When Will Hollywood Step Up its Office Supply Game?
Watching as many films as I do and possessing the level of office supply interest I have cultivates an eagle eye for product placement – dismal as is usually the case – in movies. Every time a cinema physician writes a cinematic prescription I tsk-tsk the use of a gaudy, novelty pen emblazoned with the name of some psuedo-pharmaceutical giant of the Devlin-McGregor variety. Generally speaking, physicians don’t tend to use those pens with real patients and with electronic medical records, they hardly even write many scripts by hand. Unfortunately, the truth has never gotten in the way of Hollywood’s desire to traffic in useless stereotypes, resulting in cinematic doctors who are no more office supply savvy than business men often seen lusting over cheap stick pens in every film or TV show featuring some kind storm door/insurance salesman convention, which oddly enough always/only seem to take place in Cleveland.
While it’s possible to find office supply products in just about every film, I tend to focus on thrillers of the medical, legal and political variety, where one is afforded ample opportunities to see file folders unearthed, papers being endless jogged into briefcases and probably a few important/damning documents with certain key phrased covered in the thick, heavy black shame bars of a permanent marker.
In Michael Clayton I was baffled by the mixed messaging happening as it relates to office supplies. If these two were such tony outfits, why did it seem as though every high power litigator was working what appeared to be cheap Skilcraft pens. To be sure, Skilcraft makes a rugged, dependable pen for all that bureaucratic paper pushing, however, nothing will be assume other than incompetence if you roll into a meeting and liberate one of these bad boys from your briefcase.
But leave it to the James Bond franchise to show other filmmakers and set decorators the way towards creating films that sell the audience an idealize version of their office supply selves, the way films sell beauty, wealth and youth as the defacto requirement for happiness. Dame Judi’s M has a sleek modern office, complete with sleek, modern office supplies and one helluva showstopping pen!