Over the weekend the trailer for Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the new film from David Fincher, leaked onto the internet. Or did it? Immediately suspicions were raised that this was no ordinary leak, and was actually a publicity stunt by Sony. The biggest clue still exists on YouTube: the trailer itself. So many days later Sony has taken no action to remove the trailer, something they could do in minutes and with ease.
But there’s more. The YouTube account, which was set up the day the trailer was posted, was traced to the Netherlands, where an MPAA red band would never appear before a trailer. The cam work is a little shaky, but mostly when it works for the trailer, and the theater is empty. The sound quality is absolutely perfect, without a bit of ambient sound or the kind of tinny aspect I’ve heard in so many pirated trailers.
Again it all comes down to the fact that, after massive media coverage and over ONE MILLION VIEWS, the original video still stands. It’s a great bit of viral marketing, but as Movieline’s ST Vanairsdale points out, it’s a bit of bad faith marketing:
You try to play by the rules, but one day you wake up and suddenly there are no rules. The studio, the filmmaker and the MPAA are all implicated in a gambit that assumes you and I will bite at anything, when we’ve long conditioned ourselves to uphold their antiquated, old-media standards. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be. Or something.
This is the part that irritates me. If the trailer is a fake leak, as it seems so obviously to be, how can I be sure that future leaks aren’t fake as well? I try to not cover pirated material on BAD; I think it’s bad form and I think it’s the wrong way for you to check out trailers, posters and other stuff because the quality is usually so poor. But if the studios blur the line between pirated and official, I don’t know what to do in the future.
So nice work, Sony, but don’t be upset when I run a pirated Amazing Spider-Man trailer.