A family on the run from
an ecological disaster.

It's the end of a world where a series of violent and inexplicable deaths are occurring all over the country as a seemingly apocalyptic threat strikes out of nowhere. The cause of the terrifying phenomenon remains a mystery, prompting a science teacher, his wife, and a colleague to attempt to elude the invisible killer. Soon, they realize no one is safe.

The Challenge
Connect with movie-goers in the 18-24 demographic on mobile handsets to provide showtimes and track interest.

THE HAPPENING was the eighth film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was panned by critics, but delighted investors, grossing $163 million worldwide. Part of the film's box office success was attributed to its slick advertising and marketing campaigns - particularly to mobile consumers. Publicis' Zenith/20th Century Fox tasked Warbasse with art direction, design, and mobile strategies to support its release in the U.S.

THE HAPPENING Mobile Screenshot

20th Century Fox

UI Design

  • Visual Design
  • Layout & Wireframes
  • UI Copywriting
Frontend Development

  • Mobile Website Development
  • Mobile Hosting
The Strategy
Promote the movie trailer and tie-in to Google for location-based showtimes.

2008 marked the beginning of the mobile era in Hollywood. Major film studios were some of the earliest adopters of mobile advertising. 20th Century Fox was one of the first to promote their feature films to mobile audiences, successfully connecting with consumers who had slowly begun to migrate away from television and radio exclusively.

THE HAPPENING Mobile Interface

The Beginning of a New Era

Mobile Interfaces

As the technology in mobile handsets began to advance, especially in areas related to delivering video, movie studios were intent on streaming the film's trailer to interested movie-goers. In 2008, the two major players in the burgeoning smartphone space were Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Windows Mobile. In the earliest phases of mobile advertising, mobile interfaces prompted the user to choose the most appropriate selection - this would begin to change by 2010 with the introduction of mobile detection technology.

"I am grateful to collaborate with Zenith on such a wonderful project. I am also grateful to the folks at 20th Century Fox for their vision and marketing fortitude. I know this is the start of something that will have a long-lasting impact." - Philip Warbasse (2008)

23+ Years of Design


Walt Disney Pictures Feature Film


Buzz Aldrin Personal Website

9 The Movie

FOCUS Features Feature Film