Am I a Miles Davis fanboy? Can someone 35 years-old even be considered a fanboy? I ask because the term has become quite ubiquitous these days as it relates to movies and music, comics and TV shows, cars and video games and just about anything else a teen male can obsess over non-stop and pledge their eternal devotion to.
The term recently was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and there’s even a new film about fanboys called Fanboys set for a September theatrical release.
Clearly, I am not a boy, so the expression doesn’t relate to me, but its description is something that can apply to anyone with a deep passion for… whatever. How about fanman? Is that ridiculous? Yes…yes it is.
I write a Blog (two actually) about a forthcoming movie based on the life of Miles Davis, so obviously there’s obsession involved here.
I bring this up because in the aftermath of the intense hype surrounding “The Dark Knight” – there’s still residual hype, but last week was off the charts crazy – I am wondering what kind of grass roots/enthusiast momentum will build for the Miles Davis film.
I don’t expect message boards and movie websites to overheat with euphoria, but I’ll be watching with interest to see where the early buzz is coming from once news about the movie starts to filter out; you could say my Blog about the Miles Davis movie is very early to the media party in covering, discussing and hyping the forthcoming biopic.
Once a teaser trailer, or casting news hits the Blogosphere there will be an immediate jump in coverage on the numerous (by numerous I mean a whole heck of a lot) websites and Blogs that cover the ‘movie business’ and all its moving parts.
Many of those movie sites are linked on this Blog; they’re invaluable portals of breaking news, movie reviews, analysis and all you need to know about what the heck is going on in Hollywood and across the film universe.
That ‘jump’ in coverage will be a post/news item with requisite observation, followed by commentary from the readers. This moment will provide some insight into how much buzz is out there for the Miles Davis biopic.
The Don Cheadle factor definitely pulls in the non-jazz fan on ‘general’ movie websites. Music-related Blogs and websites can play up the Miles Davis angle. No doubt the information superhighway outside the U.S. will also spark to any Miles Davis movie news.
I have no idea how many jazz fans are out there. I also have no idea how many Miles Davis fans are out there.
This is not a superhero movie, so no one is expecting worldwide mania, but if the film were to follow the same trajectory as “Ray,” for example, that’d be OK by me.
Both are legends of music with extraordinary stories, but how Ray Charles and Miles Davis stack up on a purely marketing/box office potential basis I’m unsure.
Ray Charles, as a brand, might have an easier time bumping around the general, pop culture marketplace than Miles Davis, who one could argue exists on the cool periphery for those ‘in-the-know.’
Regardless if what I just typed makes any sense, I do know there are a lot of fans out there of the jazz legend, young and old. And if they own just one Miles Davis record, hey, even if they own just one jazz record, it’s almost certainly Kind of Blue.
Kind of Blue has been certified triple platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America. It’s also most likely the best-selling jazz record of all time (though there is some dispute).
And how’s this: Kind of Blue still sells about 5,000 records a week.
Who is buying this record these days? Well, besides those of us who have worn out their old copy, I’ll say it’s a younger demographic getting their first taste of Miles Davis.
I think this demo is going to take an interest in the Miles Davis film. Not on a massive scale, but an interest nevertheless.
While we’re on the subject of Kind of Blue, 2009 will be the 50th Anniversary of the seminal recording’s original release date.
Not a bad time to release a Miles Davis biopic. I like the synergy.
Is a Miles Davis biopic mainstream entertainment, or is it geared toward an arty crowd who knows their Louis Armstrong from their Thelonious Monk?
Don Cheadle is central to my assumption. He’s not famous like Brad Pitt is ‘famous,’ but he’s a respected actor who has been part of some big Hollywood films (as well as critically-praised smaller projects). So he’s known, as it were.
This ‘celebrity,’ whatever that means nowadays, does give the Miles Davis biopic extra gravitas. If the Miles Davis film were to star a newcomer I’d say there’d be less early buzz. It doesn’t mean the movie wouldn’t be a success, but a ‘name’ always grabs the attention of the mainstream press. The Blogs who cover every detail of the movie ‘biz would still eat it up, but not mainstream – they need the sizzle.
The Miles Davis movie is not going to be on a level with “The Dark Knight,” but depending on how the film is produced and then marketed will ultimately determine ‘who’ buys a ticket.
I’ll dig deeper into the audience demographic down the line, as it’s a topic that intrigues me.
Some folks don’t care for the hype. They just want to get away for a couple hours at the movies; walk up, check the movie posters and show times, grab some popcorn and hope to God they’ll be entertained. Not everyone mines the depths of their soul to determine what movie to see, charging through reviews and opinions and endless conjecture.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that since I am definitely in the latter example.
But the hype factory in Hollywood and on the ‘Net will play a huge role in how the Miles Davis movie (like most films these days) is positioned on the ever-shifting buzz rankings, with the critics filling in the blanks for those who seek their counsel.
So let’s see what happens when the first ‘real’ news (aside from Don Cheadle as star and director) hits the mediaspehere; maybe it’s a one-sheet, or a cast addition or a release date.
It’s all quite exciting when you think about it. I’m happy to be part of the show.