Monday, March 9, 2009

Demographically speaking


As I was walking in to Watchmen tonight, I saw a guy offering tickets to see a free advanced screening of Bruno, which was described as a "follow-up" to Borat. (They didn't spell out the whole title, nor will I).

I generally don't sign up for these screenings anymore, because a) it usually involves a lot more waiting in line than the other free screenings we attend through channels like my wife's Creative Screenwriting subscription, and b) I no longer like to see films in uncompleted form, because I don't know how much is going to change before the release, and I want to have seen the "real" version.

But tonight I approached the guy.

One of the first questions I asked was if it was almost done. "Oh no," he said. "This is the first cut." Which probably meant that there would be filler music, and that potentially significant portions of it would change based on this screening. They want to know what bits hit and what bits miss. We would be a "test audience."

But I still decided to take an invitation. Even though I was ultimately a little disappointed in the Borat movie, Bruno (his third of three recurring characters on Da Ali G Show, a gay on-scene reporter for an entertainment network) would certainly be a movie that would grab the zeitgeist. It might be fun to see it now and then see what changed later, as an education on the process.

"The thing is, you have to be either under 24 or over 35."

"Well, I'm exactly 35."

"Okay!" he said. He handed me the invitation for Tuesday night. "Just when you're there, be 36."

Ehh ...

I gave him back the invitation. "Nah, I don't want to break the rules." And then: "Tuesday's not good for me anyway."

As I was walking away I pondered the significance of the age ranges they were examining. Intuitively, this meant they were pretty sure the movie would hit for people between 24 and 35. They just didn't know how they'd do with the younger people and the older people. (Though by throwing them all in the same theater, they won't know which people are laughing at what).

It tickled me to know how close I am to changing demographics on this. And I guess, also kind of flattered me to know that I'm still safely "mid-young," or whatever they might call it. At least until my birthday in October.

Demographics are a funny thing. I've always thought them to be a little ridiculous. One of the main demographics on TV is ages 18 to 49. I mean, isn't that kind of too large a range? In what way do a 19-year-old and a 47-year-old really think alike? The first one: "I hope Grand Theft Auto 7 is as good as Grand Theft Auto 6!" The second: "Will I have enough money to pay my mortgage this month?"

Well, I'll just have to enjoy these last seven months before I become old.

1 comment:

Daddy Geek Boy said...

TV's 18-49 demo is how we get shows like Dancing With the Stars and American Idol.

You're probably better off for it. If this is the first cut of Bruno, there are bound to be some clunkers in there.