Where's The Rest?

I had the occasion to attend the New York premiere of "The Great Debaters" last night, starring Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Nate Parker (full disclosure -- he is a client of Paradigm's), Denzel Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Gina Ravera and Jurnee Smollett . Needless to say, it was fantastic. The movie is based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College who in 1935 formed the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

Now, I am not getting into writing movie reviews, so don't avert your eyes just yet. I am going to say that this story, told on the big screen with such powerful and compelling performances, which deals with issues that still exist today, that could inspire a whole new generation of minds to lead the charge with words and not violence, has no other digital content than a simple Web site and Wikipage. Yes, that's all. No books, no audio podcasts, no historical pieces, no educational component, no graphic novel, no online anything.

How can this be? In an age when studios, producers and content creators in general are constantly looking for new ways to distribute, leverage, bond with audiences, incite conversation and buzz -- how can it be that the most compelling online offer that is available is to enter a contest to win a movie poster, or to buy the soundtrack off iTunes?

With 2008 a nanosecond away, I hope that the new year will inspire every one of us to take the opportunity to really think out of the box, to challenge consensus, to aspire to achieve what we believe to be impossible, especially about how we connect consumers and content. I fear that if we don't, yet another year will go by where erosion, rather than explosion, will be the name of the content game.

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