Strange Days is a rather odd movie; probably a few re-writes short of being a classic; definitely a movie worthy of a re-boot, especially with AI/AR/VR rocketing ever faster along. Some hate it, some love. Old mate Roger Ebert gave it a full 4 stars. In any case, it certainly belongs in the pantheon of movies with a deserted third act.

Ralph Fiennes is a black marketeer of SQUID recordings. The viewer is able to wear a device and playback other people’s experiences, as if they were the ones actually living the life of the recorder. You can buy whatever you want from Ralph and see, hear, smell, feel exactly what somebody else was sensing while they made the recordings.

Whilst most clients are keen to experience someone else’s life for a few minutes, Fiennes’ Lenny character is addicted to re-living moments of his own from much happier times.

The scene where Lenny explains the technology to a new customer is significant; and it’s more than just clever exposition. Lenny picks his client out from across a crowded room; and then quickly (and correctly) profiles his identity.

Not only that, Lenny is easily able to articulate what his client wants to experience––in this case, probably something kinky. Like the best copywriters, Lenny knows his audience better than they know themselves.

Most importantly, Lenny is only promising exactly the same thing that all (good) entertainment marketers promise to viewers: an experience their ordinary lives can’t deliver. All you have to do is build trust!

I dunno about you, but “Santa Claus of The Sub-Conscious” is one of the coolest job descriptions of movie trailer producing there is.

To cap off “the promo”, Lenny gives the customer a good, old-fashioned product demonstration… here’s what you will feel when you watch.

Of course, there’s no real difference between experiencing the story’s sci-fi SQUID and watching any (good) movie or TV programme. If the show works, you lose all track of time, forget yourself for an hour or so, and simply become someone else.

Posted by Charley Holland

Charley Holland is a copywriter, creative, communicator type.

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