The Big Year: and hopefully beyond
From homebase in Oak Harbor, Kimberly writes: Last night, Black Swamp Bird Observatory loaded a bunch of birders into our awesome Bird Bus and went to see the movie The Big Year. I was excited to go to the movies with Kenn and a bunch of friends no matter how good or bad the movie turned out to be. To be honest, I was more than a little concerned that Hollywood would simply adopt the model perpetuated by the media for decades and cast us in the same stereonerdical role.
I was wrong.
I was wrong.
And the Greg Miller character portrayed by Jack Black? Well, of course he was my favorite. I'm an intelligent woman, but I do love some crazy, slapstick humor, and Black happens to be one of my faves. I suppose the fact that we know and adore Greg Miller introduces at least some bias. But, Greg'll do that to ya. He's a pretty great guy. Black's character in the movie was that of the lovable underdog, and he even looks a bit like Greg, which is fun!
|Jack Black and Greg Miller |
Brothers separated at birth?
A question I've been hearing about The Big Year is, "Sure, birders will enjoy it. But will the general public, the non birders, get it? I don't think they have to totally "get" the whole idea of birding from the film. I think seeing three popular Hollywood actors obsessed with birding (and not looking like total dorks doing it) will be enough to pique the interest of some people. I think the real question is - how will we know? Will they become members of the American Birding Association? Will they buy Swarovski Optiks? Will they subscribe to WildBird magazine? All of which made appearances in the film.
At some point it would be good for "the powers that be" in the birding community to put their heads together and work on a collective marketing campaign. Make an effort to carry the movie's momentum beyond the initial surge of its release. National Audubon reportedly invested six figures in marketing the film. But what now? I believe there's an opportunity here, but we have to be proactive about it. I hope we will.