Wednesday, May 29, 2013

So Many Movies, So Little Time...

The Movie is an anomaly in today's world of the web.  I was having a conversation with someone at a party a couple of weeks ago who I struck up a conversation about technology.  Eventually the discussion went to my books where this new acquaintance suggested making an app for my website.  He started laying out all the ways I could make my site more popular by making it more interactive.  Some of the suggestions he came up with included:

  • Including a comments section in each of the reviews (I've actually tried this before, but it's always worth trying again).
  • Make pop-up trivia available.
  • Include clips and trailers in all the reviews.
  • Include an RSS feed where movie news can be posted within minutes.
He mentioned more features but I think this is the point where I started to tune out a little bit.  See, while I am glad that the blogosphere exists and has given lots of people a chance to voice their opinions on the internet, I sometimes feel a little intimidated by the sheer demand for new content all the time.  I love talking about movies and writing reviews, but there's so much movie news on a daily basis that it makes my head spin.  I don't care whether or not Brad Pitt has memory problems but I do care if "Fast & Furious 6" is worth seeing.  So I channel my energy to watching movies and reviewing them.  But if I tried to be an all-inclusive interactive site I fear that that would turn my site into something its not.

There are tons of movie blogs out there talking about movie gossip, industry news, and Oscar predictions.  There are few sites that actually discuss the movies themselves.  There's something wrong with that thinking I feel.  I have this updates blog but I rarely update it (as you've probably noticed).  I feel that The Movie is unique because it contains movie reviews and little else.  Sure, I'll post the occasional YouTube rant or write an editorial about a dumb business decision, but the site has always been about the movies first and foremost.  Though I didn't reject the idea of an app outright I have my concerns that trying to please everyone will betray the spirit of what this site represents.

I'm not saying my reviews are gold, but once all the blog posts come and go what you have left are the movies themselves.  So while people might not care why Steven Soderberg was fired from directing "Moneyball" in ten years they will care if the movie is worth seeing.  And so I spend so much time writing movie reviews that blog posts like these are a pain to sit down and write.  One thing my new friend did point out though was true: Updating once or twice a week makes it hard to capture the attention of an internet that is constantly hungry for more stuff to read.  While I don't really want to contribute to this mindset (I feel like I'm feeding a chef who is full) I do want to update more than I do.

Over the past couple years I've been writing reviews for future Oscar books and a series on the Criterion Collection that I want to publish someday.  I've been putting this reviews in folders for the books I'll need them for, but I think it would be beneficial to let my readers see those.  So once fall comes around and the hectic summer movie season is over I'm going to start formatting these reviews and posting one a day for the days I don't have reviews for new movies.  I have a large buffer so I could theoretically upload a new review every day for at least a year.  I think that would provide fresh, daily content in a way that isn't too stressful on me or diverts from what the site is really about.

It will also give me a chance to diversify by publishing reviews for classic films, cult films, and random films (rather than just recent releases).  And who knows, maybe I'll even be able to brainstorm a good app that will enhance how you read these reviews.  So stay tuned because come fall it will be a new chapter for The Movie!