Wednesday, June 13, 2007

DAVID HUDSON & THE GREENCINE DAILY—The Cinematical Podcast Interview

Lest he be too modest to mention it himself, David Hudson of The Greencine Daily offers up some fascinating comments about online film journalism to Cinematical's James Rocchi who had the good sense to hit him up for sound bytes.

Cross-published at Twitch.


HarryTuttle said...

Thanks for the tip. Great interview. Sometimes the blogosphere feels alive when we sit down a while and think about it calmly and responsably. What did you think of it?

Michael Guillen said...

Thanks for stopping by to comment, Harry. I'm glad you found the interview as enjoyable as I did. Other than for its technical flaws--some sputtering--Dave comes off very much like I've imagined him: bright, enthused, articulate. Like yourself, I was happy to hear him plug Girish's site as the hub of discourse on online journalism. I was especially intrigued by his comments regarding the timing of posting entries. Originally when I started writing about film, I would post entries as soon as I could transcribe them. Then I went through a period of trying to conform to the preferences of the publicists, which ultimately I tired of because their preferences were ultimately hinged to print-press strategics. I finally came to realize that the value on online journalism is precisely the ability to write about something ahead of the press junket and more in tune with the buzz out on the Internet. The cliche standoff is biz vs. buzz. I've opted for the latter. Or more precisely, for somewhere in the middle. I use Dave's timing to conform many of my own entries, and I notice that he has an eye towards the East Coast. I've tried many times to varying degrees of success to convince West Coast publicists that the East Coast timeline is the one we need to use, not theirs.

I also really liked his predictions about the possibility of online journalists eventually achieveing the cachet of print press. I see some of that already happening, though more with genre material. Peter Sciretta's comments on his site /Film, for example, ended up being used for the Hostel 2 marketing campaign. So I imagine it will be genre material--horror, crime action, thrillers--that will be the first to pave way for (as Rocchi phrases it) the "meritocracy" of online press. Dave's sage advice for online journalists to hold in there until this is achieved is personally inspiring to me.

My eventual hope, however, is to do a blend between print and online journalism.

What about you? What stood out for you?

HarryTuttle said...

Yeah the sound quality is disappointing, sends us back to the age of ancient telephones. Wouldn't the recording sound better on skype?

Anyway, I liked David's clear understanding of his role, what to prioritize, what to leave to the others. This is a concern really because Greencine Daily is at the limit of human reading capacity (it's beyond mine for sure). I like how he says "what will matter 7 days from now", and still there are too much news reported. He should be able to rely on other reliable sources to link his readers to, in order to focus on and detail more things that matter more. Less strictly informational (which can be found anywhere) and
more about content and analysis.
Maybe it's just me, but I would appreciate more editorial selection, and refine a narrower survey. But in the end the archival purpose alone is worthwhile, one we can refer to if we look for a directory of reliable links. I can't catch up with the stream of fresh entries, but it's a perfect site to google the near-past for instance.

The timezone dispute doesn't matter to me in France. The blogosphere is an opportunity for news feeds around the clock, from everywhere, for everyone.

I hope blogs don't only exist to feed quotewhores for genre films... it would be the underdog job and would drag marketing lower (because they won't pick the best online writers, just the most enthusiastic geeks)

D. Hudson: "Meritocracy : over time somebody's voice, if they stick with it long enough, they will be refered to by offline media as well" ?
2 things worry me about this. If it takes years of pro bono hardworking to get "official" recognition, then bloggers and journalism students are not equals. Second, only the "professional-looking" bloggers will ever make it to the offline press, like yourself, or Filmbrain... people with a background/activity in the business (outside blogs).
But it will be time before the blogosphere is considered as one of the proper news media.

I do hope you can make it to the press. I'm sure you could. It's not a shame for you personnaly to leave the blogosphere, if you can go "professional". But it's a shame for the system not to allow the blogs to be blogs. Media should collect news online where it is created (within our liberties), instead of converting the best crop to turn them into standardized print workers (with the constraints and pressure).

But it's nice to see acquarello and Doug Cummings working to write for DVD liner notes, to print their words on lasting paper. That's a positive way to bridge on/offline.

Michael Guillen said...

> Greencine Daily is at the limit of human reading capacity <

Frankly, I think any blog is. There's not a single blog on my blogroll that I can take except in rotational doses. Where Greencine excels is in its searching capacity, as you mention. I always read what is of interest to me and then leave the rest for later research when interest develops.

As blogs go, I feel pretty fortunate with mine. Lately when publicists indicate that they will only grant me interviews if I get them placed in Greencine or SF360, I resent the diminimization of The Evening Class and opt out on the interviews. I really don't feel like being a dancing monkey for the publicists. They have plenty of journalists eager to do their publicity junkets and it leaves me free to pursue interviews of my own design or--more recently--to consider doing something else with my film writing.

I make this stuff up as I go along and it shapes up mostly by what I don't enjoy doing.

HarryTuttle said...

You're right to fight for your independance of choices. Although don't you think to get to talk to interesting people is most valuable? And the time when it should/would be publish is a minor worry. If they want to control the content, like scanning/screening questions, checking your editing, imposing interviews you didn't request... then the integrity of your job is at stake.

What is they say in the interview about pseudonymous bloggers? I quite didn't catch it...