Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.
Ever since the teaser video hit theatres before the Transformers movie (the video had no title at this point, just the date 18-01-08), the web has been going wild as to what the project is about and what they can expect.
Matt Reeves says:
The fun thing about doing the teaser trailer was that it was a throwback to a time when we would see a trailer for a film like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” You were sitting there seeing a trailer for a movie that was completely mysterious. There’s so much media saturation now we felt we’d shoot a quick teaser and throw something out there. Throw it out to the people so they can have a sense of discovery again. Then Paramount said, ‘What if we don’t even put the title out there so people can speculate?’ We wondered if the MPAA would go with it, they didn’t even know how to respond at first. They were like, ‘That’s never happened before.’ But they let us do it. We knew people would be intrigued, but we had no idea the level to which they would begin to engage. We spent a large part of our prep period making the teaser trailer and using it as a basis as a prep for the movie. Shooting the teaser trailer was our way to understand how we were going to pull this off.
Being a J. J Abrams project, the web expected there to be some crazy online shenanigans supporting the project and they have not been disappointed. There have been related viral websites such as Slusho a fantasy Japanese drinks company, Jamie and Teddy (needs a password: jllovesth), Tagruato Corp (a deep sea drilling company) and T.I.D.O. (A kind of Greenpeace group). All of these sites are linked in with the Cloverfield world and the connections between them are becoming more and more apparent as we near the release of the film.
J. J Abrams has said that he is wanting to create an American monster movie along the same lines as Godzilla. With J. J’s experiences with Lost and Alias, he is able to engage an online audience using multiplatform tools to enrich and deepen the story he is wanting to tell.
It’s looking pretty good so far, I got caught up in all the buzz when I saw the trailer in a cinema in Leicester square London. I just hope that the movie can deliver. There have been some images appearing online of the monster which I’m not so sure about, but there is a pleasant ‘Blair Witch Project’ feeling about this project.
This is a top example, in my eyes, of quality viral marketing. The teaser trailer came out of nowhere and has managed to keep its momentum going right the way up to release. Discussion is alive across the internet and I just get the feeling that what the world needs right now is a huge monster movie to shake it up.
*Update* Harry Knowles over at Aint It Cool News has seen it… And loves it. I quote:
CLOVERFIELD is a bold genre-reinvention unlike anything we’ve ever seen before… The movie is fucking brilliant. It’s what we were told it was going to be. An intimate perspective on an impossibly grand scale human disaster beyond most human levels of comprehension.