Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/28
The most amazing advance in movie watching is Netflix Watch Instantly (where did they find such a clunky name?). Many of the MovieWithMe hosts have a little black box attached to their TV that finds their wi fi router, logs on to their Netflix account, and displays all the choices from their Watch Instantly queue on their TV screen. The quality is remarkably good. Roku isn’t the only way you can do this. There are lots of others from xBox 360 to LG TVs (go to the Profile or Let’s Meet pages in MovieWithMe and you’ll see a current list).
The problem is getting MORE choices on Watch Instantly. Big Hollywood studios are reluctant. But then, they are always reluctant-that is their middle name. Small distributors are more willing to try their films here, but are very worried about how much Netflix will pay them. You can’t calculate how much to pay for the rights to stream a film if it has never been streamed. So Netflix tries to estimate the value based partially on how many subscribers have already put the title on their wish list (your “saved DVDs queue).
That’s where we all can help. If you have a Netflix subscription (as little as $5.00 and as little as $10.00 if you want Watch Instantly), you can request obscure films you hear or read about. Most are listed even if they are not yet available. And when it comes the time when they are available; you’ve given the filmmakers a little bit more leverage to make a better deal with Netflix. Not exactly charity, but an easy way to help enlarge the offerings on Watch Instantly.
Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/21
The biggest challenge for our hosts is the amount of prep time and homework. Writing a few caustic lines about films like you find in most blogs and sales sites is easy. Preparing and writing a personal narrative about each film, coordinating it with pre-selected clips, rehearsing, choosing wardrobe, and navigating through the garment district of Manhattan to our studio…is a lot of work. MovieWithMe is like having an anchor desk at a cable news show only talking about movies instead of unemployment numbers. After going through make-up and getting settled in our studio, each host shoots between five and ten film reviews at a time. Sometimes we do wardrobe changes between reviews to better set the mood for certain films.
And there are rules you must follow: first, don’t wear anything green. We shoot in front of green screens, just like TV shows, so that we can put in appropriate backgrounds behind the hosts. If you wear green, that part of you disappears. All of our backgrounds are shot in New York City. Someday we will have an extensive photo archive of little-seen parts of New York that could be worth millions (we hope).
Why this effort? Because we believe personal video reviews are the best ways to decide if you are interested in seeing the movie. The offerings on Amazon and Netflix are vast, and multiplying every day. The efficient, effortless way through this clutter is to pick a host whose taste you trust, and follow him/her though film after film. Some rich people hire personal shoppers to pick out their clothes. Think of MovieWithMe as your personal film critic choosing movies that will look good on you.
Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/16
Maybe that is the wrong question. The first question is: who reads? MovieWithMe.com is not for everyone. We’ve known that since we started building the website. But there is a big part of the movie audience that wants different experiences than those offered by Scary Movie 3. You live in urban centers and college towns, you have an education level above the average American, and you are seeking more challenging entertainment than is generally available at your local multiplex. You are also old enough to not be called a kid and not to be treated like one.
That’s true of the movies you like as well as the friends you might like to meet. How many websites can you think of that are actually designed for adults? It seems like both web designers and big corporations are focused on a teen mentality. (Maybe that is their mentality). The Internet has been a big factor in most people’s lives since the mid-1990′s. At the least, that is 15 years ago. So if you were a hyperactive teenager when you bonded with your personal computer, you are an astute 30-year-old now. Old enough to appreciate indie movies and foreign movies. What that means is old enough to have curiosity about the world beyond your three best friends.
My goal in guiding our hosts choosing movies is pretty basic: curiosity, human characters, and good narrative. So easy to say but so tough to find. The opposite is usually the rule. Did you see The Informant? What was that about? Serious? Comedy? Did anyone care about Matt Damon’s character? I think it should have been called The Mess.
Many who start a website or a blog are on their own holy mission. I admit to it. We’re always digging deeper and deeper through the piles of DVDs, and spending nights and weekends in dank screening rooms looking for those unsung gems that were passed over or never understood. Why? Because there is nothing as exciting as a good movie.
Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/9
Netflix recently announced the prizewinners in its million-dollar contest to find a better movie recommendation app for its site. The criterion for the prize was very specific: winners had to demonstrate they could be at least 10% more accurate than the current system. Depending upon your view of geeks’ choices in movies, this is either genius or a joke. Ten per cent of what? If I choose a Greek film from Netflix, it shows me every other Greek film. It has no idea that I may have chosen the film because I may be interested in ancient Greek ships.
At Movie With Me we use another method: curiosity. We let our interests roam over over lists of movies and settle on what we like for a whim, a mood, a snippet of plot or an odd title. We almost never go for stars or popularity. I don’t think the audience does either. Who is the biggest star in America today? Anna Faris. Who is she? The voice of Sam in “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.” Before that she was in “Scary Movie” but no one remembers.
We go for themes known only to our own minds: they can lead us anywhere and everywhere. If we restricted our curiosity to patterns that could be predicted by ten percent chances of a match, we’d never discover, we’d never adventure, and we’d never fall in love.
So we hope you enjoy films on Netflix (and Amazon) but we urge you to follow your own curiosity down the labyrinth of your own making and see any movie that moves you, for reasons you never need to explain. We’re in the seat right behind you.
Link to this Post: http://www.moviewithme.com/blog/archives/4
Ever wonder when you click through to Amazon to buy one of our recommended films there are so many prices listed? Take “Outsourced,” one of my favorites about an American who goes to run a telephone sales office in India and falls in love with the country (and the girl). You can buy it new for $11.69, used from $3.99 and stream for 24 hours for $3.99 or buy the download for…get this…$14.99. So you can get the DVD in your hands for $3.99 but and electronic version costs $14.99? What are they thinking? Actually it isn’t Amazon’s doing. They’re giving you every opportunity at every price point. They don’t care, they collect a commission on every sale. But the folks who distribute this movie are living in a lost world. It’s a world where they control the prices and they decide what you should pay. And what do you do? You buy the lowest cost DVD from the list of used sellers. You know Amazon stands behind the quality (or they should). And the distributor who set the ridiculous high price gets nothing. More on this in later blogs. For now, remember that “The Price Above Rubies” (not on MovieWithMe.com yet) is a real good movie too!