...Those who advocate spoilers say that spoilers enhance our love of films and make our lives better.... Of course, there is also the illicit pleasure of a spoiler. A person browsing the Internet can feel empowered coming across a spoiler. They now possess forbidden information about a film that most other people don't have. Still, as alleged by the pro-spoilers faction, the most powerful benefit of sharing spoilers is that it helps to build a community around movies and television shows. But doesn't it impart too much importance to the latest film to build a community around it?I gotta admit, I don't understand why some fans need to know things in advance. I realize this never used to be a problem; there was a time when people never made as big a deal about learning advance information about a movie (or book, or TV show, or comic, or what have you), but with the rise of the Internet, it has become more of a thing, partially because information is so much more easily obtainable and more easily passed along now. This week, we saw Quentin Tarantino decide to not shoot his latest film because the script was leaked over the Internet - and who can blame him?
There are books I've read prior to seeing them adapted into movies, and there have been classic films I've watched after reading all about them in blogs or books, but those aren't quite the same thing. In this particular case, there's an assumed perception of an upcoming movie and a certain level of expectations that go with it that prompt a fan to seek out advance knowledge. This is commonly associated with genre movies, but also with movies from certain popular directors, such as Tarantino. The question remains, though: can one more easily enjoy a movie if you know it from start to finish?
I'm gonna test this hypothesis by taking two upcoming movies and approaching them from both extremes: I'll go into one movie knowing as much about it as I can possibly learn, and into the other knowing as little as possible - which, I grant, won't be easy, which is why I'll set the minimum goal of not knowing plot details beyond the barest of essentials. This will likely mean doing things like skipping out on the trailers whenever I go to the movies, for example, but I can do that. At any rate, I won't actively pursue knowledge about my "blind" movie, whereas with my "spoiler" movie, I'm gonna go whole hog and learn everything. My goal is to find out whether advance knowledge of a film helps or hurts the viewing experience.
I've chosen two movies coming out this spring, and they're both sports movies: Draft Day, a football movie with Kevin Costner, coming out in April, will be my "blind" movie, while Million Dollar Arm, a baseball movie with Jon Hamm, coming out in May, will be my "spoiler" movie. Maybe I should've chosen a more fanboy kind of movie, like the sci-fi flick Transcendence, or a movie with a popular director, like Darren Aronofsky's Noah, but the fortuitous chance of two sports movies coming out in the same season, both of which I would be interested in anyway, makes this a better fit for me. You can follow my progress on Twitter, where I'll use the hashtag [#spoilerxpmt].
Any advice on how I can fine-tune this experiment would be greatly appreciated.