Movie Theatres make their profit at the concession counter. The ticket prices go to rent the film from a distributor.
There was a time when movie production companies paid product production companies to use their products to add “reality” to movie scenes, then movies reminded the accountants about the selling the selling power of suggestion:
ET launched the hell out of Reese’s Pieces – M&Ms had turned the movie down! While Batteries Not Included was pretty much a McDonald’s & Coke commercial
McDonalds is the largest operator of playgrounds in the USA and the largest toy distributor – pretty telling for a “family fast food chain”……
RepoMan’s generic labelling of products avoided the cost and added a commentary dimension to the film – as well as creating the man character’s interest level.
Rules of Writing: Product Placement or Placement for Products?
Somewhere I heard that it’s not a good idea to specify a particular brand for items used in your script because:
(a) using a brand-name product has cost implications–the producer will have to pay licensing fees to the owner of the brand (or perhaps get income from any advertising agreement); and
(b) it’s the director’s choice as to which, if any, brand to display on screen.
In other words, the screenplay should read “up-market coffee” rather than “Starbucks”, or “luxury sedan”, instead of “Mercedes”.
Does this make sense? Or is it just another of those so-called “rules” designed to frighten and confuse newbies?
I say leave it out of spec scripts: It’s just something to consider when you’re writing to build in placeholders to allow the producer to get $
When it’s based on an existing property – the range of products is built in for spin
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