When do you publish new reviews?
The first Tuesday of each month is the official “go live” date for new reviews but at present CRACKS is on a very, very, very extended Spring break. No new reviews in the foreseeable future.
The text version of some reviews seem different to the video version. Why?
Well spotted! The text versions are the “shooting script” for a review. During the processes of recording and video editing, lines (or whole paragraphs) are nearly always deleted. Some reviews have ended up half their original length.
Who writes the reviews?
Greg writes 96.34% of the reviews. Sometimes an associate will toss in a line or a comment Greg feels is worth exploiting. If other writers are significantly involved, they are credited on the specific film’s page.
So who is Norbert Whitehead?
Norbert is the intern (i.e. unpaid and heavily exploited labour source).
He does the uploads, sees to essential correspondence and sweeps the studio floor.
Can I write a review and send it to you?
How come there are so few video clips in the reviews?
Copyright issues. It’s illegal to copy and reproduce segments of movies without permission. There is some grey zone relating to “fair use”, particularly for the purpose of review / critique, but third party material – like clips from movies – ends up with YouTube slapping a, “you’ve been very, very naughty” sticker on the result and ups the chances of being shut down by one disgruntled third party or some crack-pot trouble maker (seems you are guilty until proven innocent in most situations).
So, for the moment, video clips are minimal.
How far in advance of the posting date do you write and film the reviews?
That’s highly variable but at least six weeks.
Do you sell copies of the films you review?
No. Think of this as fluffing. The reviews get you all excited and then leave you flat! If you want to fulfill your own happy ending you need to go out into the big bad world (or at least do some online shopping) and find a copy for yourself.
How do you find copies of the films you review?
Same way anyone else sources their personal viewing pleasures… on-line shopping, select “walk through the door into air conditioned comfort” type retailers and borrowing a hard-to-find copy from a friend or colleague.
It’s amazing what you can find on Netflix, iTunes and Quickflix or even second hand DVD copies for $10 on the inter-webs. Think beyond that web site that sounds like a river in South America and you can often unearth real treasures at very reasonable prices. Search!
Some of the spelling of words looks kind of odd. Why is this?
In Australia (that’s where CRACKS is based) people spell things in a strange way.
There was a national vote in 1937 that banned the letter “z” from 73 common use words in favour of the letter “s”… and there is another thing, we often add a “u” after the letter “o” just for the heck of it (favour, colour, labour, neighbour, etc.)
If you figure out what you think a word is meant to be, even with the odd spelling, good on you!
What’s involved in creating each review segment?
- Usually watching the film twice. This might be over a few weeks or a few months
- An hour or so reading background on the film, seeking some comments from the writer / director / actors or other reviewers (like, am I the only person in the world who thinks this film is an overlooked almost masterpiece?)
- Another hour or two extracting freeze frames from films or searching the inter-webs for images relating to the film – posters, “behind the scenes” pictures, etc
- Writing a review usually takes two to four hours (and you thought the reviewer just made it up in front of the camera?)
- Filming happens as a “block”, usually four or five reviews filmed on one day
- Each review takes around 30-45 minutes to rehearse and film
- Video editing, adding graphics, music and mixing the audio takes around 10 to 12 hours for each review
- Two or three hours every couple of months for site maintenance / uploads / updates.