Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Letter to guy at Sky

Yesterday I made the point that theatres are in the business of selling emotion. And so, of course, are movie theatres; and, by extension, television companies which offer us movies. I also made the point that some of the people involved in these industries just don't get it. They work in the business, but they don't understand it. (Not an unusual occurrence in many walks of life, in my experience.)

All of which reminded me to share with you a letter which I recently wrote to the Customer Marketing Director of Sky television, in response to a letter of his which was sent to all Sky subscribers.

Dear Sir,

In your letter dated July 2004, about subscription changes, you say that ‘there are no adverts during the film to interrupt your viewing.’

What you do not say is that, before a film has properly finished, there will almost certainly be a voice-over advertising the next film on Sky, usually in tones which entirely ruin the mood which has just been created, at the expense of many millions of dollars, not least on the part of Sky.

I can only suppose that there is no one in a position of authority at Sky who has the faintest idea what the movie business is all about. And what it is all about is the creation of emotion. This is a highly skilled business, and films which can create emotion successfully tend to make a great deal of money. It is quite absurd, not to mention infuriating, to have some moron from Sky burbling on about the next attraction when one has not had time to absorb the emotion from the film one has just seen. Neither you nor anyone else at Sky would leap up from the table, at the end of an expensive meal, and rush off on a three-mile run. You would let the meal settle. That is precisely what is required at the end of a film. Not only should there be no voice-over before the thing has even ended, but a moment or two of silence after every frame of the final credits has run would also be welcomed.

Perhaps you might, just conceivably, be able to explain this to the brain-dead bean-counters who appear to run your organisation. But I would not bet money on your chances of success.
I haven't yet had a reply. But then you wouldn't really expect one, would you?


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