Standing Ovation Reviews
it was damb and takky and
you know what i love it.
it was fun like a super
sugerie piece of candy
'Standing Ovation' went from a modest release in 600+ theaters upon its premiere two weeks ago, to a dismal showing in only 6 theaters as of today. The blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of Kenilworth Films, Rocky Mountain Pictures and BLT & Associates.
Many have lamented that this film was far from perfect. That may be true, but it had (and still has) amazing potential. The music and some of the cast of new, fresh faces are largely an untapped and unpromoted resource. Here, specifically, is my opinion of what went wrong, and suggestions on how to correct it going forward:
Kenilworth Films produced 'Standing Ovation', and was responsible for the film since its inception. Rocky Mountain Pictures distributes and promotes independent films. BLT & Associates is a major player in the industry for movie poster artwork and placement, as well as television promotion. Unfortunately, the marketing of this film was anemic, at best. It consisted of movie posters, primarily in malls across the country, and a smattering of trailers on television immediately before the film was released. Because of this, there was no time for anticipation and "word of mouth" to build. When the film opened, the public had not heard of it, as they were not given the time to do so.
The younger group of girls (5 Ovations) were the positive role models, yet, the older group (Wiggies), the self-centered, "success at any cost" and somewhat risque negative role models were heavily promoted in pre-release personal appearances. Call me old-fashioned, but I do not believe that most parents would approve of their impressionable nine year olds gyrating around the house singing, "Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop, Shimmy Shimmy I'm So Hot" as the much older Wiggies do in one of their dance numbers. The marketing people involved with this film would do well to study and, hopefully, learn from the history of marketing at Disney. You NEVER promote the "bad guys" (or, in this case, "bad girls") when marketing to this demographic and their parents. This is especially true when it is not indicative of a film's storyline, and when the target age group of the film is much younger and cannot identify with the older individuals being promoted in personal appearances. You do not market and promote a "signature" item associated with the villains, such as the pink wigs in the case of this film. However, you do so for an item associated with the underdogs and heroines. This was not done with 'Standing Ovation'. The 5 Ovations had no signature item to call their own, and therefore lacked an identity. That, in part, is the fault of Kenilworth Films, and the people in charge of the story.
Where is the CD? 'Standing Ovation' is a musical. Musicals, more than any other genre, are dependent upon their soundtracks. Have you ever heard of a musical that did not have an accompanying soundtrack that you could not walk in to any music store and purchase? Well, I know of one; 'Standing Ovation'. Granted, the music is available for download, but again, we're talking demographics. Many in this age group do not yet download music; their parents buy them the CD. The soundtrack should have been released well before the film, however, as of this moment, it is still unavailable. Also, why is the music not on the radio? Many of the tracks are extremely marketable, yet all we hear is silence. There are some tracks that make reference to the Jersey shore and Atlantic City. Why were they not promoted to radio stations in the area? A quick study of marketing history in the Southern NJ/Philly area will reveal many examples of recordings dating back to the early 1960's that started out as regional hits, and went national soon after. There has always been a very fertile climate of promoting "our own" in the area, even in an era of conglomerate ownership of the media. I am very surprised that the people involved with this effort, which includes Sal Dupree, the film's Atlantic City-based Music Supervisor (who also plays the role of "Mr. Wiggs" in the film) did not appear to be aware of this.
There is, without a doubt, "breakout" talent in this movie. Why were they not promoted? I realize the marketing strategy for 'Standing Ovation' was to take an ensemble approach, but again, taking a page from the masters at Disney, you run with the thoroughbreds once the film is released. That makes for a stronger and more marketable franchise in the long run. Do I need to invoke the names of Miley Cyrus and Zac Efron? Or, if you prefer ancient history, Hayley Mills and Kurt Russell? How about Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello? There are many other examples from the Disney stable, as this is certainly not a new marketing concept, just an extremely successful one.
Where is the "name" in this film? A well-known actor or actress would have gotten the public's butts off of their home recliners and into the seats of the theater. This person, if popular with adults, would have been a reason for them to take their kids. This was "penny wise and pound foolish" on the part of Kenilworth. Spending a little more money upfront could have reaped huge rewards in the end. The simple fact is this; no one will see your movie, no matter how awesome it may be, if they don't know it's there and have no reason to go through the theater door. As a result, 'Standing Ovation' has become a "slow build" with the audience. Unfortunately, this is the summer movie season, and if you snooze, you lose. There's a lot of competition for screen real estate. If you don't define yourself and make yourself known within the first week of release, you can pretty much guess what the results will be.
Who edited this film? As with most films, due to time considerations, I'm sure that some of the scenes landed on the cutting room floor, and not the screen. Kids do have a short attention spans, and decisions have to be made. The young man that did some brief dancing in the final competition scene with the 5 Ovations seems to be a dance phenom, as I believe I had previously heard of him. However, he is used only to quickly dance across the screen in the one production number, never to be heard or seen before or after. The boat was certainly missed on an amazing opportunity, marketing and otherwise. Also, the film does seem a bit "choppy" at times, jarringly going from one scene to another.
I would imagine the next step is release of the DVD, or possibly some type of television scenario. I dislike and avoid using the term "clueless", but in the case of the people behind the initial marketing of 'Standing Ovation', it is, unfortunately, properly descriptive. I certainly hope the same are not behind a DVD or television effort, or if fortunes are favorable, 'Standing Ovation II'.
This film, with talented guidance, can take off like a Saturn V rocket on DVD or TV; the sky would be the limit. All of the people, both children and adults, that did not know it existed or misunderstood the premise of the film due to lackluster and misguided marketing will suddenly have access to it in their living rooms. This will create "stars", this will create demand for the great music, and yes, it will create money. All of this is possible, and even probable. There is a second chance. The only requirement; DO IT THE RIGHT WAY!