5 Film Bloggers to Follow

By Karlanna Lewis 

 Are blogs going the way of newspapers and magazines? In a world of instantaneous and socially driven mass communication, blogs are the network television shows of the Internet—a few good ones, but often not worth the time spent sifting through rubbish.

Still, nearly every major independent film source has a blog. The multi-author Filmmaker Magazine, Collider, Empire Online and IFC Fix (aka Indie Eye) are a few of the best.

And then a few single-handed bloggers have risen to the top—but it takes more than some industry know-how and timely content to succeed in the blog world. If you’re not a blog reader now, consider subscribing to a few of these Internet leaders. One of them just might have the inspiration or tool you need to make your next film all the better.

5. Zac Gille and Contributors’ Alt Film Guide

Offering plentiful film reviews for major box office hits, the Los Angeles-based Alt Film Guide owes its name to a proffered alternative view of mainstream and classic movies. Rather than spicing things up with movie star gossip, though, blogger Zac Gille prefers to pepper his posts with statistical facts.

 Gille breaks down everything by the numbers—from screenings to the Oscars by the numbers. To keep up with his multiple-posts-per-day rate, Gille enlists various contributors, including André Soares. Apart from Hollywood’s biggest deals, Alt Film Guide features foreign films and gay movies.

Record-breaking The Hunger Games appears often in recent posts, but so do more quirky articles—how about the professedly liberal Jane Fonda playing conservative Nancy Reagan? Zac Gille’s Alt Film Guide is a practical and refreshing independent voice. Good to know there’s still room for some free thinking in Hollywood.

4. Nathaniel Rogers’ The Film Experience

Nathaniel Rogers’ The Film Experience is a cinematic shrine. 

Lo-to-No Budget FilmmakingSelf-described cinephile Rogers writes on all things Hollywood, aiming at the movie-going public in general.

In the process he creates a critical community that is more than education to any filmmaker. The articles offer enough variety to keep even the buffest film geek entertained, and Rogers is a writer so he doesn’t skimp on content. A recent favorite post details Tim Burton’s Disney beginnings, complete with a screenshot of Burton in the Magic Kingdom cubicles.

Two great measures of blogs, or any online content, are interactivity and connectivity. Rogers offers both. He is personal enough to put a little of himself on the pages, such as a detail about his movie-seating preferences, but also professional. One of the blogger’s gems is his regular listing of eclectic film posts currently abuzz around the Web.

3. Sydney Levine's SydneysBuzz

Sydney Levine’s SydneysBuzz is one of many stellar film blogs on Indiewire. Levine, before Indiewire picked her up, was already staking out her Web territory with timely posts on film festivals and the international film market and distribution.

Like any good short film, Levine’s posts are sharp and to-the-point. In any given week Levine’s blog details movie industry happenings in five different countries. Filmmakers in the know are already aware of the information bounty that is Indiewire, but SydneysBuzz is another ace in the hole.

Posts may leave you wanting more, as does the review of the independent hit Holy Rollers, but the beauty of the Internet is all is only a click or two away. Levine’s attention to worldwide movie markets, both large and small, is hard to come by—and her next listing may just be for the distributor who picks up your next film.

2. Evan Luzi’s The Black and Blue

An up-and-coming American screenwriter friend first turned me onto Evan Luzi’s fantastic camera blog. That he is followed by screenwriters and directors too just goes to show his production advice is great help to anyone in film, and not only techies.

Luzi is a freelance cinematographer who provides tips targeted at filmmakers and camera assistants on his sleek blog, The Black and Blue. With frequent articles for clapper loaders and focus pullers, always accompanied by screen-worthy images, Luzi’s is the blog you need on set.

Recent articles include a trick for making outdoor marks and the hidden cost of the new RED Epic. The Black and Blue is a tasteful, useful and smart blog, which lends new appreciation to the finer points of the cameraman’s craft.

1. Ted Hope's Hope For Film

From the whimsical name to the dotty graphics, if you hadn’t heard of Ted Levine and his blog Hope For Film you might not take him too seriously. But then again, you might notice Hope For Film is not just one blog, it’s a blog empire. Levine’s original has spawned various children blogs including Truly Free Film, Let’s Make Better Things and The Next Good Idea.

New York indie producer Levine focuses on the films that don’t always get their due: the underdogs, the low-budgets. And as the name implies, he also generates hope for the film industry as a whole. Levine’s blog is strong encouragement that film will continue to be supported and the films that need to be made will find the financing to become reality.

Hope knows cold, hard money is vital to film’s existence—a recent post focused on Kickstarter feature funding—but he also aims to provide filmmakers with plentiful nifty resources (think Hitchcock interviews, masterclasses) absolutely free. And for that I say, “Hope on, Ted, Hope on.”

Fade Out:

As user-generated YouTube and the World Wide Web in general become the main go-to for previews of upcoming films, it only stands to reason that blogs are the new critics. Most bloggers, personal tastes aside, have no hidden agenda—independent bloggers are free to be candid beneath the mask of the Internet.

Any further recommendations? Or maybe you fancy becoming the next most-followed film blogger yourself? Either way, in these blogs' massive archives you’re sure to find plenty to click-through between editing and coffee breaks, or just on a lazy day.

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About The Author

Karlanna Lewis Karlanna Lewis, whose dreams include becoming a bird, completed her honors B.A. in Russian and Creative Writing at Florida State University in spring 2011, with an honors thesis in poetry and minor in computer science.

At Florida State Ms. Lewis was selected as an Outstanding Senior Scholar. As a graduate student at Florida State Ms. Lewis was a 2011-12 Rhodes Scholar Finalist.

She has also presented a research project on Russian literature and dance at various conferences. Ms. Lewis is a published writer and galleried artist, and in August 2011 she published her first book, Cante de Gitanas con Nombres de Luz / Songs of the Gypsies with Names of Light.

A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Ms. Lewis is a principal dancer for the Pas de Vie Ballet and has led an honors service project teaching dance to local schoolchildren. Ms. Lewis has worked multiple jobs as a cashier, teacher, and journalist her entire collegiate career and volunteered as a DJ and the continuity director for the V89 radio station.

Now as an intern at Raindance Film Festival in London, Ms. Lewis is writing articles about film, assisting with Web building projects and translating the Web site into Russian. When she leaves Raindance at the end of April she will spend a month in France as a writer-in-residence at Camac Art Centre.

In the future she plans to pursue her M.F.A. in creative writing and to eventually become a university professor. Serving as an art director for a production team is her ideal film job. Passionate about the arts and the environment, in 2011 she founded the non-profit Dancearth, an arts for social change initiative celebrating movement and the earth in which we move.

Check out her website: karlannalewis.com


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5 Film Bloggers To Follow