I'm thinking of changing the title of my documentary from "Dead Meat" to "Mondo Miami."
It's for commercial & historical reasons.
The original idea was to create a tone poem of a documentary.
Kind of like "Magnolia" (1999) or a painting by Rene Magritte.
This is what set-off my creation of the movie.
I created a mock poster with the title "DEAD MEAT" and drew a mascot of a slab of meat with two X's for eyes and its tongue hanging out, then wrote the tagline: "An Exploitation Film."
And I just loved how that made me feel.
So for over a year I went about creating this documentary, telling everyone it's called "Dead Meat."
The only problem I noticed was that nobody could seem to put their finger on what the movie's about.
All I could say is, "You wait and see."
One of the qualities I liked about the title was how punk and gruesome it sounded, yet how beautiful and progressive the movie itself was turning out.
It was like a grindhouse art film title.
Also, everyone got something different out of the title.
At a Chik-Fil-A event, everyone thought I was making an anti-meat documentary.
While interviewing a bunch of dude-bros in Miami, they thought the title referred to erectile dysfunction.
A conspiracy theorist thought it was a veiled threat aimed at him.
Fast forward to my conversation with Herschell Gordon Lewis.
I ask him to do a Freudian association with the phrase "Dead Meat" and he said it reminded him of a piece of meat that's been cooked to death and now it's no longer edible.
That was the interpretation that made me revisit my other idea: "Mondo Miami."
As I did more research about the nature of what I'm making, it seems to be closest aligned to the mondo movies made in the 1960's.
The original is "Mondo Cane" (1962) the movie that kickstarted the entire phenomenon.
But then the genre devolved into an excuse to see women's tits in theaters (with movies like 1966's "Mondo Freudo" and "Mondo Bizarro").
Then, starting in the 1970's, the genre morphed again into depictions of true violence and snuff with movies like "Faces of Death" (1978) and "The Killing of America" (1981).
Later you have something called "Mondo New York" (1988) which represents the sputtering end of the genre.
So by titling the movie "Mondo Miami" I'd be linking the movie within the tradition of cinema.
There's also never been a Mondo Miami, which seems like an obvious choice.
The title will also act as a form of free advertisement.
Instead of people saying, "What does that mean?" audiences will now have an inkling of what to expect.
MONDO sounds big.
And MIAMI has all of its associations.
I believe with a bit of audience education, planting seeds, and reaching out to related media channels / social networks, the movie will piggyback on top of the history of cinema while paving its own little path toward the future.
Ultimately, it's all about advertising.
How can I shape the movie so the most amount of people want to see it?
How can I mold what I'm making to maximize the probability of success?
Is your title an asset or a hindrance to your movie's success?