Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The State of the Blog
Today marks one year since I started this blog and I thought I'd take some time to do some assessment and evaluation of where it stands now compared to what my original intentions were going into the project.
I'd had a plan to build a movie review website for several years and actually started working on something with the help of a friend at one point, but everything was put on indefinite hold when I decided to move to Spain in early 2006. Of course I only really thought I'd be away about 2 years, maybe 3 at the most. It's now more than 5 years, but plans are in place to relocate to the United States this summer.
The main impetus for starting this blog when I did was the news that my wife and I were expecting a baby. Knowing that once the baby was born I'd be very unlikely to start a big project like this and keep it going, I thought it would be a good idea to get into the habit before the baby's arrival. In April last year all I was interested in was having a basic blog website where I could easily post movie reviews and any other ramblings I felt like writing. I would write a review for every movie I watched, be it new movies in the cinema, new on DVD, or old on DVD whether I'd seen them before or not. The goal was to start building a library of reviews, or rather to add to the small library I already had from years past. The hope was that by the time the baby was born, I'd already be in the habit of writing after seeing a film. I'm happy to say I've kept up on the review writing consistently.
As of today I have posted 144 full length movie reviews to this blog, 21 of which were reviews I had written earlier (most had been published somewhere else previously). That actually gives me a fairly accurate count of the number of movies I've watched in the last year. That's 123 movies watched (one was actually a TV mini-series), although there have been a handful for which I never got around to writing the review. I watched the original Star Wars trilogy last year and didn't review the films. I also saw Visconte's The Leopard and Almodóvar's Law of Desire and Green Zone without writing anything. I also just re-watched The Empire Strikes Back with my niece. There have also been several films I watched and reviewed and then watched again. That list includes The Social Network, True Grit, Black Swan, Winter's Bone, and 127 Hours. Plus there are two films I saw last week that I have yet to write about. That means in the space of a year I watched 135 films AND the entirety of the HBO series "Band of Brothers," "The Pacific," and "John Adams." Oh, and also all four seasons of "Mad Men" and a large chunk of season 2 of "Star Trek." So I'm on my way to building that review library I wanted. And I'm glad that list includes 20 of what I consider to be classic or modern classic films, posted under the label "classic review."
Obviously, the url of my blog suggests movie lists. I chose that url for lack of anything better and thought I might try to maintain regular postings of different and varied lists, but unfortunately I just haven't been able to devote the time to that part of it. That doesn't bother me too much except that a couple of my lists have actually gotten some decent traffic, so it's probably worth making an effort to post more.
As for the future of this blog, eventually I hope to get it off the generic blogspot host and move it to its own dedicated url and design it specifically how I want it to look. I lack the technical skills to do it myself, which means employing someone else to do it for me. What I have now is a shell of what I envision for the future. I need to look into ways of building traffic through promotion and social networking at some point and I would also like to get into using videos posted on YouTube to bring in more traffic. I will hopefully do that with some kind of video reviews or scene analyses similar to what you can already find in a regular column at The Onion A.V. Club called Scenic Routes.
Today I will post the final installment of my analysis of Pulp Fiction, a project I completed years ago and decided to post here piecemeal. This kind of project, a detailed though accessible analysis of a film that was made by a director with an obvious vision in mind, is something I'd like to do more of. Unfortunately it's a huge time commitment to go through a feature film noting down individual camera shots and movements, lighting, music cues, dialogue, costumes, etc., and then write an 11,000 word analysis. It's also hard to justify the time expenditure when it doesn't bring in any money to my family.
At the moment I'm still a little mired in a project I'm working on that MUST be finished very soon. That's preventing me from devoting much time to this blog. I've still got a few old reviews that I will schedule to post here in the next couple of weeks.
So here's to hoping I can complete another year of movie writing and top the 133 movies watched in one year. Thanks for visiting and reading. Keep coming back.