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Posts Tagged ‘Drake Doremus’

Does the North Pole Get 4G?

Last I checked, it’s still December, which means that we’re still going to be bombarded with Christmas ads. Out of the B-Reel camp, there’s a new “Direct Line to Santa” website to promote Verizon Fios that lets shoppers have customizable conversations with their favorite jolly obese man. When he asks what gift you’d like, it may be tempting to type in the dirtiest words you can think of, but then you realize it’s Verizon Fios and Santa doesn’t exist, so who’s the joke really on?

B-Reel houses a strong stable of talent—including Like Crazy director Drake Doremus—and most of their spots attempt to incorporate narrative and/or cool genre elements from features. Tom Malmros, who’s directed fresh commercials for Burger King and Toyota, created this Santa stuff with more of a paint-by-numbers approach.

The site is pretty stale due to some clunky A.I. and awkward pauses, but I did want to see Santa’s response to my wish list. When I asked for a basketball, he told he used to be a baller back in his younger days. I guess even fat guys can be superstars when playing against elves. However, when I asked him for the new Kendrick Lamar CD, he rambled about elves making computers. Not even close, Santa.

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Branded Film ‘The Beauty Inside’ Combines Star Power, Social Media


To promote the Ultrabook, Toshiba and Intel have partnered to create a new “social movie,” a film that blurs the lines between web series, traditional feature film, and social media-driven interaction.

“The Beauty Inside” is a movie about Alex, a guy who wakes up looking like a different person every day. Then he falls in love and it becomes a problem, because what girl is going to be down with a wrinkly old man one day and a beautiful, lithe woman the next? It’s a fitting plotline for a social movie, because it leaves space for real people to act as Alex.

To find those real people, Toshiba and Intel are hosting auditions on their Facebook page. From July 24 to September 13, aspiring actors can submit photos and videos for a chance to be in “The Beauty Inside.” As with anything social, more sharing and likes increases an actor’s chance of getting featured.

On August 16, Toshiba and Intel will show the first of six episodes on their Facebook page. The audience will be invited to share their input and encouraged to keep auditioning as the story unfolds.

This project seems like a solid combination of vital entertainment factors. “The Beauty Inside” features one familiar young celeb, one up-and-comer (Topher Grace and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, respectively), and will be directed by Drake Doremus, a man with Sundance clout. Viewers can easily get involved and have input in the plotline when they audition, and they’ll then spread the news to their friends and followers. This may be an elaborate creation for some simple product placement, but a branded movie with both star power and shareability seems likely to succeed.

Credits after the jump.

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