Today I learned (TIL) that movies with the crawl “based on a true story” is virtually meaningless.
And that’s not an overstatement.
Sure we all knew these type of movies took some creative license here and there. But to learn they can have no basis in reality shocked me as a marketer.
I did this bit of research after I recently watched a movie “based” on a true story. I was curious just how much of that was true?
I wasn’t the only one. A journalist wondered the same thing and here’s what he discovered about marketing a movie based on a true story:
I contacted the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which reviews every single piece of marketing—TV commercials, print ads, bus shelters, etc.—for every movie that goes through the Classification and Rating Administration. I asked for an explanation of what a movie must do to be able to sell itself as being based on a true story. “Is there a minimum percentage of truth that needs to be in the plot?” I asked. The MPAA’s response: “The MPAA Advertising Administration does not determine whether a film is designated to be ‘based on true events’—that is the purview of the producer or distributor of the film.”
Can you believe that?
All those movies based on real facts could be 99.9% inaccurate and still have the crawl at the beginning.
Think about that for second… Especially because movies have such a power on modern culture.
Why does this matter?
A good curator is curious. A good curator sees a story pop up in their Listening Engine and wonders…
Is that true? Is that accurate? Do I agree? Should my audience agree?
A good curator will not always take what they see at face value.
Because a good curator is working on building authority and a voice in a market. So a good curator always questions (no matter what market or niche your within).
So when you see a story popup that interests you or would be of interest to your audience, just ask yourself:
Is this really based on a true story?