I started CinemaFunk to be a project that commingles with my love of cinema and my growing knowledge of Search Engine Optimization and Drupal. My theory is that film, SEO, and Drupal synergize very well together, and that I could grow the website by simply providing great reviews and criticism. Google wants great content for its users, who in turn, also want great content. So why not write great reviews? And two years later, I would say that my thesis rings true. While not only trying to synergize these three aspects, I also chose to focus on rejecting fandom, news, and hype in my content and, instead, focus on writing reviews and criticism that contextualizes the issues found in the films reviewed. Also, at the time, not all my friends had the same interest in discussing films in the same way that I had. I had to relieve this bottled-up love of film somehow or another. Thus, starting my own blog was essential to my own mental health. I’m currently the primary writer. I have had other writers contribute sporadically.
The growth of my site is corresponds to my intellectual growth in cinema, and as my world view has grown, my knowledge of foreign filmmakers and regions has grown exponentially. France, Germany and Italy have dominated most attention in America as these countries have had very rich film production histories. However, we are beginning to see countries reaching maturity in their national cinemas. As an example, countries such as South Korea that have reached their post-modernity period and have begun to contribute to globalization. The films coming out of South Korea represent the anxieties to regional issues while being highly accessible to international audiences. The fact that this is happening, and has not happened, means that we are witnesses to a new a potential giant in film production. I find examples such as these exhilarating.
The site is currently a profitable hobby. Some days I slave over minute details of website operations for hours upon hours. Other days, I casually write reviews. I’ve had intentions to redesign the site for about a year now. But I’ve always come up short with implementing ideas.
Merging academic and scholarly approaches to movie reviews and film criticism in a accessible manner is what I believe differentiates CinemaFunk from other websites. At first, I had no intentions of doing this. Over time, I found that I did not want to lowest common denominator as my audience. I wanted to feel like I was properly contributing to the discourse of a film. I want to find the subtext and see how it reflects culture at the time of release. I found myself very displeased with other blogs that receive far more traffic, but just post reviews that mostly consist of plot and things they think are ‘cool’. I want to interpret and analyze.
There are two moments where I was the most proud of my work with CinemaFunk. Reaching first page of search engine rankings for the search term ‘film criticism’ was an important moment. It is not a high traffic keyword, but I believe that it represents my website’s content and proved that I was able to successfully synergize movie reviews, Drupal, and SEO. Also, my professor, who knows his stuff, gave me very high remarks regarding the content of CinemaFunk. He is typically very critical, and I was very pleased to know that he appreciated my extracurricular work.
Aaron Weiss, founder of CinemaFunk
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