Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Impact Of Blogs On The Film Industry

Movie blogs have increased in popularity in recent years as they are a fresh new take on journalism. Most of the writers for these blogs are not paid for their contributions so are therefore writing these blogs as a creative outlet, indicating a greater passion for film than a magazine critic who sees their work as a job rather than a hobby.

Blogs are also popular because they are not bound by the rules of older media such as magazines or TV. A critic may be restricted from giving something a negative review in a magazine or a TV show but on their own blog  writer has the freedom to write their own opinions even if they aren't popular. There is a greater sincerity and dedication to these blogs because they offer so much creative freedom, they build large fan bases because their audience is looking for a critic whose opinions they can trust.

An example of this guerrilla style of film journalism would be the blog "". This is certainly a blog whose style could probably never translate well to television. is reminiscent of a stand up routine of Bill Hicks or George Carlin in the way that the blogger mercilessly attacks movies and the movie indusrty in general. The blogger uses large amounts of profanity and is incredibly sarcastic. One example of  this acerbic criticism is the blogs review of 'Movie 43' where the blogger states in the opening of the review, "I won't fucking sit here and shun the binds of commercial Hollywood especially when it churns wrong shit like this". This is a style that can easily find a home and a loyal fan base on the internet, if the blogger tried to apply this style to a TV show his reviews would constantly be censored by the producers or he would be asked to remove or add content to his review. On the internet the blogger is free to swear as much as he wants and say his own opinion and have it left unmolested by any producers or directors.

Most movie blogs contain a link to a trailer of the movie that they are reviewing. This is another aspect where new media is more advanced than more conventional media platforms. Having the trailer available to watch helps the audience get a better grasp of the film, with a media form such as film the only way to truly experience the product in question is to watch some of the film as it allows you to get the basic gist of the film such as what the acting is like, what is the tone of the movie, where it is set etc. With a magazine review you simply can't get the full experience since there is no trailer conveniently at your disposal, you cannot properly experience the build up to the movie.

Even on a TV review show a lot of producers are reluctant to give trailers of their films up for review for copyright reasons or because they are afraid that a negative review will tarnish the films reputation and ensure less viewership. However on the internet the blogs are not violating any copyright laws since they are simply linking to a film trailer, not featuring the trailer on their own website. Also because their are so many movie blogs on the internet, one bad review from a blog doesn't ensure a huge fall in the number of people who are interested in the movie. However because their are only a handful of movie review shows on TV one bad review from one of those shows could be extremely detrimental to a films viewership. In this case both the audience and the film industry benefit from the presence of online movie blogs. The audience benefits because the availability of so many blogs allows the audience to gather many different opinions on a movie, allowing them to weigh up critics opinions and gather more extensive supplies of information before they see the movie. The movie industry also benefits because the blogs advertise the movies but the industry doesn't have to spend anything to advertise the movies since the bloggers are doing these reviews of their own accord. And because their are so many movie blogs there is more space for negative reviews as a handful of negative reviews do not guarantee a significant fallout in viewership.

Blogs are a great place for personal expression for people who didn't have a voice with older media. has its own blog section that users can post on, the most popular section of the blog is the page where users can submit their own fan fiction. Their are literally hundreds of these fan created scripts posted on the blog ranging from unique death scenes to entire scripts that fans have written for their own films. While this doesn't directly benefit the film industry it does allow the fans of the Final Destination franchise to get more invested in the movies, brain storming their own ideas for a movie is a great way to get people thinking about a movie and will help build a loyal and sustainable fan base as fan fiction has been popular with hardcore fans for as long as the internet has been in wide use. There is plenty of fan fiction on the internet encompassing everything from Star Wars to The Simpsons and fan fiction can easily turn the more creative and hardcore fans into rabid fans who will want to experience everything that the franchise in question is marketing.

While many blogs are non-profit there are some that do make money for the bloggers and most of these make their profits through advertising. has many ads on every page of the blog. This actually provides a very stable source of income. Magazine and television critics have their jobs constantly in jeopardy since one unpopular review could lead to them being blacklisted from the broadcast or print institutions. Having ads on your blog provides you with a stable source of income since visitors to your blog don't even have to click on the ads, simply viewing the page with the ads on it makes profit for the blogger. The ads are also relatively unobtrusive since they are not pop-up ads or embedded YouTube videos that automatically play when accessing the website so the audience isn't discouraged from visiting the blog. If a blog is popular enough a blogger can actually make a living off of simply having ads on their blog and they don't have the threat of being fired because they are technically self employed.

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter have proved instrumental in advertising in recent years. and indeed many other blogs have links to Facebook and Twitter pages. These websites have already been used to advertise movies, TV shows and music and now bloggers are using them as they help to ensure a loyal fan base.Having Facebook users sharing or 'liking' the blog on Facebook is a source of free advertising since your blog is being shared among more people while the blogger hasn't had to do anything besides create and maintain the Facebook page. A Twitter account is also useful as it allows you to send out information to your followers quickly, for example if you want your fans to know that you have a new review out you can send a tweet nad have plenty of your fan base aware of your new content.

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