June 05, 2004
Indie Film 'September Tapes' upstages Recent Hollywood Efforts at Viral Marketing
Hollywood's efforts to recreate the viral marketing success of "The Blair Witch Project" have been lackluster at best. So it doesn't surprise me that an indie film company may have beat them to the punch. First Look Media, the company behind "The Prophecy" and "Waking Ned Devine," may have a word-of-mouth and internet-driven hit with their upcoming film "September Tapes."
The film, apparently a blend of fact and fiction, chronicles the efforts and subsequent capture of a documentary director in Afghanistan. Fake or not, their recent viral email campaign released a clip that looks more real than network news footage. Think "Blair Witch meets Saving Private Ryan."
First Look has combined this footage with a cryptic, shadowy website (obviously done for peanuts) that really lends to the intrigue. It seems like a viral email regarding the site and a "leaked" film clip is spreading like wildfire, too. Even with a bit of research, I still can't figure out what's real, what's fake and if the director was ever actually kidnapped while filming in Afghanistan. First Look ain't making it any easier, either. According to this article, First Look's keeping mum about the whole campaign. Here's their "official line" regarding the film:
"September Tapes" provides a rare and controversial look behind the scenes of war-torn Afghanistan, where documentary filmmaker Don Larson traveled to the troubled country six months after 9/11 and followed a bounty hunter on the trail of Osama bin Laden. Much of the film’s footage was held by the U.S. Department of Defense after Larson went missing in Afghanistan. It is the first non-Afghani film shot in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, and it is also the first feature shot in an active war zone."
If the rest of the film looks as good as the trailer, we might have a sleeper hit on our hands in August.
nbc13.com - Entertainment - Mysterious War Footage May Be Part Of Movie Campaign