Started by Jeremy Blackman, August 24, 2021, 04:56:23 PM

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jeremy Blackman

I'm a loyal listener of Slashfilm Daily, probably one of the best film news podcasts out there. It also serves as an fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of a major movie news website—one which has long prided itself on being independently-owned, and which still has a charmingly unpolished movie blog ethos.

A couple months ago, some changes were clearly happening. Peter Sciretta (founder, owner, editor-in-chief of Slashfilm) started introducing himself with a new title: "editorial director." Hmm. And basically everyone who's on the podcast got promotions and new titles. And they talked about adding new staff. And a website redesign in the works. It seemed obvious that the site had received an influx of cash. Had it been purchased? (Keep reading to find out.)

I have a lot of affection for everyone on the podcast, but I found the website to be basically unreadable, or at least hard to take seriously, because of its awful, outdated design. Even the font bothered me. So I was excited for the redesign.

It launched yesterday. And it looks pretty good. Not sure I like the front page layout, but the individual articles look much better.

I went to the sidebar to see if there was anything about new ownership, and there it is: "© 2021 Static Media." This is a web media conglomerate that owns Looper and a slew of apparently popular sites I've never heard of. And all of their websites have the same cookie cutter design. And most of them seem pretty trashy.

I know this is going to ensure Slashfilm's future, but I find it really depressing. It's the fall of one of the original movie blogs. The frustrating irony is, I bet this sale wouldn't have been necessary had they done a site redesign a few years ago. In any case, I can't find anyone talking about this change of ownership. No articles, no mentions on Twitter, nothing.

I wouldn't be surprised if Peter Sciretta begins transitioning away to focus on his theme parks YouTube channel. Slashfilm's #2 (Jacob Hall) has been running the transition mostly by himself. He's listed on Static's staff page, and Peter is not.


Well that Ordinary Adventures website certainly has more life in it than this redesign. Never frequented the original site, but it was one of the more oft-cited links on industry news. I think I've clicked on more slashfilm links in my days than even major publications like vanity fair.

Just out of curiosity, to see how it holds up, I just went back to firstshowing punto net - that site still also retains the sort of "dated" design that I think you mean? I didn't mind slashfilm's old look. It might not have been modern or impressive but it wasn't unattractive. Meanwhile this sort of blog scheme, which reads fine within the articles, prioritizes mainly thumbnail and headline to a degree I'm not into - in any site typically.

Jeremy Blackman

Yeah, I'm souring on the redesign. The site clearly needed an update, but I would prefer something that has a top-to-bottom blog-style architecture where the headlines have more room to breathe, as you said. Instead, this type of design makes it look like a clickbait farm. That's a shame, because /Film articles and headlines (and even picture choices) have been done by the authors and are known for their playfulness and personality. Which doesn't mesh with the cookie cutter look.

I'd like to just check in to see what what the latest news is, you know? But with this design, it's more like you're confronted with The Grid and you're being tested to see which image on the buffet of thumbnails most grabs your attention. This feels dystopian in a sense.


I was so confused about the name (and changes) of the podcast without knowing anything about the origin, so yeah, this makes sense now lol


I think slashfilm might have been the site I follow via RSS feed with the tiniest text of all my feeds....  From that standpoint alone, I like the new design.

Jeremy Blackman

In any case, I highly recommend Slashfilm Daily. It's uncompromised and personal and real in a way the site has historically been. I'll be the first to riot if that changes, but for now I greatly appreciate each episode.

Jeremy Blackman

Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on August 24, 2021, 06:17:43 PMThis feels dystopian in a sense.

I think this is what did it for me:

Jeremy Blackman

Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on August 24, 2021, 04:56:23 PMI wouldn't be surprised if Peter Sciretta begins transitioning away to focus on his theme parks YouTube channel. Slashfilm's #2 (Jacob Hall) has been running the transition mostly by himself. He's listed on Static's staff page, and Peter is not.

Jeremy Blackman

As I feared, Slashfilm's new owners have already exerted considerable editorial control over the website. It could be politely described as aggressive SEO. Less politely, they're beginning to look like a content farm.

A number of new freelancers started posting on relaunch day (Aug 24). The stuff written by their core staff (typically more news-oriented) is being a bit drowned out.

This could just be a content dump to juice the SEO with the relaunch, or it could be the new way Slashfilm operates. The articles aren't even bad, but the overall picture is... somewhat alarming? These were ALL posted Aug 24 and later:

The 12 Best Vampire Movies Of All Time
The 15 Best Spy Movies Of All Time
The 20 Best Zombie Movies Of All Time
The 20 Best Heist Movies Of All Time
The 20 Best Westerns Of All Time

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movie Villains
The 20 Greatest James Bond Villains Ever
The 15 Best Batman Comics You Need To Read

The 15 Best Pixar Scenes Ranked
The 15 Best '80s Comedies Ranked
The 15 Best '90s Comedies Ranked
The 20 Best '80s Horror Movies Ranked
Jack Nicholson's 15 Most Iconic Roles Ranked
Alfred Hitchcock's 15 Best Films Ranked
The Best Ryan Gosling Movies Ranked

The Best '90s Movies You Can Stream On Netflix Right Now
The 14 Best Comedies You Can Watch On Netflix Right Now
The 12 Best Space Movies You Can Watch On Netflix Right Now
The 12 Best War Movies On Netflix Right Now

20 Movies About Time Travel Ranked Worst To Best
Every Tim Burton Film Ranked From Worst To Best
Ranking Every Ron Howard Feature Film From Worst To Best
Bob's Burgers Seasons Ranked Worst To Best
David Lynch's Feature Films Ranked From Worst To Best
Superman Movies Ranked From Worst To Best


Ouch. I hope it's base of writers and readers can find a new publication with which to anchor their entertainment news.

Jeremy Blackman

Sounds like things are going great for the senior Slashfilm staff. :(

Okay that's enough gossip for now.

Jeremy Blackman

It's just hard not to be worried about people you've listened to for countless hours on podcasts and developed unhealthy parasocial imaginary friendships with.


Hah, I know what you mean. I followed Badass Digest >BirthMoviesDeath>Fangoria transitions quite close. Unfortunately the best circumstance might be for the regular writers to find now loyal outlets.


What a bummer. Slash Film was my daily go-to for all movie news and now it's just another click-bait site full of filler content and lists. Truly sad to see another great page turn into a Stepford site.


Some advice from Slashfilm:

"From a purely business standpoint, Hollywood filmmakers exercising their free speech may need to be more careful with what they say about China — now or anytime in their career — if they hope to ever enter the Chinese market."
New Name, Same Typos.