Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Les Miserables Movie Trailer

Here's the first trailer for the upcoming Les Miserables musical movie (the first time the musical has been adapted for the screen), which stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anne Hathaway. The movie is directed by Tom Hooper (The King's Speech).

Les Mis has a bunch of well-known songs--"One Day More," "Bring Him Home," "Do You Hear The People Sing?" "On My Own," "Master of the House,""Turning," Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "Who Am I?" "I Dreamed a Dream," and others (there are nearly 50 musical numbers in all)--so it's intriguing that the trailer only uses one song ("I Dreamed a Dream"). And more than that, why choose that song?

(Spoilers follow, if you somehow don't know the plot of Les Mis already.)

While Fantine, who sings "I Dreamed a Dream," is an important character to the plot (Valjean adopting Cosette after her mother dies sets much of the story in motion), she dies less than a third of the way into the story. Besides that, while Hathaway is a star, she's hardly the biggest name in this cast; Jackman and Crowe are bigger stars, and they have much larger roles, too. 

I don't think Hathaway has a particularly impressive voice, either. Compare the trailer to this video of stage actress Lea Salonga singing the same song: 

So, why choose this song? I think the choice has relatively little to do with the Les Mis movie itself. Instead, they used "I Dreamed a Dream" because of another recent performance: 

That's right, "I Dreamed a Dream" is the song Susan Boyle sang in her first audition on Britain's Got Talent. It's probably a safe bet that more people know the song from there than from Les Mis, and if they hear it in the trailer, it will bring up memories of Boyle's performance and create an emotional connection many people don't have to a 3+ hour stage musical about the French Revolution.

It's a smart move from a marketing standpoint, even if it doesn't make the most sense in terms of the movie/musical itself. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Publishing Process: Explained with Star Wars Figures

James Renner, author of the novel The Man from Primrose Lane, which I haven't read but want to, explains the publishing world in the most logical, straightforward manner possible--with Star Wars figures.