Jerry Seinfeld's new film is a disaster.
First, the comedian is costumed in a fluffy honeybee suit for a live-action family film about the insect world. His cranky co-star Chris Rock agreed to play a mosquito only if Seinfeld would show up at his wife's book signing.
Even the crew can't believe this is how Seinfeld follows up his Emmy-winning sitcom.
A shoot taking place on a giant windshield has gone awry, with water sprayers misfiring on the plastic wipers. The director is incompetent. Bee Movie
is just not working.
All of that is according to the movie trailer out Friday.
The ad, which says the film is "trying to open November 2007," is Seinfeld's latest approach to the anti-trailer, a film promo that doesn't focus on clips of the real movie. Bee Movie
actually is a computer-animated comedy, and this trailer — the first of two live-action spoofs — is a bid to snag audience attention by mocking the idea of doing it with real actors. The follow-up trailer is due in February.
"Obviously I don't have a problem with it," Seinfeld says. "I wasn't even in the last one," referring to the teaser for his 2002 documentary, Comedian
The trailer for that film, which became a Web phenomenon, featured an increasingly agitated voice-over actor describing the documentary in such movie clichés as "In a world where ..." or "A renegade cop, a robot renegade cop ... !" No footage of the movie appeared.
"It's a chance to be funny and spend someone else's money," Seinfeld jokes. He says DreamWorks Animation, which is releasing Bee Movie
, was wise to invest in the live-action gag. "Let's face it; if it was just a regular trailer cut with footage of the film, you and I wouldn't be sitting here talking about it."
Christian Charles, who directed Comedian
and its trailer, oversaw the promo for Bee Movie
. He says an anti-trailer is a good way to make an impression when people are tired of studio hype.
"You have to get the audience aware a year out, so instead of exhausting them with the same footage, you develop a relationship with them by tricking them into believing it's something else," Charles says.
Other movies have tried the indirect approach to movie teasers. The trailer for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
was a commercial for its mind-erasing service. Alfred Hitchcock's trailers showed him making dark jokes about Psycho
and The Birds
Being different is key.
"If everyone started doing it, it wouldn't stand out," Charles says.