Bloggers come in many shapes and sizes. Some are professional journalists. Others are amateur fanboys. A few create original content, but most riff on other people’s blogs. (At thompsononhollywood.com, I do both.) Some are erudite and write with charm and brio. Others suck.
But for better or worse, blogs are here to stay. And they’re reshaping the coverage of films today. Movie publicity may never be quite the same.
Until very recently, studio information gatekeepers and press agents could to some degree control the flow of information about their movies and clients. They could confirm and deny facts and spin stories to a select list of reporters who played by the accepted rules of engagement that went along with their privileged access.
But the Internet has changed all that.
Early Web leaks and misinformation are giving the PR community headaches.
When something incorrect is posted, it spreads like wildfire. Too many viral postings from too many unfamiliar sources make it impossible for anyone to return calls, much less ferret out the source of the infection.
And then there’s the problem of timing. Bloggers typically reveal nuggets of film info — usually casting announcements — long before agents and studios are prepared to release the information, often because the deals aren’t done.
In October 2004, when LatinoReview.com announced newcomer Brandon Routh as the star of “Superman Returns,” it forced Warner Bros. to reluctantly confirm his casting a few days later. And when TMZ.com went full speed ahead and claimed that Emile Hirsch was in talks to star in “Speed Racer,” it turned out to be true. Warners was not happy about either breach.
The line between traditional journalism and indie purveyors of buzz continues to blur.
If you have ever wondered about the impact the internet is having on the film industry, then you should check out the rest of her article here.
Also check out her Variety colleague Peter Bart with his latest “Back Lot” column about blogs and the the film world.