70% Is Sound.
Last night, I was sneaked into the back of a Q&A session with entertaining and voluble Sunshine director Danny Boyle during which he interestingly suggested that sound represents 70% of the impact of a film. Consequently, he and the producer ring-fenced a significant part of the budget so that the film triumphantly does not pale in comparison with Hollywood fare in this respect.
Another area of focussed spending has been the decision not to hold expensive premieres, but to concentrate on promotional activities that engaged the audience directly. After all, premieres are commonplace these days. Yes, they guarantee you lots of media coverage, but do you and I pay attention? Does it relate back to the film and does it make you buy a ticket? Or is it just noise? By contrast, as I also said in relation to a previous Q&A, those who attended or saw it via video relay at six other theatres had a more personal experience of Sunshine and will be more likely to talk about it.
This reminded me that the reason I saw Danny Boyle's first film was neither pre-release hype nor its reviews - Shallow Grave was, after all, a very small film and while many people involved in it are now famous, they certainly weren't in 1994. No, I chanced across a brief television "set visit" piece that focussed upon the smallness of the production. It lasted just a couple of minutes but its tone clearly registered, piqued my interest and caused me to check it out when it hit the screens over a year later.
When it comes to marketing, we filter out noise. But sound that resonates, that is always heard.