Ever wonder who all those people are flying out of Van Nuys Airport on private aircraft? Per Geoff Boucher‘s rip-roaring LA Times article, one recent such take-off was winging Jon Favreau and his Cowboys & Aliens producer Ron Howard down to Austin, Texas for a critical rough footage preview of the Universal Pictures summer release at an Alamo Drafthouse event organized by Harry Knowles.
The beauty of the piece is the way it contrasts Favreau’s deft management of the new rules of “early fan engagement” with Howard’s clear admission that dealing with Twitter, Facebook and blog buzz is still a relatively new and scary process. Explains Howard:
“There’s a conversation now with fans and it starts a long time before the movie is even finished. The frightening thing for me is if somehow the wrong story gets out there and your film is misunderstood in some way… you need to shape the message, really. But Jon is the expert at this stuff.”
He sure is. Favreau works the Butt-Numb-a-Thon crowd like a pro and elicits the best piece of feedback he could possibly have hoped for, a screamed out, “You made Harrison Ford kick ass again!” On the return flight to Van Nuys, Boucher notes that the first order of business for Favreau upon landing is checking into Twitter and reports on websites such as HitFix.com.
And to think that once upon an Old West media time, it was what Hollywood trade movie reviewers said that mattered most to a big studio film like Cowboys & Aliens.