The Future of Cinema Sights

For those who missed the memo, I spent the month of July in London. During that time, the blog and movie-watching shifted to the bottom of my priority list. I did end up writing some things about film during that time, some of which you’ll see in the coming weeks, but I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in London thinking about movies. I did, however, think about the site.

The biggest problem I see with the site right now is that half of the reviews I write are either what everyone else has already said, often better, or don’t have much original though behind them. This is because I’ve taken on the philosophy of reviewing almost all the movies I watch. Early on, I did this in order to practice and get into the habit of writing about different kinds of films on a regular basis. The problem is that now I can do it without much thought, which means most of my reviews, at least to me, feel like they’re writing without much thought.

Therefore, going forward, I’m going to be restrictive about what films I review. As of now, all reviews on the site will fall into three categories. The first category is films I am reviewing for a marathon, such as my current Iranian Cinema marathon. The second category is new releases, films that have come out within the last year or two. I don’t think I’ll be reviewing every single new release I see, but I’m aiming to review about 90% of them. The last category will be films I watch that I think I have something interesting or worthwhile to say about, or films I feel are worth exposing to my readers.

In my mind, this means I’m looking at doing three to four reviews a week, five maximum. That still leaves at least a couple of days where there won’t be reviews on the site. For at least one of those days a week, I’m planning on doing more editorial type posts where I expound at length on some film related topic. It may be topical, I’ll probably end up doing a post on the new Sight & Sound poll this week, but I’m aiming for more general film topics instead of just riding on the coattails of the hottest film topics.

I’m also leaning towards doing a more community engaging series of posts. Not so much eliciting comments, but one that in some ways is part of a larger conversation. I’m thinking something like a conversation piece where I rook some poor guest into watching an artsy movie and then asking them questions about said film. This could be a weekly feature, but realistically, it would probably have to be bi-weekly.

I also think it might be time to have a schedule. It’s an idea I’ve flirted with in the past, but when all you ever do is reviews on the site, you don’t need a schedule. Until I solidify what I end up doing, I’m obviously not going to propose anything specific, but for now I’m going to say there’s a high chance the site will have more structure going forward.

I’m also thinking about taking a day off. Right now, I’m leaning towards Mondays because my Mondays are going to be crazy for a while and also because it’s Monday. And the less one has to do Monday, the better, right? I’ve gained a lot of new interest in the past year (see Batcave Debriefs) and as much as I love movies, I’d also love to spend time with other things so I’m thinking a day off may be the best day to allow me to spend more time with other things.

To recap: less reviews, more editorials, some kind of feature that involves people in the film blogging community, no posts on Mondays. It’ll be a while before this all kicks off; I’m in the midst of starting up school again along with a few other projects and personal obligations I’m trying to sort out. It’ll be spotty for a while, but I promise you’ll be seeing more original stuff by the end of the year.

© 2012 James Blake Ewing