I get scores of press releases in my inbox each day. I can’t control it. Studios just send this crap to me, even though I’ve never asked to be put on a list and no matter how many times I classify it as SPAM, this shit continues to leak through like pus on a scab. Normally, I hit the delete button on them and move one with my life. However, the headline in this press release caught my attention: JADEN SMITH TO STAR WITH WILL SMITH IN AN UNTITLED SCIENCE-FICTION ADVENTURE FOR COLUMBIA PICTURES AND DIRECTOR M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN. It caught my attention mostly because I thought it was a joke soI examined the release to ensure that it was. But, then I recognized the PR flak’s name as a name that I’ve seen hundreds of times in my Inbox and surmised that it was, in fact, true. Fuck me.
You want to know why we don’t copy/paste press releases? Because they look like this:
CULVER CITY, Calif., April 4, 2011 - Jaden Smith is set to star opposite his father, Will Smith, for director M. Night Shyamalan in an untitled sci-fi adventure, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. Shyamalan and Will Smith will produce with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Ken Stovitz, Smith’s partners at Overbrook Entertainment. The screenplay is by M. Night Shyamalan and Gary Whitta. Set 1,000 years into the future, a young boy navigates an abandoned and sometimes scary Earth to save himself and his estranged father after their ship crashes. Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “Night is an outstanding filmmaker who has a tremendous vision for this science-fiction adventure story and we couldn’t be more excited to be working again with Jaden after our experiences on The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid. We’re thrilled to have the two of them together on this project.” Shyamalan added, “The chance to make a scary, science-fiction film starring Jaden and Will is my dream project.”
You know what press releases fail to leave out? Things like, “The idea for the movie hatched from turd spores,” and “Who the fuck would want to work with M. Night Shyamalan” and “What the hell is wrong with Will Smith?” and “The celebrity nepotism is getting really annoying.” Also a lot of Scientology cracks.
You want to know how many people do copy/paste press releases? Google that quote, “The chance to make a scary, science-fiction film starring Jaden and Will is my dream project” and see how many times it comes up by the end of the day.