Spider-Man Leaves His Mark on Los Angeles - How We Pulled It Off
by Alex Billington
February 17, 2012
We've left our mark in the name of Spider-Man. Permanently this time! Last night I was called on the phone I picked up in the Mark of the Spider-Man viral to meet up in downtown Los Angeles to participate in an incognito event around the city involving tagging the Mark of the Spidey on walls around Hollywood. It was awesome. And you can still see our work. This isn't the only city either, as groups have hit Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, and also coming up tonight, New York and Phoenix, too. Our group of 10 and the Mark crew took stencils and rode in a van around the city last night spreading the word of Spidey. Here's what went down.
Note: Before anyone says anything, this was a completely legal, virally-coordinated event involving Sony / Columbia Pictures in the background. All of the locations were marked and chosen and this was designed to be an "in-fiction" event for Spidey fans like us to experience. It is not meant to encourage illegal activity or vandalism and we did not just ride around choosing random walls to tag. That said, it was an awesome idea and if you know the locations, you can now find these Spider-Man symbols hidden all around the country.
So here's what happened. The five people who picked up phones/hoodies in the first viral drop earlier this week were called and told to show up at 8:30 at a location downtown in Los Angeles, with an extra person. That means 10 of us in total showed up to the spot last night, which was located right under a gigantic Spider-Man logo tagged on a building in the background (see the photo) which was the perfect tease for what was to come. After being briefed by the Mark guys about our plans to start spreading our support of Spider-Man, we gathered up in a black van and drove around up into Hollywood to three different locations.
This crew of 10 rag tag Spider-Man taggers, which actually included two fans who were real taggers, took stencils and paint to an undisclosed first location and started our work. They divided us into teams, the first group would set the stencils on the walls and start painting with the red spray cans. Think Banksy meets Project Mayhem, but with Spider-Man. The other two teams were documenting/tweeting (you can find non-stop reports by searching #markofthespiderman) and handing out info cards with a QR code link telling everyone to "support Spider-Man!" Because, you know, The Daily Bugle and the cops think he's a menace. Poor Spidey! We used different size stencils at all of the spots to make it look unique each time.
All of us who participated had an amazing time, getting our hands dirty on the streets in support of Spidey. I came with my friend @infamous and ran into @zachlipovsky and his girlfriend as well, and we made up the team that hit the very first tag. At the end we received a unique print signed by Marc Webb, and our work was turned into a staticy video on the markofthespider-man.com website. They also took the viral phones at the end, but told us there is plenty more coming, so this isn't the end. The last two cities will get their Marks tonight and Spider-Man will start getting supporters around the country thanks to our work on the streets.
I did my best to document the entire event as it unfolded last night on my twitter. Besides that twitter hash tag, our friends on Tumblr and Mentorless are updating this viral closely every single night. I recorded a quick video of the stencil and painting process and took as many photos as I could to show you what it was like and how amazing of an experience it was to go around doing this at night in Los Angeles. Watch here:
For those who want to check out the locations in LA to see our Spidey art, I found a complete listing of addresses for all three spots on twitter. You can find all of them pointed out on this Google map, as well as the fourth spot downtown that was already painted when we showed up (and I think another one might've gone up near Culver City). Go check them out while they still last! Here are more photos from last night:
This last group photo of the viral crew courtesy of @jerrybandito, one of the taggers in our group with us:
What I don't think this is trying to show is that we're all vandalizing in the name of Spider-Man. This was coordinated because there's a scene in the movie where Spidey does the same, and it's allowing fans to play and live in that world, and experience it like we're in the movie. That's why it was so damn cool. All of this was legal, the spots were chosen, we even had a security escort, and no cops ever showed up. I'm sure all of the other crews had a similar experience as I've heard nothing but great things from everyone else. While this didn't unlock anything in terms of progress in the viral, but we did leave our mark in a very public, prominent way, and I think people will definitely take notice. Support Spider-Man, and down with crime!
I can't wait to see what's next if this is only the start of the Mark of the Spider-Man viral, since we still have six more months until The Amazing Spider-Man lands in theaters. Thank you to Sony / Columbia for even allowing this to happen, I'm sure everyone in all of the cities won't ever forget this, and if anything hopefully we can start an even bigger Mark of the Spider-Man movement out of it. Stay tuned for more viral updates.