© 2015 ellathompson


So, unfortunately I’m a little behind. I missed the first two weeks of lectures because I was shooting a film and I also had to go to Canberra. But no more distractions!

My doco group seems like a pretty fab bunch.

I’m not sure about the first title that was chosen: “The wolf, the crossroads and reaching grandma’s house”. From a marketing perspective, it’s a bit too long and also isn’t all that indicative of documentary as the topic of interest. It works well with the ‘journey’ theme though. On request of the steering committee, we’ve been brainstorming an alternative title. My thoughts are that this title needs to do three things: It needs to relate to the journey theme. It needs to indicate that the topic of interest for the seminar is documentary. And it needs to capture the audience’s interest / catch their eye / be witty or relatable or recognisable / give us a distinctive and exciting style to base our seminar on / be short. The best way to do this is to grab a recognisable film title, and throw in a trigger word for documentary (i.e. truth, discovery… documentary?) in a way that (hopefully) makes the title commendably witty. Recognisable titles (and images) hold marketing value because people notice them. If you’re walking past a poster, you’re not going to notice it for that split second time frame unless it is ridiculously well designed or it has something that you recognise on it in a that brief moment. Recognition is what causes people to react automatically and turn their head to view the poster that has caught their eye. This recognisable feature could be, for example, a famous line of dialogue from Star Wars. The title of a famous feature film or documentary film. Or associated images… Although that probably gets a little difficult with copyright… Nonetheless, the attention-grabbing effect is there! And that attention-grabbing edge is highly valuable. Especially if we’re talking about a poster among tons of other posters. Or a Facebook event with a seminar title among tons of other Facebook events for other seminars. It’s about being heard among the noise.

The new title that we’ve come up with is “Fear and Loathing in Documentary”. I think the group may have again rushed into a seminar title with our second attempt. I love a lot about the new seminar title, but I feel like we could have achieved something much better if we spent a bit more time searching through journey documentary film titles and playing with words. I love the ring of the title and its recognisability. I’m happy with how we’ve thrown in a documentary trigger word (literally just “documentary”). I like that it’s shorter than the last title. I like that it’s moderately witty/humorous – the idea behind it is that documentary filmmaking is a terrifying, gruelling, arduous, even soul-crushing (if we want to go on satirically describing the pain involved) artistic process. I love that the title gives us a fantastic visual style to work with – Hawaiian shirts and bucket hats and bright colours. But I don’t really like that the title isn’t explicitly ‘journey’ themed. I don’t know if Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is known for being a classic journey film. I haven’t seen the movie, which isn’t helping. (I really want to see it though, it looks absolutely brilliant.) It’s probably a psychological journey. But I don’t know if that’s obvious enough to make it click with the rest of the seminar series. Any story is some sort of journey, but that which is obvious is usually best for marketing purposes. You want it to translate quickly to whoever might see the title. People don’t have five minutes of time and energy to spend wondering how things link. First sign of confusion = dismissal. I could be wrong though. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas could be wholly journey-themed. Anyhow, the psychological journey in regards to making a documentary is a pretty great interpretation of the journey theme. Let’s just hope that people understand the title with ease and come to our seminar!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Skip to toolbar