“Fat Kid Rules The World” Challenges Viewers And The Mainstream Film Industry

"Fat Kid Rules The World" is a movie outside the Hollywood norm, not only because it stars an overweight punk teen, but also because it's reinventing the models of distribution using social media.

Fat Kid Rules The World

We were at Rooftop Films Friday night to check out the first New York City screening of “Fat Kid Rules The World,” the film adaptation of KL Going’s YA novel of the same name and Matthew Lillard’s directorial debut. The film has been a decade in the making and well worth the wait.

The story of an overweight, depressed teenager who figures out where he belongs when he discovers punk music still resonates with this generation of young people. If anything, it’s even more poignant as many teens struggle with fitting in and music is an ever-more-important factor in their lives and forming friendships. The film, like the book, doesn’t shy away from controversial topics, from drug use to suicide to complicated friendships and family relationships.

Following the screening, Lillard explained that he got involved with the film project while recording the book on tape — he was moved by the story because, like the main character, he was a lost kid in high school until he discovered acting. He immediately contacted Going and bought the film rights. After the film took home the Audience Award at SXSW, the opportunities that Hollywood presented were “kinda crappy,” according to Lillard. The Hollywood system doesn’t see a film about a fat kid as a big money maker, so Lillard and his crew are teaming up with Tugg.com — a sort of Groupon for films — to distribute the film.

At the screening, we talked with Lillard and Rick Rosenthal, the film’s producer, about why they chose to make this story, how social media is changing the film industry, and why they turned to Kickstarter to raise funds to get the film to theaters. [They’re currently a mere $16,000 away from reaching their goal with just four days left!]

The Fat Kid Family — Rick Rosenthal, Noah Rosenthal, KL Going, Julian Gavilanes, Dylan Arnold, Jacob Wysocki, and Matthew LillardYpulse: It’s clear from the group here supporting the film and from the number of…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “When I go out, I just go where my friends are going.”
—Female, 22, DC

Influencer marketing is on track to grow next year, despite “significant questions about its effectiveness.” According to analysis by Chute, 66% of marketers surveyed have an influencer marketing strategy in place, but the majority aren’t calculating its success by direct sales. Over eight in ten say their top goal with influencers is to reach a new audience, and to measure effectiveness more than 70% look at engagement—either through likes or comments on Instagram, sceenshots on Snapchat, etc.—followed by reach or views, and then referral link click-throughs. (Digiday)

Higher education needs to prepare itself for a new target market. A steep drop in births during the Great Recession is expected to lead to a decrease in the number of U.S. high school graduates, especially among Caucasians: according to a Georgetown Center report, in 2030 white students will account for less than half of high school graduates. Growth within the Hispanic community can offset the decline, signifying that “schools will need to re-orient themselves toward a Hispanic, first-generation population to stay competitive.” (The Wall Street Journal

Health-conscious Millennials have some misconceptions when it comes to GMOs. New Pew Research shows that 21% of 18-29-year-olds believe genetically modified foods are “very likely” to lead to health issues, and 25% believe they create problems for the environment. But in actuality, scientific research says that GM foods are safe to eat, and as long as they’re developed properly “don’t pose any unique, undue threat to the environment.” The study also found that 12% follow vegetarian or vegan diets, which according to scientific research is a healthy habit to take on. (NYMAG

All tech toys are not created equal—according to the Institution for Engineering and Technology. Created with the “mission to encourage more girls to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology,” the Institution recently found that stem toys are three times more likely to target boys over girls, and nine out of ten “girls’ toys” are pink. The Institution reports the stereotypically gendered toys could actually deter young girls interested in engineering. (The Guardian)

Live video is increasingly becoming the space to watch for audience engagement. According to MarketsandMarkets, live video will be a $70 billion industry by 2021, and on Facebook, live content is generating 10x the amount of comments than typical videos. The holidays have proven to be an ideal opportunity for brands looking to dive in on the trend: Lowe’s Black Friday deals unveiling on Facebook Live reached an audience of 32,000 during broadcast, while Taco Bell’s livestream of their annual Friendsgiving dinner generated as many as 150,000 viewers. (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “When I go out I look for pool tables…or something to do other than drink.”

—Female, 23, CA

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