Should you be one who follows movie directors on Twitter, you likely have Ron Howard already on your follow list. What makes Howard a worthy Twitter follow to pop culture fanatics is his vivid connection to the early and current days of TV and movies, as well as his generosity in tweeting pics about the production of his movies. Because he’s only been on Twitter about a year, that first movie he shared on Twitter is his Formula-1 racecar drama “Rush”, which now has a set release date of September 2013 and some preview photos.
If you happened to read Howard’s tweets since the beginning of the year, you not only saw his shared photos of the filming of “Rush”, you also saw recent photos of post-production at his Imagine Entertainment. And right after Howard began posting production photos, we began to see director Darren Aronofsky post pictures on Twitter during production of his ambitious “Noah”, including the building of his ark replica. As cryptic as those photos were, it kicked off a new layer to Twitter in allowing us to follow the details of a movie production.
So far, only Ron Howard has been the most generous of movie directors in providing more morsels of production detail than we ever wanted to know. But considering Howard is seemingly much more down to earth than the typical movie director/producer, it may take some coaxing for other directors to follow his path. Once other directors find out that sharing things about a movie doesn’t involve any compensation, you can predict some hesitation.
The reason Ron Howard did it, of course, is the valuable early buzz generated on a movie a year in advance. He was astute enough to understand that the work put into posting behind the scenes photos will ultimately pay off when public anticipation leads to #1 box office potential on opening day. It also helped bring public appreciation to how much obsessively insane work is involved in filming a movie from pre-production to post.
For other producers/directors, there may be thoughts of an automatic #1 box office performance based on name recognition and star power. That and the thought of being too busy to post things on Twitter may not make this a diffuse pastime for every movie director. Nevertheless, you have to see it snowballing to some extent thanks to Howard’s influence and regular pattern of myriad TV stars tweeting behind the scenes photos from their shows.
With Howard’s “Rush”, you arguably have a concept that needs a little promotion based on the obscure concept of a British Formula-1 racer some of America may not know. In fact, having Twitter at a director’s fingers can virtually assure the possibility of better marketing for a movie idea that’s slightly obscure and ordinarily nixed by a studio suit. And that makes for better mainstream films than the cookie cutters we continually see.
The only thing that can bring down that valuable promotion is a director doing the cardinal sin of Twitter: Expressing an opinion on matters that promptly put his foot in his mouth and tarnish his pristine reputation.