Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The missed opportunity of M-Net, MultiChoice's DStv, Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro on October 21, 2015 with Back to the Future Day.

I mean, really.

How long have they we all known about it?

Today is Back to the Future Day across the globe. The day that Marty McFly and Doc Emmett Brown arrive in the "future" in Back to the Future II, the film that Steven Spielberg calls "the most iconic and best time travel story ever".

Is Back to the Future II showing today on M-Net (DStv 101) or any of the M-Net Movies channels on MultiChoice's DStv? Nope.

Is Back to the Future II showing on any of the other channels carried on DStv? Nope.

Is Back to the Future II showing in limited release in cinemas at Ster-Kinekor, or at Nu Metro theatres where it would definitely have filled seats as a once-off special event "thing"? Nope.

Is Back to the Future II or any of the Back to the Future trilogy films avaiable on Naspers' ShowMax? Nope.

Type Back to the Future in the struggling Times Media's VIDI and what do you get? Nothing.

Then perhaps PCCW Global's has Back to the Future? Guess again.

After M-Net, Disney and MultiChoice did a DStv Star Wars pop-up channel earlier this year, one would really expect better from M-Net Movies and MultiChoice. Much better.

Actually it's a collective and total failure - an embarrassment - for all the video streaming and video broadcasting entertainment media platforms in South Africa that none of them have the movie. On the one day it really matters. 21 October 2015.

None of them knew, or bothered to cash in and make an "event" of something that's really movie and video event-worthwhile and to get some added marketing mileage out of that time-travelling DeLorean.

The only thing worse than being old in media is being out of touch with popular culture. Especially if you work in television or movies.

And yes. You can be old, just be a snappy dresser. Like Doc Emmett Brown.

With cinema attendance at Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro way down and plunging according to the latest AMPS (and with DStv BoxOffice up), it appears that neither Ster-Kinekor nor Nu Metro have yet realised that special "event-ising" or mining once-off movie movements and moments is what will save and drive its business in future.

Last week I scanned all the DStv channels to look for Back to the Future II today. I couldn't find it. I looked because I planned to do more about it today. Instead, last night, I just watched the movie again, in high definition. On my laptop.

I've watched Back to the Future II more times than I can count, but I wanted to go back and zoom in on the details, especially on the newspaper headlines of the day.

In the 2015 of Back to the Future II it depicted that newspapers like USA Today still exist. Not just online, but in actual paper form. That's great, and true.

On the USA Today cover (technically tomorrow's newspaper of October 22 2015) there is a story of a terrorist threat - very in keeping with the times.

America also has a female president - again very apt - if you note the use of the female pronoun "she". Perhaps Hillary Clinton will be the next president.

Of course there is no "Queen Diana" as the movie predicted, it's still Queen Elizabeth II after all these years.

In 2015 people are stealing thumbs and fingerprints to get access to other people's accounts and entry.

And you can see a USA Today news drone drop down with cameras in front of the Hill Valley Town Hall to capture news - which is exactly what happens today with news gathering.

In the 2015 "future" besides the USA Today, there's a lot of other interesting things - like the multiple channels in people's homes with very little on it to watch. Go back (to the future) and see if you can see Oprah Winfrey whose Oprah Winfrey Show is playing in reruns insidethe 80s cafe.

Jaws19 is showing at the holomax (at least we got to the IMAX but have to watch with 3D glasses).

Go back to the past on Back to the Future Day and go rent Back to the Future II at the video shop (gasp!) today to see how, in several surprising aspects, the film got a lot of things about the future right (and hilariously wrong).