Before Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc; fans normally didn’t know much about a movie until maybe an article was published in an entertainment magazine and movie trailers made their way before movies and television commercials. Now, fans can follow an anticipated film through the various stages of production.
Fans of ‘The Mortal Instruments’ have followed film news online from when author Cassandra Clare announced that the series had been optioned for film to the first casting of Lily Collins and the long audition road for Jace.
Screen Gems and other’s associated with ‘The Mortal Instruments’ understand and see the involvement of the fans. Lily Collins, cast for the lead Clary Fray knew of the fandom and set up her own Twitter account for the character, @LilyasClaryFray. With this account she shares information and keeps fans posted on what she can. She, along with this column, have shown fans motorcycle sketches and carriage mock ups that the studio is working on.
The Mortal Instruments took over Twitter and the social media world during the filming of the book trailer videos for ‘City of Fallen Angels.’ The #CoFAshoot frequented tweets, many times with jokes and behind the scene information from the cast and it’s director. Don’t get me started on #DSAS or the many references to South Carolina.
Vania Stoyanova, the founder of VLC Production and the director for the ‘City of Fallen Angels’ book trailer, understands the power of social media. She frequently posted pictures, teasers and shared information on Twitter from the shoot. And of course, there is ‘The Mortal Instruments’ author, Cassandra Clare. She treats fans that follower her to monthly teasers of whatever book is coming out next. She recently awarded her fans to an extra treat when she reached 30,000 followers on Twitter. The “treat” was an extra scene written about favored couple, Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood.
Clare sometimes hosts character question session, where fans can ask a question to their favorite character. Information like this was a great way to pass the time and frustration as fans waited for the news that came last week. The speculation that Jamie Campbell Bower was Jace spread quicker than a wildfire as fans and reporters eagerly sought confirmation. The confirmation that Bower was cast to play Jace Wayland brought both celebration and dismay.
This kind of reaction is becoming the norm to highly anticipated films and franchises and should be considered a compliment. Historically speaking, fans complained when Tom Cruise was cast as the vampire Lestat in ‘Interview with the Vampire’. Vampire casting continued to be questioned in recent years, when Robert Pattinson signed to play Edward Cullen in the popular YA adaptation, ‘Twilight.’ We know how these two turned out, especially in Pattinson’s case, fans were very happy. Recently, fans erupted online with question on why Academy-award-nominated Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss in the highly anticipated, ‘Hunger Games.’ It was by no luck that the studio quickly released an image of Jennifer as Katniss. The studio listened to the fans. Once the image was viewed, fans calmed down and the chatter among social media sites turned positive for her and the ‘Hunger Games.’
A similar thing happened with Jamie Campbell Bower. He does not require as much of a physical change to play Jace as Jennifer does to play Katniss, but still the studio listened to fans concerns. Screen Gems played with a photo of Bower, making him look like Jace. With the release of the attached photo many fans were relieved by the look. For many though, it isn’t about the look but the acting ability. Hollywood can make almost anyone fit a specific look, but an actor has to bring the ability to the part. Bower currently is showing fans his ability in the Starz series, ‘Camelot.’ Bower plays King Arthur and defiantly is showing the range of his talent from fight scenes to conflicted love scenes, all the emotional range that Jace experiences in Clare’s series.
Now Mortal Instruments fans hope that Jamie Campbell Bower and other actors that join the ‘City of Bones’ share Lily Collins in her understand and respect of the fans via social media. Bower all ready has an account @JamieBower. He often gave bits of info while he filmed the ‘Twilight’ saga. In fact, two of his ‘Twilight’ cast members congratulated him for landing the role of Jace via Twitter.
It is a new age of Hollywood. A whole new world for fans. When actors can get closer to fans and fans can feel more involved and informed in their favorite series’ throughout the production process. Filming a movie is more than what it used to be. It now involves developing a social media campaign and following, a website and other multimedia tactics to grow its following, guaranteeing success opening weekend and beyond. What social media sites do you prefer to discuss ‘The Mortal Instruments?’ What is your favorite social media site?
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