UCSB currently ranks first in a contest to host a free advanced screening of the Sony Pictures’ upcoming June 12 comedy film, “This Is The End”, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring an ensemble cast including James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and Rogen himself.
The event will include in-person appearances from Rogen, Robinson and McBride, who play fictional versions of themselves attempting to survive an apocalypse. As of press time, UCSB has accumulated 3,039 votes on digital media company Eventful’s social media platform, Demand It!, which allows a student from each campus one vote for their university. Closely trailing UCSB are the University of North Carolina Wilmington with 2,955 votes and the University of North Texas with 1,559 votes.
UCSB won a previous Eventful and Universal Pictures contest two years ago in April 2011 for the world premiere of action-adventure comedy, “Your Highness”. Sara Callahan, Pollock Theater Marketing and Production Assistant who is currently working to promote the contest, said she hopes the campus will take a second win this year.
“I expect this event to sell out if we win, for sure,” Callahan said. “Pollock Theater Director Matthew Ryan was the one who gave me a heads up that this second contest was taking place. I started a Facebook event late that night and had 100 votes within the first hour.”
Once the Facebook event page was established, activity on it quickly grew with people inviting their friends and sharing the link on their walls, according to Callahan.
“I shared the event page on a lot of film major groups since they obviously have a vested interest in film-related events. To share beyond my own personal bubble, though, I sent the event page link to high traffic pages like Spotted: UCSB Library, UCSB Confessions and SB Menus for them to share with followers beyond my own personal web of connections,” Callahan said. “We battled with the University of North Carolina Wilmington for about a week, getting 20 votes ahead of them and then falling 40 behind. But ever since those high traffic pages shared the event, we’ve held the lead.”
According to Joe Palladino, undergraduate adviser for the Film and Media Studies Department, the event two years ago was held on a much larger scale than the one being put on this year. Eventful hosted a party at Storke Plaza with food for 3,000 people, free t-shirts and giveaway posters. Three screenings of “Your Highness” occurred along with actual, in-person visits from James Franco, Danny McBride and Director David Gordon Green, Palladino said.
“This year, however, things would be much smaller. I don’t imagine that Eventful would have another event as big as the one from 2011 with James Franco,” Palladino said. “Nevertheless, I’m sure that students will be excited for Seth Rogen and Danny McBride. They are both very funny, which will attract a large audience.”
If UCSB wins this year, Callahan said, she believes it will take place in Pollock Theater, which seats 300 students.
“Although this film is not through Universal like the last one, I believe the studio executives will still recognize that the Pollock Theater is the best audio quality, not only on campus, but also on the West Coast,” Callahan said.
According to Eventful Public Relations Manager Alicia Graham, if UCSB wins the contest, the event will be free to all students.
“The movie studio will be in contact with the school,” Graham said. “We have partnerships with different studios and we are only here to coordinate the contests and get people excited for it.”
Diane Byun, a second-year English major, said she is most excited about the possibility of Seth Rogen visiting the campus.
“We’d get to hear that awesome voice live,” Byun said. “His appearances in films aren’t classic, but they certainly give you a good laugh.”
Students have until April 11 to “Demand” their school. The college with the most Demands will win the screening.
To vote, search “Bring Seth Rogen & Craig Robinson to UCSB!” on Facebook and follow the instructions in the information box to vote.
A version of this article appeared on page 1 of April 9th, 2013′s print edition of the Nexus.