Alright volunteers, why not? Let’s get down to business and talk about why there’s hope for this teaser trailer being real. (And it would be amazing if it were because it would be a clear sign that Netflix is on the right track with this series!)
I’d like to preface this by reminding everyone that Netflix has officially announced that the trailer is a fake. (Their exact words were; “Nope, this isn’t an official Netflix teaser”) I’m sure that the fine folks at Netflix who are turning our beloved books into a soon-to-be-beloved show would appreciate it if we all kept their official stance on the teaser in mind while we discuss our theories about it. (Though I have to admit that I find it a little funny to imagine people at some Netflix office somewhere realizing what a huge mistake they made in picking up ASOUE—it’s going to make an incredible show, yes, but they forgot to factor in the insanity of its fans with our paranoia and suspicion! I bet Mr. Handler is very proud of what his books have done to us.)
Now, with that friendly reminder out of the way, let me make a list of reasons the trailer could be a publicity stunt and an actual Netflix production. I’ll be appreciatively sourcing all ideas that I gathered from the ASOUE tag and hope that no one minds being tagged in this.
1. The quality of this video. The amount of equipment it must have taken just to film it, let alone make all of these elaborate and detailed props, and the amount of money that has to have been put into this thirty second clip…the amount of time, funds, and skill that went into this video is almost certainly beyond any one fan, and probably beyond even a highly skilled team of them. This is not someone’s weekend project. To make the props alone for this video must have taken hundreds of dollars and weeks of time, and then they’d have to be arranged, filmed (filmed with masterful placement, lighting, and camera work, I might point out), and the whole thing edited (again with clear mastery.) mooncactus pointed out the Lachrymose Leech as proof that the trailer was professionally done, and if you’re doubting the quality of this video I think you should take another look at it. That’s very impressive work, and not the doing of an amateur using a basic animation program. That’s professionally done, and as far as I can tell (I did check around on Youtube a bit) it wasn’t animation that was taken from something already done. I should also mention that there have been rumors that the footage used in the video is all from the ASOUE movie—it’s absolutely not.
2. No one has taken credit for it. The video has no description, the account Eleanora Poe has never uploaded another video, and NO ONE seems to want credit for their hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I can easily see someone sitting back and enjoying the madness they’ve created right now. But doesn’t it seem a little strange that someone—or, more likely, several someones—made this trailer and posted it on a strange account and asked for no credit, not even coming forward when Netflix denied their involvement in it?
3. Not only is no one taking credit for it…no one ever said that ‘they don’t own Netflix/the song Missed Me/A Series of Unfortunate Events’. We’ve been talking about copyright and trademark infringement quite a lot since Netflix announced their stance on the video and it seems like someone who put that much time and effort into a video would post somewhere that they don’t own the copyrighted material in the trailer.
4. A mysterious video posted by Eleanora Poe would be the perfect way to start off an epic and genius marketing campaign for this series. It would fit so perfectly with the books. (It wouldn’t even be very out of place considering the current marketing campaign for the ATWQ series—remember how the title of Why is This Night Different From All Other Nights was cryptically hinted at in a randomly tweeted cartoons months before it became official?) Not to mention that, as has been made clear from the reaction to this—I think the video has gained only more attention since being announced as a fake due to the rampant speculation that immediately began popping up everywhere—it would be a very successful marketing campaign that fans will explode over. The hype for this series is suddenly at an all-time high as much because of the mystery of the trailer as because of the trailer itself. It’s not like this is an unheard of marketing strategy. Remember when The Hunger Games franchise was releasing bizarre tweets before Mockingjay Part One that called for the downfall of The Capital, and then deleting them hours after posting? This kind of viral marketing exists, is successful, and would fit perfectly with ASOUE as a series and with the type of marketing that the books already use.
5. Shout out to ilike-crayons for catching this one! I’ve seen a lot of people saying that they’re accepting that the trailer is a fake because Daniel Handler has come out and said it is…but Daniel Handler hasn’t. “Eleanora Poe, whomever you are: I owe you a gimlet, you trickster. –DH” followed by a link to the video. That’s all that the tweet contained. Daniel Handler has not said that Netflix didn’t create the video—as far as I can tell he’s reacting as we could have expected him to react if Netflix had created this video. Daniel Handler always keeps the mystery of ASOUE and the separation between himself and the ASOUE-verse (the ASOUE-verse that our darling Eleanora is a part of) clear, and that’s all this tweet really does. It credits no one but Eleanora Poe for creating the video and says nothing about Netflix at all.
6. Copyright and trademark infringement. Let’s talk first about the use of the song Missed Me by the Dresden Dolls. Not only is it being used in the trailer, the official Dresden Doll’s Facebook page has been reported to have posted a link to the trailer. (Thank you valyriangold!) I find it very unlikely that they’re that cool with someone using their copyrighted song in a video that has over a million views without even crediting them. And then there’s the use of the Netflix logo…not only is that their official logo, it’s being used in a way that clearly and strongly implies that Netflix is responsible for the trailer and its contents. Netflix might love the hype that this trailer is giving their new series, but it seems…strange that such a big company is so completely fine with it. They’re not just tolerant; they’re encouraging towards the video and have allowed it to remain up despite having clear knowledge of the use of the use of their logo in it. As I mentioned earlier, no one has made a point of saying that they don’t own Netflix/Missed Me/ASOUE, so it’s not like the videos are protected in any way from a lawsuit or even from just being taken down.
Personally, I’m cautiously thinking that this might be part of a viral marketing stunt. But please, please remember that Netflix has officially announced that the trailer is a fake. That is the official stance on the matter, and we can have fun and speculate about this and wonder, but right now that’s what Netflix has to say about it.