Hollywood Online: Film Industry and the Web

This past week, I concentrated on probing the Internet for high-quality blogs and fascinating as well as reputable resources pertaining to my interest in the evolution of Hollywood. Spending this time searching for additional resources and links will aid me in creating more comprehensive future blog entries. Following both the Webby and IMSA criteria for website evaluation I have added twenty unique links to my linkroll which I believe capture or report-on one or more important aspects of Hollywood. In this entry I will, give a brief summary of each of think links located under my linkroll which is located on the right side of my blog.

Some of the most credible blogs I could find came from Variety.com’s main blogging website. The directory provides links to extremely reputable bloggers all with documented histories in the film industry including, Peter Bart, Pamela McClintock, Ben Fritz, and Anne Thompson. Variety succeeds in providing commentary on all facets of the entertainment industry. Nikki Finke writes another great blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily. The site is the Internet version of her popular LA weekly column. Ms. Finke won the 2007 Southern California entertainment journalist of year award and uses this online medium to break news 24/7 about the entertainment industry. The website moviemarketingmadness.com/blog is one of several websites run by Chris Thilk. Chris is a social media strategist, film marketing author, and the director of marketing of the popular online movie community site Spout.com. While not as notable as the authors mentioned previously Chris offers excellent opinions and up to date news regarding the marketing aspect of today’s films. A similar blogger Berge Garabedian is responsible for the website joblo.com. Berge unlike Chris however is more of a film critic than a reporter on the general industry. Berge and joblo.com pride themselves in critiquing movies from the perspective of an average film-goer or your everyday “joe shmoe”. Other than an up-to-date blog the site also offers but is not limited to real time release dates, downloadable scripts and movie trailers. The last blog that I added and will comment on is the Steven Zeitchik’s riskybusinessblog.com. The Risky Biz blog examines “the film industry’s “ups, downs and deals from around the world and the heart of Hollywood”. Zeitchik is part of the Hollywood reporter’s worldwide team and has also contributed pieces to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The site also offers an extensive list of links including homepages for the major Hollywood critics, studios, business data and entertainment gossip websites.

There were other less reputable film critic websites that were nonetheless very provocative and interesting. These sites offer rants and raves about all aspects of the industry as well as news and articles from less traditional perspectives. Empireonline.com/empireblog/ and lucidscreening.com are two great examples. These sites, while probably not citation worthy, are great for inciting different ways to think about film industry topics.

During my search of the net I also came across several sites that provided enormous data on box office receipts and projections. Both Box Office Guru and Box Office Mojo offer comprehensive box office reporting services. Box Office Guru presents the information in a very friendly almost garage-made layout. Box Office Mojo on the other hand is much more institutionalized. Founded by Brandon gray in 1999, Box Office Mojo now averages over 1 million distinctive users per month. The information and analysis provided by Box Office Mojo is cited regularly by L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes and countless other high-end publications. While Mojo and Guru provide after-the-fact analysis of films, websites such as the Hollywood Stock Exchange and Projectionz strive to predict the respective success a film will have. HSX functions exactly like a real stock market. Users buy and sell shares of actors and movies resulting in a realistic prediction of success. The values rise or fall based on the success of the box office success of the film. Projectionz offers a more traditional style of predicting success. Two members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association make predictions based on quality of script and above-the-line personnel.

While limited in number there were several film websites dedicated to the inner-workings of the independent film world. Two of these sites include www.filmthreat.com and www.indiescene.com. Indiescene provides mostly commentary on films as well as Do’s and Don’ts on how-to market smaller budget films. FilmThreat offers film festival information, exclusive interviews and original videos in addition to film reviews. Both websites are progressive journalism while staying true to the renegade nature of independent films.

There are a number of great film industry directory type websites. Darkhorizons.com, IMDb.com, TotalFilm.com, and Cinemaspot.com are just some of these types of websites. Each of these sites offers the latest industry news, reviews, trailers, cast and crew, summaries and business information for both upcoming and past films. A few other great websites consist of apple.com/trailers, superherohype.com and themoviespoiler.com. Apple’s website has the most in depth archive of new and old film trailers. Superherohype.com offers news and updates of popular comics and there transition to the silver screen. Themoviespoiler.com provides users with spoilers for new releases and upcoming films which can be extremely helpful I understanding the basic plot line for upcoming films without having seen them. My investigation of the film industry and how it is represented online this week has left me a greater understanding of the resources available to me and other interested parties.

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