Raising Titanic: The World of Communication & the Creation of One of the World's Most Succesful Films

By Ryan A. Piccirillo
2010, Vol. 2 No. 03 | pg. 3/3 |

The P.R. apparatus has largely assumed the responsibility of monitoring, shaping and creating attention on that part of the Web. Movie characters now have Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, for instance” (Barnes). Furthermore, high-speed Internet access has made movie trailers more easily accessible via websites like YouTube and Apple Trailers. When one looks at the way Titanic was sold to the public in the nineties, it becomes clear that such tools would have multiplied its already enormous audience.

The Internet’s acceleration of media convergence, and its effect on the film industry, is already proving its influence. The enormous box office success of Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, was largely due to a rigorous viral marketing campaign employed by Warner Brothers Pictures across the Internet, as well as publicity surrounding the death of supporting actor Heath Ledger, news that first circulated on celebrity gossip blogs like TMZ.

Similarly, Cameron’s first project since Titanic, Avatar, has been a topic of wide discussion. Unlike in the early nineties, most of the discourse on Avatar’s production – which, like Titanic, includes its astronomical budget, groundbreaking technology, and Cameron’s influence – has occurred throughout the blogosphere. Though the yet-to-be-released Avatar’s chances for Titanic-style success is still questionable, there is no doubt that the Internet will have helped build its audience.

The continuing convergence of communication media and careers, including advertising, marketing, public relations, and journalism in the blogosphere, would undoubtedly make Titanic an even more successful film today (or tomorrow) than it was in the nineties.

The studio executives who gave James Cameron the green light to produce Titanic unknowingly took a $200 million gamble; luckily for them it was a gamble that would yield nearly two billion dollars in return.

Though the success of Titanic belongs primarily to James Cameron, the executives at Fox and Paramount owe near equal thanks to communication professionals working in journalism, marketing research and advertising that helped generate massive audiences through publicity across a variety of converging mediums.


References

Barnes, Brooks. "Scene Stealer: Ad Budget Tight? Call the P.R. Machine ." 21 November 2009. New York Times. 6 December 2009 .

Bernstein, Matthew. ""Floating Triumphantly:" The Ameerican Critics on Titanic." Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 14-28.

Elliott, Stuart. "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; The success of 'Titanic' has marketers scrambling to create product tie-ins." 18 February 1998. New York Times. 4 December 2009 .

IMDB. "Titanic (1997)." The Internet Movie Database. 3 December 2009 .

Nash, Melanie and Martti Lahti. ""Almost Ashamed to Say I Am One of Those Girls:" Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the Paradoxes of Girls' Fandom." Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 64-88.

Parisi, Paula. Titanic and the Making of James Cameron. New York: Newmarket Press, 1998.

Playboy. "James Cameron: Playboy Interview." December 2009. Playboy. 4 December 2009 .

Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylan Studlar. "Introduction: The Seductive Waters of James Cameron's Film Phenomenon." Kevin S. Sandler, Gaylan Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 1-13.

Wyatt, Justin and Katherine Vlesmas. "The Drama of Recoupment: On the Mass Media Negotiation of Titanic." Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 29-45.

Works Consulted/Further Reading

Abbott, Spence. "An Interview with James Cameron." 10 April 2003. IGN Movies. 4 December 2009 .

Academy of Achievement. "James Cameron Interview, Master Filmmaker: A Drive of Titanic Proportions." 18 June 1999. Academy of Achievement: A Museum of Living History. 4 December 2009 .

Barnes, Brooks. "Scene Stealer: Ad Budget Tight? Call the P.R. Machine ." 21 November 2009. New York Times. 6 December 2009 .

Bernstein, Matthew. ""Floating Triumphantly:" The Ameerican Critics on Titanic." Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 14-28.

Elliott, Stuart. "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; The success of 'Titanic' has marketers scrambling to create product tie-ins." 18 February 1998. New York Times. 4 December 2009 .

Gumbel, Andrew. "Lights, cameras, blockbuster: The return of James Cameron." The Independant 11 January 2007.

IMDB. "Titanic (1997)." The Internet Movie Database. 3 December 2009 .

Media Awareness Network. "Teachable Moments: James Cameron's Titanic." 2009. Media Awareness Network. 4 December 2009 .

Nash, Melanie and Martti Lahti. ""Almost Ashamed to Say I Am One of Those Girls:" Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the Paradoxes of Girls' Fandom." Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 64-88.

Parisi, Paula. Titanic and the Making of James Cameron. New York: Newmarket Press, 1998.

Playboy. "James Cameron: Playboy Interview." December 2009. Playboy. 4 December 2009 .

Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylan Studlar. "Introduction: The Seductive Waters of James Cameron's Film Phenomenon." Kevin S. Sandler, Gaylan Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 1-13.

Schultz, Rick. "James Cameron tells the astonishing story of Titanic, his breathtaking labor of love ." The Director's Chair Interviews. 4 December 2009 .

TMZ. TMZ. 10 December 2009

Vivian, John. The Media of Mass Communication. 9th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2009. Print.

Wyatt, Justin and Katherine Vlesmas. "The Drama of Recoupment: On the Mass Media Negotiation of Titanic." Sandler, Kevin S. and Gaylyn Studlar. Titanic: Anatomy of a Blockbuster. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1999. 29-45.

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