2 mars 2004

Would you NOT invite online media?

I still don’t understand why some of us are still so obtuse.

We all know that more and more people are going on the Internet to find their info. We all know that what people find on the Internet has real impact on their decisions. We’re pretty sure that peer-to-peer communications carry a lot of weight when decisions are taken.

I’ll admit to having never publicised a movie in my life so, if anyone can help, can you explain to me why film publicists snub online movie reviewers?

Quoting Jason Silverman in Invasion of the Web Film Critics in Wired.

James Berardinelli estimates that a hundred or so filmgoers read his first online review -- of the 1993 film Scent of a Woman -- when he posted it at a newsgroup. This week, Berardinelli guesses that about 100,000 readers will click on his The Passion of the Christ review.

The readership at Berardinelli's site ReelViews (an average of 200, 000 unique visitors perweek, says the FAQ) now rivals that of a small weekly newspaper. So Berardinelli has arrived as a film critic, right? Not in the eyes of movie publicists, he said. He and other online film critics continue to struggle for respect. (…)

(Gordon) Paddison (executive vice president of integrated marketing at New Line Cinema) said his research indicates the Internet is the preferred way for filmgoers 18 to 35 years old to research films.

"I think, absolutely, online journalists will receive more awareness, power and credibility as time goes on," Paddison said.

"I think in 10 years the majority of critics will be online," James Berardinelli said. "If anyone asks me how to become a film critic, my advice is to write online, not to go after a newspaper job." Certainly, writing online has its advantages. Online critics can file their stories later, develop a dialogue with readers and correct the embarrassing errors that are inevitable for writers on deadline. (…)

Certainly, readers seem responsive to the new world of online film criticism. Most look far beyond what their local newspaper critic has to say. The de rigueur sites for film buffs include Metacritic.com and Rotten Tomatoes, both of which offer numeric ratings and one-sentence excerpts from dozens of reviews. Critics, too, are embracing the Internet's possibilities. Slate's Movie Club, a year-end conversation between five prominent critics, is far more lively and contentious than printed roundtables, and more thoughtful than TV panel discussions.

But an online critics group can only do so much, according to Karten, who founded the (Online
Film Critics Society
) in 1997 and the New York Film Critics Online last year. "We are still in the dumps," he said of online critics. "The publicists are living in the pre-Internet times -- they aren't sure what to make of the onliners. I know we have more influence at the box office than any studio gives us credit for."
I can’t say I disagree with Harvey there.

We still have a lot of work in front of us.
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