By the end of my college career I was completely burnt out on academia. I could not handle the thought of grad school; I would rather just work a menial job at a movie theater. And so I did.
I worked at Woodhill Movies 10, where my friend Chris was an assistant manager. I swept floors, sold popcorn, tore tickets, and even eventually learned to thread the projectors. I worked there during the release of such blockbuster films as Twister, Mission Impossible, and Independence Day. It was the perfect job for a carefree young man. I made friends and saw tons of free movies.
One day at work we learned about a contest for promoting Spawn, the upcoming movie based on the comic book series created by Todd McFarlane. The theatre that did the best job pushing Spawn would win a cash prize. I was not a fan of the comic, but I decided that we would win the contest.
One of my co-workers loaned me a big pile of Spawn comics. I read them and, man, were they terrible. So slow-paced, endlessly advancing the same two subplots, with nothing ever changing. My opinion didn’t matter, though, because that research gave me the material for a Spawn trivia contest.
I drew a poster to go with the contest, with a cartoony Spawn sitting in a movie seat and munching popcorn, and I oversaw the creation of a series of large drawings on the theatre’s front windows. I drew the outlines, and other people helped fill in the colors. I even came in and worked off the clock to get this done. It turned out great. We were the most Spawn-focused theatre you have ever seen.
Our theatre won the contest, but by the time they announced the winner I had been fired. Me! The mastermind behind this award-winning promotional campaign. That’s gratitude for you. I still got my cut of the award money, though.