Keeping in my ‘seeking out inspiration’ kick, I just registered for the Seed conference with Jason Fried, Jim Coudal, and Carlos Segura on October 29th.
I’m looking forward to it; I hope to learn a lot. I’m also really enjoying networking as of late. I’ve been astounded by the people I’ve been meeting lately, and it started with An Event Apart.
Coming out here to Chicago has been a huge opportunity for me. There is always something new and inspiring going on that fascinates me. So many opportunities to learn.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Wes Anderson’s Hotel Chevalier at the Apple Store. The screening was hosted by producer Roman Coppola. Afterward, Roman stuck around for Q&A. The crowd was excellent, and his rapport with them was phenomenal.
While filmmaking is not my field of choice, listening to Roman was very inspiring. He spoke about starting a project, from research to making compromises to achieve a vision. I’m really looking forward to The Darjeeling Limited.
It’s weird, but I spent years in New York, the “cultural center of the world,” and somehow, I missed opportunities like this. I think I’m just more in tune with the world around me today.
The site in question, Mr. Ellis, speculates that it may be tied to the movie release as viral marketing ARG (Alternate Reality Game, ala ‘The Hanso Foundation’ and the TV show Lost). If he’s right, it leaves much to be desired. Sure, the site makes mention of ‘Nova Express,’ a fictional magazine from the Watchmen story, and hawks the character’s ‘life-changing methods’; however, the links are nonfunctional, and even the mailing list box doesn’t work, it instead is a mailto link to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ The site design is weak at best; I would imagine if Warner Brothers were to be getting into the viral game, they’d put a little more effort into it. A quick look at the HTML code reveals the site to be based on a free template design credited to a ‘Joseph De Araujo.’ Lame.
Putting those things aside, the site still doesn’t make sense. For one, the Watchmen storyline takes place in an alternate reality, cold war era, 1985, a detail which is reportedly being retained for the movie. If that’s the case, a viral web ad campaign or ARG would be out of place. Especially seeing as how it’s not 1985 and the World Wide Web didn’t exist in it’s current form back then either.
The telltale, however, is this: on the bottom left of the page there is a login link that brings up the following:
Real ARGs are never this sloppy. Suddenly it all makes a lot more sense. Looking a little harder one finds that the site is actually hosted at theonering.net: a Lord of the Rings fansite. Turns out, this isn’t their first attempt either, they’ve also been publishing a blogger website entitled ‘Rorschach’s journal.‘ Some believe the guys at ‘The One Ring’ have been lobbying to try and get some deal with Warner Brothers to do viral marketing for the movie. My best guess is they hope to make another unofficial hub like theonering.net possibly based around Moore’s works or something. Since Lord of the Ring’s success they’ve sort of made a business out of movie fan sites apparently.
Conclusion: It’s nothing but a bunch of geeks having some unofficial web fun and a let-down for us other geeks looking for something fun to dig through while we get hyped up looking forward to the movie.
To date, the only official Watchmen teaser info can be found here. Go back to sleep Watchmen fans.