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Celebrity Guest-Blogging: 'The Nines' director John August takes us behind the scenes

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August_lWhitney Pastorek asked me (pictured) to write up a bit about the process ofreleasing a movie, in particular a Sundance indie with more streetcred than marketing dollars.  Over the next four weeks, I’ll bechecking in occasionally with updates about the marketing, thejunket, and our upcoming trip to the Venice Film Festival, wherewe’ll be the sole American entry in Critics’ Week. (Thanks. We’revery excited.)

I directed a movie called The Nines, which comes out August 31st. Ialso wrote it, but I’ve written a lot of other movies, and no oneasked me to guest-blog on EW.com about those, so I’m guessing it’sthe “director” part of writer-director that gets people fired up.

Best I can figure, the hierarchy of publicity-worthiness for a movierelease is roughly as follows:

1. Star
2. Not-quite-star, but recognizable
3. Any other actor
4. Director
16. Screenwriter
17. Producer

Yes, I skipped 12 steps there. So did Lohan. (rimshot, followed byshame)

[After the jump, John pursues an elusive Regis.]

I guess I’ll start by pulling back the curtain on press reactions.

As a mere screenwriter, I always assumed that it was largely amystery what journalists were going to say about the movie in theirmagazines and newspapers. Now that I’m cc’d on the publicity e-mails,I realize how wrong I was. Every few days, there’s a 10-page Worddocument with an updated listing of who’s seen the movie, and (often)what they thought.

For example, I can see that Nikia Dawkins from Zink magazine watchedthe movie on July 23. I don’t know who that is, or what magazine thatis, but I can now obsess about his/her opinion until the next updatede-mail.

This document also shows our progress on booking our stars (RyanReynolds, Hope Davis, Melissa McCarthy, and Elle Fanning) on varioustalk shows. From this I know that Live with Regis and Kelly isdark from Aug. 16 to Sept. 4, so we’ll get back to them with alternate dates.

Now I’m wondering what Regis is up to. I hope he’s enjoying hisvacation, and I hope the fact that he’s not chatting up Hope or Melissaisn’t weighing too heavily on him.

In other news, the person hired to build the official website(lookforthenines.com) flipped out and quit via e-mail, so it’s nowback in my hands. It’s running, though, with forums ready to provokeand answer your questions. Such as, “Why does Regis need such a longvacation? His job isn’t that hard.”

Have questions for John about the magic of Hollywood? Leave ’em in the comments, and we’ll pass them along. Here at PopWatch, we strive to educate as well as amuse. Also, don’t forget to check in over at johnaugust.com, where you can see clips from The Nines, learn about his upcoming trailer competition, and read an irate letter from an air duct, among other things.