I've decided to write this first Sundance dispatch -- and my first for Movies.com -- in the form of a letter (or email) in order to provide an example of what you will expect from our coverage this year. I've done a lot of thinking over the past year in between Sundance Film Festivals -- about what kind of coverage you all want, and which films you'd ideally like to see us cover -- because, let's be honest here: Film festival coverage ain't exactly Dark Knight Rises scoops. As someone who's managed Sundance festival coverage for several years now (previously at Cinematical and Aol Moviefone), I'll be the first to admit that it's difficult to get people to read about small films they've never heard of on the off chance those films hit their local theaters several months from now.
Essentially, why should you care?
Well, I'll tell you why I care. I care because I'm a fan of movies -- all kinds of movies, big or small. And I'm also a big fan of catching a film when it's clean and undisturbed from the marketing machine, like fresh snow before it's invaded by footprints. It's about discovery; about finding a small film from an unknown filmmaker that you absolutely adore and championing it until others are just as turned on as you. There's a lot to be said for reading coverage of a film before its trailers and images flood the internet, too, because this is as pure as the coverage will ever get. Sure, our job is to cover these films, but we can't continue the conversation or help shape the upcoming movies landscape without you there as our teammates -- ingesting the buzz and spreading it around your own local, movie-loving circles.
So, yeah, we need you. These unknown films need you. And I hope you'll carve out a little bit of your time each day over the next week to check out some of our coverage. Speaking of, here's how it's gonna play out:
1. Sundance Dispatches: Instead of flooding the site with reviews, we're going to be writing dispatches from the festival each day. Depending on the writer's experiences at the festival, these dispatches will include mini reviews of films they've watched, celebrity sightings, interesting personal stories from the festival, and more. And it'll be up to them to choose whichever format they want to write their dispatches, like I chose to write this one in the form of a letter to you.
2. Sundance Movies We Love: We can't fully cover a film festival without at least a few solo reviews, and so this year we decided to only write solo reviews for films we love. Like, really love. Because, at the end of the day, you want to know which films to keep an eye out for -- and we want you to help champion the really great ones -- so this format just makes it easier for both of us to spread the word and help good festival films find their way to your local theater.
3. Sundance in 60 Seconds: Just like our daily Movie News in 60 Seconds, our own Peter Martin will be feverishly following everyone's Sundance coverage and rounding up all the latest news nuggets, film sales and Twitter arguments so that each morning you'll be able to catch up on everything happening at the festival in about, well, 60 seconds.
4. Interviews: We won't be talking to everyone, but this year's Interview Series promises some good video and print chats with a smattering of those in attendance, from filmmakers to actors and actresses, and maybe even a fellow film critic or two.
5. Our Writers: On the ground this year writing for us will be Erik Davis (@ErikDavis), Scott Weinberg (@scotteweinberg), Jenni Miller (@jennimiller76), Todd Gilchrist (@mtgilchrist), Eric D. Snider (@ericdsnider) and Fred Topel (@fredtopel). For up-to-the-minute updates, follow us all on Twitter, as well as Movies.com (@moviesdotcom).
So that's pretty much it. I'll be going back and forth between Movies.com and Fandango, where on the latter site I'll be focusing more on Sundance films and the theatrical experience, so come check me out there too. Other than that, be well and thanks for reading.