Bond 25 questions: Eve of the announcement Part II

Everyone is getting revved up for the April 25 Bond 25 announcement.

So, according to Eon Productions’ official Twitter feed, there’s going to be an online Bond 25 announcement on April 25. But, of course, the blog has more questions.

What time is the announcement again?

The text of the tweet says it will be “13:10 BST/05:10 PST.” But the tweet embeds a video that says it will be “13:10 GMT/5:10 PST.”

BST refers to British Summer Time. GMT refers to Greenwich Mean Time. They’re not the same thing. This website refers to GMT as currently an “inactive zone” and to use BST.

BST is akin to Daylight Saving Time in the United States. GMT is akin to standard time in the U.S.

Right now, BST is five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (i.e. eastern time in the U.S.) So 13:10 BST would be 8:10 EDT. It would also be 5:10 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). But that’s not the same thing as PST (Pacific Standard Time).

Oh my. What do you suggest?

You might want to be ready to go an hour earlier just in case. Given how many 007 film fans are starved for Bond 25 news, that’s probably not much of a stretch.

I see. Any other observations?

Here’s one: 007 & Co. did deals with Good Morning Britain in the U.K. and Good Morning America in the U.S. for Bond 25-related programming on April 25 and 26. The British morning show started doing promos last week, and the U.S. program began promotions this week.

So those programs were, more or less, setting the media agenda for Bond 25 over the past few days. It wasn’t clear whether there’d be an actual announcement or no.

Then, today, Eon put out the aforementioned tweet. It looks like this:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

OK, so now we know there is an actual announcement coming. But things were a little uncertain for a while. Admittedly hindsight is 20-20. But perhaps Eon should have made its advisory first, with the two morning shows following. Just a thought.

UPDATE: I have a pretty strong feeling, re: time zones, they mean BST (British Summer Time). So perhaps you shouldn’t worry and get up too early. NEVERTHELESS, this is why public announcements require care, especially when it comes to references to time of day and time zones.

Bond 25 questions: Eve (?) of the announcement edition

It seems we’re about to get some Bond 25 news this week. But, given how Bond 25 development has gone the past three years, there are questions even in the home stretch.

What changes from the normal media launch might we see?

During the evening of April 23, the MI6 James Bond website came out with a story that said the following:

MI6 has been informed that there will be no traditional press conference.

Instead, specially recorded segments in Jamaica will be packaged by ABC TV (Good Morning America) in the USA and ITV in the UK (Good Morning Britain) for broadcast on Thursday and Friday this week.

Anything particularly odd about that?

U.S. network ABC, which airs Good Morning America, is owned by Walt Disney Co. Competitor NBC, which airs Today, a morning rival to Good Morning America, is owned by Comcast. Comcast, in turn, is parent company to NBC-Universal. The Universal part is Bond 25’s international distributor.

So?

From a distance, it would appear Bond 25 is messing over one of its corporate partners (Universal).

Any other concerns?

The blog is wondering if we’ll find out Bond 25’s actual title this week. This decade, at this point, we were told that Bond 23 would be called Skyfall and Bond 24 would be called SPECTRE.

Maybe we’ll be told Bond 25’s actual title. But the format of this week’s media event is different enough that the blog isn’t taking it for granted.

UPDATE (April 24): Comcast also is being shut out on the European side of the Atlantic when it comes to this week’s Bond 25 events. Comcast owns a controlling interest Sky. But ITV isn’t part of Sky. h/t to reader Rob Coppinger for bringing this to my attention.

UPDATE II: Reader @CorneelVf on Twitter has a post of a program guide indicating Comcast’s Sky will have a half-hour show on Thursday called Bond 25: The Announcement.

UPDATE III: The official Eon Productions 007 Twitter feed has details about a live Bond 25 announcement at 13:10 GMT on Thursday. Twitter users can ask questions using #BOND25. This may be a social media substitute for the traditional media event for 007 films.

 

U.N.C.L.E. movie premieres; now comes the big test

U.N.C.L.E. movie poster

U.N.C.L.E. movie poster

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie had a premiere in New York on Monday night.

Now comes the hard part — how will the movie do when its opens later this week?

The day started out with the movie’s stars, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, making a live appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America show (preceded by a Warner Bros. spot for the film).

The appearance itself was what you’d expect of the light approach Good Morning America takes on entertainment topics. “You better watch out, James Bond, because there are some new agents in town!” GMA co-host Robin Roberts said.

The interview covered similar topics referenced in previous interviews about the movie, including how Hammer watched YouTube videos of Russian speakers to perfect his own Russian accent and how Cavill’s bulk changes because he plays Superman.

Later, there were photos a plenty on social media on social media of the premiere itself, both from Warner Bros. and fans. One example:

Meanwhile, Lee Pfeiffer, the publisher of Cinema Retro, published a number of photos on Facebook, SUCH AS THESE. The Henry Cavill News website PUBLISHED EVEN MORE.

The test that now comes is whether a series that last aired when Lyndon B. Johnson was president (with one attempted revival during the first term of Ronald Reagan) can resonate with the 21st century public. The answer to that question will come in a few days.

007 marketing, 2012 and 1987

At the official James Bond/Skyfall Facebook page, this went out Jan. 31:

James Bond 007
Bond fans! At 8am GMT, Wednesday 1st Feb the first official image from SKYFALL will be revealed exclusively on 007.com! If you’re in the US then pick up a copy of Wednesday’s edition of USA Today – it’s the first time you’ll be able to see it in print.

(UPDATE: It’s up at the Web site now. You can CLICK HERE to see it, an image of Daniel Craig/Bond with beard stubble, holding in a gloved hand what appears to be a Walther PPK.)

Except, a few weeks ago we were told the first Skyfall photo was out:

Star Daniel Craig, with blue swim trunks, was shown in various Web sites, including: Movieweb, Moviewatch, Entertainmentwise, and Whatculture! and who knows where else. Some billed it as an official photo courtesy of Sony (which is releasing the 23rd James Bond film), others merely said it was a Skyfall photo.

So was that an official release or not? The sheer number of Web sites showing the photo (which also included 007 fan Web sites) suggests it wasn’t Woodward-Bernstein investigative reporting that pried that image from the “Most Secret” vault of Eon Productions, which actually produces Skyfall. And it’s clearly not a “candid” shot (i.e. taken while a scene was being recorded). It appears to be posed and carefully lit and meant to evoke 2006’s Casino Royale, where Craig appeared in light-blue swim trunks.

But that’s in the past and we’re told Bond with stubble and gun is official and Bond in swim trunks wasn’t.

Let’s recap. Skyfall has been filming for almost three months. We have one photo of Craig at a pool (now dubbed unofficial) and now an official still for a movie whose first unit has yet to go beyond the borders of the U.K. (a second unit has been filming in China). Oh, and all those images of clapperboards on the official Bond sites. You know: like THIS ONE or THIS ONE or THIS ONE or….well, you get the point.

By contrast, a quarter-century ago, when Eon was filming The Living Daylights, after a few months of filming, there were cast interviews, footage from exotic locations, publicity stills and all sorts of things. Take a look at this footage from ABC’s Good Morning America in November 1986:

On various 007 fan message boards, participants are saying how great it is so few spoilers have gotten out. And that is a change from previous Bond movies. But, it comes at a cost. By this stage in the filming of most 007 films, there has been a lot of publicity already and some fans wonder why there hasn’t been more with Skyfall. Well, you can’t have it both ways. Eon hasn’t exactly spread the red carpet for reporters (much of the publicity so far has come from Daniel Craig interviews while he’s been trying to publicize The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, SUCH AS THIS ONE.) If you don’t want spoilers, fine. But don’t complain about lack of publicity at the same time.