Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Star Wars PR Belgium

While the internet has become an invaluable source for finding stuff, older print materials are, unfortunately, harder to find. For that reason, I decided to share my international Star Wars clippings file. This article is from Belgium, September 2, 1977, where they speak either French or Flemish. It's one article, but my scanner only goes up to a certain size so there are two jpgs.

So just imagine, my fellow Americans, in this tiny little country, they speak two languages. The previous article was in Flemish. This is in French. The languages and people co-exist. In fact, many speak both Flemish and French. September 16, 1977.

Laatste Nieuws, August 25, 1977. This article is also a two part article because it was too large to fit on my scanner.

Laatste Nieuws, September 22, 1977

Back to the French side of Belgium... These clippings work best if they're uploaded in conjunction with the international distribution schedule. Unlike today, when movies are released worldwide within a very short period of time, STAR WARS was released slowly not only in the United States, but globally. The dates of the press coverage in different territories coincided with the movie's release in that territory... by the way, Belgium is part of a territory called Benelux, which stands for Belgium, Luxemburg and Netherlands. I love the name Benelux.

Park Mail. I'm not sure who handled all the European press material. Stanley Bilecki, I believe, only handled the UK & UK territories (i.e., English speaking Hong Kong). The woman in charge, whose name I can't remember now, came out of Fox's Paris office. She would send out, co-ordinate and arrange STAR WARS press coverage. You'll see a lot of theses international press articles appear to be the same articles in different languages because papers sometimes would just translate or revise basic material sent to them. However, bigger, more prestigious papers and magazines would want to do their own stories. They worked it out with the Paris office what they needed to write their articles.

We had a clipping service who, as the name implies, clipped the articles and sent them to the LFL offices in LA. A good portion of the clippings were printed on thermal fax paper because that what copiers were like in the late 70s. they used rolls of thermal fax paper -- if you know what I'm talking about, you're dating yourself :) Anyway, these thermal faxes were the best of what they had back then in home offices, but I must say, the faxes are really awful. That's one area technology has greatly improved. Office electronics.

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