Just got a random e-mail from someone informing me that I’m quoted in one of the recent television commercials for Ninja Assassin. It goes by pretty quick, but they quoted me as calling the film “Badass.”
It’s actually kind of interesting how the whole publicity process works, so I thought I’d take a minute to give you a quick look at how a movie critic’s quote ends up on a piece of advertising.
Every couple weeks or so I’ll get an email from one of the movie studios asking if I can approve a few quotes for one of their recent releases. And sometimes they’ll edit a quote down, combining fragments of two or three sentences, into one. Never losing the original intent, of course. I remember a bunch of years ago reading that Roger Ebert was angered, and rightfully so, when a film used one of his quotes, from a negative sentence of a negative review, out of context, to present the quote as praise for said “bad” movie. I guess they have instituted this process to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future, and to ensure that the company is safe from a legal standpoint.
We get a lot of emails asking for permission to use various different versions of things I or other /Film writers have written or said on the site, but most of the time I never see them in the publicity materials. Sometimes the quotes are used for regional newspaper ads or what not, and usually don’t appear in television spots, posters or trailers (although they have…), or sometimes they were just one of the many unused options that the marketing department wanted to have available to them. So when I do see /Film in an advertisement, it does still come as a surprise, but I never know if a quote I approved will ever be used. In this case the quote involved me praising the Badass action of James McTeigue’s Ninja film, which I approved down to the minimalistic single word – “Badass”.
And for those interested, here is the TV Spot: