The average movie takes several years to complete from concept to finished film, making it all but impossible to synchronize a publicity campaign to current events.
Some films just get lucky in that regard.
Take Fruitvale Station, a heralded, fact-based indie about a young black man’s final hours before being killed by a member of the transit police in Oakland, Calif.
First time writer/director Ryan Coogler knows he can maximize promotion for the film by comparing its storyline to that of the Trayvon Martin case. So that’s precisely what Coogler is doing, using the outrage over Martin’s death, an anger partially stoked by misleading press reports, to sell tickets.
The promotional images used on the film’s Facebook page and its website include one (above) in which Coogler makes the connection explicit: “Anytime someone’s life is lost and there’s an inkling of politics involved, that person is not around to defend himself and his character gets pulled in different directions depending on what side of the fence you sit on. We saw it happen with Trayvon Martin, and it shows no sign of slowing down.”
Fruitvale Station opens in limited release July 12.