Projecting: Data Transparency, Overblown Death of Film, The Blair Witch Project’s Trickery, AMC Fear Fest



Editor’s Note: Projecting features a selection of great film and television focused writing from around the internet.


Emily Best calls for more data transparency in the film industry for the betterment of content, for Thompson on Hollywood:

Our greatest challenge in building online tools for effective, profitable digital distribution is that we don’t have access to the data available to us that would help us make smart decisions about where to build next.

Here’s what we’d need to know: what kind of people are viewing what kind of content and where? That kind of data is viewed by most online exhibition platforms like Netflix or cable providers like Comcast as highly proprietary. And that creates a real problem in building good business.


Aaron Aradillas takes issue with the negative attitude leveled at the ongoing switch to digital projection, for Balder & Dash:

This emphasis on film stock is shutting out movie lovers who don’t live within a major media market (which means a vast majority of the movie-going public). I worry about the movie lover who is being made to feel like they’re missing out on something because they don’t live near New York or Los Angeles or Chicago or Seattle or Austin or any hip movie scene. (When “2001” first came out it was a badge of honor to boast about how far you drove to see it in a Cinerama theater.) Directors and movie geeks who go on about “shot on film” or how a revival screening was “shown on 35” are revealing more about themselves than about the movies.


Calum Marsh looks back on The Blair Witch Project’s success through measured trickery, for Details:

The genius of The Blair Witch Project‘s marketing campaign was that it embraced, rather than obviated, the all-seeing eye of the Internet. In other words it put the truth-telling power of the web to work for its own lie: The film’s producers planted phony news reports confirming the disappearance and unknown fate of its stars, posted authentic-seeming videos on the film’s official website corroborating their story, encouraged debate on forums and message boards by forging anecdotes and first-hand accounts by mocked-up users, and, in a stroke of brilliance, convinced the then-burgeoning IMDB to list the film’s cast and crew as “missing, presumed dead”.


Jim Vorel bemoans the rapidly degrading quality of AMC Fear Fest, for Paste:

All of this could be forgiven if the Fearfest content was still good, but in recent years it’s bogged down and become incredibly stale, populated by terrible horror remakes. After all, who wants to see Romero’s landmark Dawn of the Dead when we could be watching the Zack Snyder remake? Who wants to see Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill when we could show the disgustingly awful 1999 remake? Who needs Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger when you can have Jackie Earle Haley instead? In fact, screw it, let’s just air Tremors 4: The Legend Begins again instead of any of those films, that’ll be easier.


About Author

Derek was the only engineer at Northeastern University taking a class on German film and turning a sociology research paper into an examination of Scorsese’s work. Now in Austin, TX, he blatantly abuses his Netflix account on the reg, although his List mocks him as it proudly sits healthily above 200. He continues to fight the stigma that being good at math means you are not any no good at writing. I good write, very much.