At The Movies and the end of movie reviewing as we know it?
I’m a big film fan from way back. Spending three years studying and making films at uni probably helped that along. And like all film fans pre-social media I diligently used to watch Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton every week. That is until last week I realised I hadn’t watched them in…well I honestly can’t remember. Let’s just say a long long time.
The reason of course is probably a multitude of things but chief among them is the simple fact that pre-social media there was no real way to get people’s (read: average people not film critics who are off to Cannes every year) thoughts on a movie, aside from asking your mates at a barbecue.
But with the arrival of social media that’s all changed.
Journalism has been doing some naval gazing around its relevance for a while. What is its place in a world where everyone is a potential journalist? Where does it stand in relation to citizen journalism and blogging? How can journalists and newspapers continue to have relevance and ask people to pay for content in recognition of this relevance?
Only this week an article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Martin McKenzie gave us his views on the future of journalism – “High-end journalism is being eroded the world over, and the democratisation of micro-publishing isn’t an antidote” . McKenzie conveys that quality, investigative political journalism in particular is unique and will always have a role. I tend to agree. Think ABC Four Corners ‘reveal’ last week of people smugglers living in Canberra.
But film critiquing is not high end, investigative and political journalism.
At the end of the day film review shows like At The Movies is just two people’s personal opinion on some films currently showing in the cinema [ Interestingly both Margaret and David don't have personal Twitter accounts, instead the rather company sounding @ABCAt The Movies account is used for tweeting. I'm wondering how successful this is as an engagement strategy? Then again that is another question for another day...].
As more movies follow the lead of Prometheus (albeit hopefully without the backlash!) and move strategically onto social media to
promote and flog connect and engage people in a newly launched movie, studios will need to increasingly move their attention from the Margaret Pomeranz and David Strattons of this world and focus more on ‘engaging’ with the online ’influencers’ - the bloggers and content creators who write about films and who have a passion and dedicated following on the moving image.
How this will be done will be interesting to see but in secret I am hoping to have a front row seat.
What’s your thoughts on movies and movie reviewing and its future? Share below.