Someone is Going to Look Like a Jackass

I’m having to sneak this blog post in between Justin popping out for a meeting and the next breaking announcement relating to West Virginia, baseball or sport in general. Heaven help us should something happen over at the Pittsburgh Pirates within the next 24 hours. But let me assure you that this blog will be one of the first to bang on about it should it be the case.

Capello during one of his more sanguine moments.

Personally, I’d love to keep with the sports theme and educate you with the news of England’s new national soccer coach who just so happens to be an irate Italian with a negligible grasp on the English language. Currently, he’s being advised not to learn too much English so he can sidestep the media more easily. You may scoff that the most important job in England has been taken by an Italian, but the second and third most important jobs (the Prime Minister and the Queen) are occupied by a Scot and a German respectively. Dear old Blighty is quite the multicultural cosmopolitan hotbed y’know.

I just want to assure you it won’t be that bad changing your constitution to allow a former Austrian Mr. Universe, whose movie catchphrases make Dubya sound Churchillian, to run for President.

Anyway, mentioning two-and-a-half Jackasses (I’ll let you squabble over who) brings me neatly round to the online-earth-shattering event happening today: the first ever feature film to be released online – Jackass 2.5.

The “Jackass” gang is about to attempt its most audacious stunt yet: online-first movie distribution.

In a radical departure from the traditional movie business model, Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment and MTV New Media are co-producing “Jackass 2.5,” a sequel to its two-time boxoffice hit that will skip multiplexes entirely.

Instead, “2.5” will be offered online for free over a two-week span beginning Dec. 19 courtesy of Blockbuster and its new online property Movielink, which will exclusively host the 64-minute film during that period. The movie will be made available at blockbuster.jackassworld.com.

Yes, you read it right, for free.

Irrespective of whether you want to watch a load of outtakes from Jackass 2, or whether you care about idiots hurtling at full pelt into a lamp post with their chest hair ablaze in a shopping trolley, this could signal something monumental in the movie industry.

Give them their due, at least they aren’t charging initially to flog this particular horse. The movie franchise is possibly one of the worst examples of the disdain some corporations hold their customers in you could ever dream of. Jason vs Freddy anyone? They’ll churn out any old cobblers and get us idiots to stump up the cash for it.

But, this has every chance of stalling should the user experience not be up to scratch. I presume I’m like the vast majority of internet users in that I don’t watch feature length stuff on my PC monitor. However, I should be able to test my xbox 360 as a movie streaming media extender with this one and watch it on my main TV. Well, the Movielink Website says I can, and Blockbuster will be showing it through them.

UPDATE: Looks like you have to download Silverlight according to the Jackass Blockbuster site. This is looking more of a novel experience by the minute. I should be able to still watch via my 360.

While I may not be quite the target demographic for the film itself, I’m the exact demographic who will be interested in this kind of thing should it work correctly; and I really do want it to work correctly. (NB: target demographic used in the sense of being sneered at for being stupid enough to fall for some latest marketing spiel as opposed to movie buff excited by technological progressiveness.)

So, while I try and negotiate with Justin whether I can claim the popcorn as expenses, this is a case of being one for the movie studios and Blockbuster to lose – I don’t need any winning over for the concept (we’ll keep DRM as an argument for another day).

I shall keep you posted. I’d invite you all round, but it’ll probably take me four hours to set-up – and that’s just the popcorn maker.

UPDATE: ‘Twas a busted flush. I spent twenty minutes investigating streaming possibilities and probabilities and gave up. Browser-only viewing is akin to going straight to portable DVD. And the movie industry wonders why its in a spot of bother? Fools.

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