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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  If you wish to view additional archived E-mails, please go back to the Previous E-mails of the Week section.

This week's question: 

Did you happen to see "Medium" on Monday and notice that in the story there was a certain movie the leading character was going to with her husband, and that movie is an actual movie, owned by Universal, which also owns the television station that produces "Medium"?  Or something like that.  Does that bother you, DcH, like it does me?

Charles from Utah


This week's Answer: 

Advertisaphobia:  The New Disease of the Twenty-first Century 

Charles, I appreciate your e-mail.  I did see that show, including the computer graphic that reminded us that that very movie would be opening soon (which I thought was very nice of the Medium People to do so that we wouldn't forget that that movie was going to be opening soon) and am trying to figure out exactly what could have bothered you about that scene.  Maybe you're just a little too anxious and therefore overly sensitive to corporate advertising.  I suggest that you just sit back and have a refreshing drink or maybe take  a little drive maybe to a favorite spot  or just get away from it all   

I mean, the next thing you know, you're going to be grousing about product placement in movies (or on websites, God forbid).  I think you're being a little nearsighted here.  We need more Hummers on our streets (the price of gas went down several pennies lately if you haven't noticed).  Capitalism makes everything run smoothly (like a well-tuned Mazda or a United Airways plane) and everybody should buy whatever electronics and cars and other products that are indicated by the logos and the products themselves that we see in movies and on TV.  (Did you ever wonder why we say, "on TV" and "in movies"?  Why couldn't it be "in TV" and "on movies"?  That's what I would like to know.  Maybe it's because we all carry a collective fear/paranoia/dread that any day now we're all going to be sucked into our television sets -- and possibly be changed into high definition or letterbox versions of ourselves -- and never return.)  

So what if you can't watch a sporting event or, for that matter, any channel (except for Turner Classic Movies -- praise to Ted Turner for having the class or at least the major money to not hop on the advertising bandwagon -- and Lifetime Movie Network -- praise to Mr. Lifetime for having the class... ) without being inundated by product advertising, including the channel showing it, with its near-subliminal flashes accompanied by nerve-jolting sound effects that sound like somebody is cutting out your heart with Jack the Ripper's blade.  What's the big deal that you can be watching a movie or other program on cable TV and, not only your sight is invaded by computer-generated banners (and some very cute ones with moving images -- I especially like it when the darling little figures jump up and block the images you're trying to actually watch, even though you're using your remote now in a new way to block out these wonderful "little people"), announcing the other shows that are coming on that channel (or other channels that are "affiliated" with that channel), but lately even the soundtrack of what you're watching is changed by sounds created to make you pay attention to whatever is being advertised at the moment.  I really think you, Charlie, and anybody else who is in such a tizzy about this should just...

join the twenty-first century.

DcH

 


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