Sing. Sing a “long.” Make it simple . . .
No, this isn’t a post about a Carpenters jukebox musical (although I did inquire about the rights to that catalog about 10 years ago).
This is a post about another property I went after, but was denied . . . because the film company had their own plans.
This Thursday, the ‘Grease Movie Sing-A-Long’ opens at the Loews Village 7 in New York City and all over the country. (Full disclosure, when I was inspired to try and do a Grease sing-a-long, I went after the rights to Grease 2. Why 2? Well, I never thought I’d get the rights to the original, and, I mean, come on . . .. can you imagine a sing-a-long to “We’re Gonna Boooooooowl tonight!”)?
If you’re not sure what a sing-a-long is, well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The movie plays, along with karaoke-like lyrics (“Summer lovin’, had me a blast!”), and the audience is encouraged to sing along with the film score. In addition, audiences are encouraged to dress up, slick their hair and more. Hopefully, a Rocky Horror element emerges as well, and props and choreography are incorporated (Hand jive, anyone?). Sing-a-long movies started with The Sound of Music way back in 2000 (and I believe the craze started in Europe).
It has taken a decade, but Grease, and its 4 chords, 3 jokes, and billions of fans, looks to be the biggest one yet (“Summer Nights” is one of the most requested karaoke songs of all time).
The New York Times wrote a piece about the sing-a-long, which included some very insightful comments from Adam Goodman, president of the Paramount Film Group, which apply to what we do as well. Adam said, “The goal is to create a true event. How do you get groups of young people going to the movies and having a great time?”
The author of the article continues with Adam’s query.
The key term is “young.” Older movie goers may still prefer to sit in silence, but younger audiences, the ones studios work hardest to motivate off the sofa – are increasingly programmed to interact and multitask. Sitting quietly in a theater starts to feel like a bore when you can watch the DVD at home while texting a friend, playing a video game and posting witty comments on Facebook.
Creating unique events are essential for anyone producing entertainment in today’s market, especially if you are trying to get young people off the couch, and off their phones, and their Facebooks, and whatever else they are on these days.
But what do today’s multitasking generation’s habits mean for tomorrow’s market?
Whoa . . . that’s heavy. I need a night to think about it. Tune in tomorrow.
In the meantime, here’s a little cerebral palette cleanser. And while you’re watching it, sing along . . . and maybe Paramount will hear us.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.