How the Industry Evolves: 'Diana' Strikes Photo Deal with Paparazzi
One of the many movie currently shooting right now is Diana, about the final years of Princess Diana, starring Naomi Watts as Diana and being directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The film will apparently address the "siege" of paparazzi that followed Diana around, who some blame her death on. We featured an official first look photo back in July, but word is that the production, which filmed in Croatia and around the UK, has also been besieged by paparazzi (as expected). A few weeks ago I wrote about how damaging this can be, and in an intriguing turn of events, the production struck a deal with paparazzi for the "best photo angles".
So this is how the industry evolves. After writing that RoboCop set photo editorial, complaining both about set photos as well as the lack of concern/response from Hollywood, I seemed to notice a muted but evident reaction in some minor ways. On the RoboCop set, the very next day they draped actor Joel Kinnaman in a cheesy monk-like black cape to cover up his outfit while he was walking around. (Sorry, but that's not going to make a difference guys.) Now I'm hearing about this paparazzi deal and it seems to be the first time (as far as I've heard) a production has tried to actually control and get involved with the paparazzi themselves.
The news on Diana comes from Hollywood Reporter. They say that Ecosse Films, the production company behind Diana (formerly Caught in Flight), struck a deal with paparazzi organizations Splash News & Picture Agency that allowed them to have "access to the best photo angles." The results haven't been impressive, and if you do a Google Image search there's not many good shots that stand out (but the best ones are probably sold to gossip magazines). Then again, this is a good strategy to use the gossip/paparazzi attention the film will unquestionably get to build positive buzz, and not negative disinterest. The film's rep is quoted saying: "We knew we would have to deal with the situation, so we got out in front of it." Exactly! Smart.
Looks like the industry is evolving. But this isn't Hollywood. This is an independent production, mostly based out of the UK (where paparazzi run rampant as well), and it was a very crafty decision specifically for this film. Even THR picks up on the odd irony of a film about the paparazzi causing Princess Diana's death striking a deal with the paparazzi so that they get good photos of them filming. But I like this. Despite never caring to look at any of these photos anyway, at least it's a step in the right direction. Progress. The industry can and does evolve in its own ways. So which movie will be the next to follow up and strike a deal like this?