Digital editing programs now it easier to recreate this older look but it is still an impressive feat, along with some (possible) Easter eggs for the eagle-eyed.
If you want to compare it with the actual show, check out this actual clip from September 1989:
If you don’t remember it, Hard Copy was a US tabloid news show that ran from 1989 to 1999.
Like a sleazy tabloid cousin of 60 Minutes, it wasn’t afraid of sneaky tactics and attracted controversy due its airing of violent material.
In short, a perfect fit for the dark world of Steig Larsson‘s book.
Note that the channel is called Mouth Taped Shut, which is also the blog which has been hosting various production photos and viral tidbits.
A viral video of a dog chasing deer in Richmond Park has already prompted thousands of views and several mashups.
Captured on a smartphone last Sunday, it shows a tranquil scene being interrupted by a dog called Fenton chasing deer and his owner frantically screaming his name several times (“Fenton! Jesus Christ!”).
As I write this it has 751,358 views on YouTube, but how does an accidental video like this go viral?
Here are the points I would suggest:
The Nature of the Video: It captures a specific moment in time that would be almost impossible to restage. David Lean would love the shot of several deer sprinting across an autumnal park, whilst the natural comedy of his owner screaming his name is almost too perfect (note that it takes a second glance to really notice the dog). It climaxes with an almost eerie precision, as the fleeing deer run across the busy road in the park and force vehicles to stop as different elements collide at just the right moment. Some have speculated that it is a stunt, but if it is then it involves world-class CGI and a comedy brain that leaves many professionals trailing in the dust.
The Dog Factor: We all know cats rule the world of internet viral videos but a lot of people can relate to owning and walking a dog, especially the struggle to control it in a public space. Newspapers also traditional love animal stories as they provide light relief from all the doom and gloom on the front pages.
The Name Fenton: The first I heard about this video when I was reading the Twitter feed of the FT’s media correspondent Ben Fenton, who has been providing updates of the Leveson inquiry. He wondered why Danny Baker was mentioning his name over Twitter. In fact, Baker was referring to the dog Fenton and it was just a coincidence that a journalist shared his name. The fact that a lot of people initially misheard Fenton as ‘Benton’ only added to the mystery.
Influencers: For something to go truly viral you need sites like Reddit and Twitter users with large followings to give it a boost. When Fenton made the front page of Reddit and people like Stephen Fry (Twitter patron saint), Graham Linehan (comedy writer and massively influential Tweeter) and Jeremy Vine (Radio 2 presenter with a huge audience) linked to it, viral success was assured.
The National Media: When national newspapers – who obsess over Twitter for various reasons – picked it up, another level of awareness ensured more views. A Google News search shows you how it has played amongst different outlets.
Then of course are the are the mashups, which take the audio of the original and recut it to different films.
Made possible by cheaper video editing software and the instant distribution of YouTube, my favourites so far are Jurassic Park, Alien and – of course – Bambi.