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David Poland

By David Poland

Evolution of a Blog

Boy, has this blog suffered.

I’ve just been doing other things. Twitter is a big one. DP/30 has certainly eaten into the schedule.

Truth is, I am, quietly, trying to figure out what is next. Not in the work as a whole, but in the format.

Too many blogs. Too fast. Too much. Sound and fury signifying… you know.

Thinking. Sorry.

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39 Responses to “Evolution of a Blog”

  1. Gus says:

    I’ve noticed that this and the other blogs on MCN have gone fallow, but if you are at all interested in keeping them going or starting a new one, I’d be interested in doing it if there’s pay in it. We met briefly at LAFF this year, and I’d be happy to meet up with you in LA to discuss. I have an MFA in film and have directed my own projects, have plenty of writing samples, could cover history, theory, criticism, review new films, or even do interviews, whatever you have in mind, except for awards-season material.

  2. Aaron says:

    I was thinking the same thing and have found myself over at Nikki’s more than usual lately. Hope you figure out THBlog. It used to be my first stop in the morning and then throughout the day.

  3. Glamourboy says:

    You keep worrying about being on the cutting edge of format and media devices.when all we really want is just information. I mean, other than Sanj…who really watches the DPs? But I mean, seriously….if a celebrity interview falls in the woods and no one watches, does it make a sound???

  4. JAB says:

    For me the DPs are the best thing about your blog or maybe they are just so much better than the usual fawning press junket junk interviews that the DPs stand out more.
    I also like the other stuff too, but I always thought that there might too much here & have often wondered how do you do it all. Scaling back could add muscle to your already potent blog.

  5. anghus says:

    People keep sleeping on their blogs, but the reality is that twitter is for promotion and not discussion. No one has serious discussions on Twitter. It’s a sentence or two that hopefully leads some actual in depth thoughts or an article you can dig into.

    Twitter kills discourse. I’m sure you enjoy it more than the blog. It takes less time. Requires less than thought than the average order at a McDonalds. Adopting Twitter as your primary feedback system is akin to admitting you’ve given up on interacting with your readership.

    That’s not a judgement, just an observation. Some people don’t want any interaction with their readership. It takes time and effort. Some would prefer to sit back and throw out 140 characters and pretend they are involved, like a deadbeat parent who shows up on birthdays and christmas with a gift in tow.

  6. Melquiades says:

    I enjoy the DP30’s when I get a chance to watch them, but the problem is that’s almost never. I spend a lot more time on (shudder) Hollywood Elsewhere now because JW posts constantly (even if many of his posts are predictable and ludicrous).

    I miss DP’s (written) movie reviews and his deeper dives into current releases. I’d much prefer more of those to more video or more tweets.

  7. Lex says:

    Poland blocks me from even READING his Twitter.

    I didn’t even know that was possible.

  8. movielocke says:

    I don’t even know how to access twitter, and don’t even want to know. Fuck that noise.

  9. sanj says:

    > I mean, other than Sanj…who really watches the DPs?

    the Sam Jackson dp/30 hit 50,000 views.

    DP gives everybody a fair shot … lots of indie movies that
    cost under 5 million get a dp/30 …

    movie reviews are so easy to find everywhere …

    most people are way more obsessed about box office numbers more than anything.

    mcn has remained indie for a long time . how different would it be if some movie trade publication bought it out ….

    if aol time warner bought mcn then entertainment weekly would run some of his reviews and interviews.

  10. KrazyEyes says:

    Yeah, it’s pretty obvious when you don’t even bother to write something up about the Oscar nominations that you’ve lost interest in the blog.

    Maybe you posted stuff on Twitter but I would never see those. I played around with Twitter years ago and I agree with what was said earlier – it’s the equivalent of discursive junk food. Its about as substantive as spending all your time in the comments section of other peoples blogs.

  11. etguild2 says:

    Agree with anghus on Twitter. It cheapens the discourse. Been a faithful hot blogger for over 5 years now, since I became tired of Sasha Stone’s banal praise of every film in existence and the awards process at (it’s always great to head back to Awards Daily to see the reaction to an Oscar bait film that shits the bed like Hitchcock, and the 20 pre-release hype articles as the last mention of the pic) and was intrigued by her sniping at you (previously posted as Ethan G).

    This blog has always been a great place for a movie fanatic, who dropped out of film at NYU to pursue a government degree in DC and regrets it every day. I generally stay away from film blogs except yours, and have missed the discourse present a few years ago.

    On MCN as well…I miss Noah’s blog/column, and was sad to see him go without any formal announcement.

  12. tbunny says:

    I would love transcripts of the DP/30s, because then I could read them in 10-15 minutes. His editors are featuring interview snippets all the time but never DPs. That seems weird.

  13. sanj says:

    what’s the worst that can happen ? DP shuts this down and moves to facebook only …it’s pretty much got all the same features but there’s tons of copyright ownership issues ..

    DP meets like 1000 actors a year. actors are more important than anybody in these forums. actors are super smart and good looking and have all the answers to everything. i’m currently only 5% as smart as
    Chloë Grace Moretz.

    if DP put up the transcripts – lots of people would steal
    the interviews and not give DP any credit.

  14. ABC says:

    I love the blog and the DP/30s. Unlike many of you, I have no connection to the movie industry — I’m merely a fan of movies and see 30-40 of them at the cinema in an average year (and a hundred or two more at home).

    I learn so much from DP and the commenters. Thank you for this wonderful resource.

    To my knowledge I’ve never read anything by Nikki. This is my only Hollywood blog.

  15. etguild2 says:

    Oh, also, please don’t let the next thing be a Tumblr.

  16. Brady says:

    Agree with everyone here lamenting the migration to twitter or whatever else is not this blog.

    Dave, I’d appreciate your thoughts on this: in your mind, what percentage of those who populate your site even have a Twitter account, or at the very least care much to follow Twitter comments?

    I haven’t the energy, need or perhaps even the incite in the end to argue why I find Twitter … I guess not for me is the healthiest way of putting it.

    My entire adult career of 15 years has been spent in magazine and entertainment publishing. I’m proud to have ascended some pretty high-altitude positions. I suppose there’s a certain identity to that, but last year I just unplugged and moved on. I can’t identity with social media, not just Twitter. Maybe I’m a luddite. I stopped stressing about the constant arguments and frustrations and disconnect and whatever it is that doesn’t work for me. If I’m one of those fringe few that holds onto the ways of the ancients, and you have to adapt and perhaps even enjoy leaving behind blogs—so now it’s not “goodbye long-form, hello blogs!” it’s “goodbye blogs, hello even less!—then that’s what I am. It’s a tough topic.

  17. brack says:

    David – Been watching a lot of DP/30s now that I bought a Wii U, and can watch YouTube and browse since it’s a dual screen. I watch the interviews on my HDTV in 1080p (when connection permitting). A lot of fun and interesting interviews. Keep doing what you’re doing. *Thumbs up*

  18. David Poland says:

    uh, Lex… it’s not. You’re not blocked

  19. bulldog68 says:

    “Yeah, it’s pretty obvious when you don’t even bother to write something up about the Oscar nominations that you’ve lost interest in the blog.”

    Ditto that. Dave, you’re the earliest to talk about Oscar and I headed here on nomination day, and got crickets from you. I respect your opinion and wanted to read it.

    Also ditto the movie reviews. Where the fuck are they? 🙂

    I sense that this may be some kind of transitional time for the blog, and you, and some of the fights here have been legendarily mind numbing and if I were you, I would sometimes question why I open my house to people if they can’t respect a few house rules. I share your pain.

    You have said that this is not some fantastic revenue generator for you, so I guess that is a factor too, especially when you have a three year old nipping at your heels.

    I wish this blog stays around.

  20. lazarus says:

    Sanj isn’t the only one watching the DP/30s. Many of us enjoy them.

    He’s just the only one pathetic enough to want to inside baseball discussions about them.

  21. Daniel says:

    David Poland, I will be honest. I’ve followed you since the days of TNT Roughcut, so like 15 years or something, but I can’t follow you on Twitter. I’ve tried several times because I’ve missed your views, but I end up unfollowing soon after. I find the constant retweeting of your arguments and sniping with others, often with context that’s hard to discern, uninteresting and annoying. This seems to make up the majority of your twitter feed, at least the last time I checked several weeks ago.
    To be clear, I’m talking about stuff that gets posted to all your followers, (even when they don’t follow the other participants in the discussion), not what appears only on your twitter home page.
    You don’t owe me anything, I’ve visited your site(s) for years at leisure with not cost to myself for years, but I thought I would state my opinion on this as a long time fan since the subject came up.

  22. sdp says:

    Being good at Twitter can draw more eyeballs to your main gig, but Twitter has limitations and should never be seen as a replacement for a main gig. The exception is probably Dad Boner.

    Look at the number of comments on recent BYOB and box office threads that were posted during blog lulls. There’s still a demand for content around here, and people are carrying on the conversation wherever they can. The number of comments would probably be quadrupled had you actually made posts about the Oscar nominations. Abandon the awards season stuff if you want to, it obviously doesn’t interest you anymore, but abandoning the blog is a mistake.

  23. sanj says:

    how much more can DP write about oscar movies that might end up changing your mind ? nobody is talking about the artist anymore at all and that won the oscar …

    Jennifer Lawrence is hosting SNL this weekend – every oscar voter will watch this amazing acting and vote for her. SNL won her oscar and not her acting for the movie . seems right.

  24. Mike Denniston says:

    Longtime reader (RoughCut days), first time poster, yada yada…

    I follow Mr. Poland on Twitter and actually do enjoy it, although granted this has led me to following others to get the entire story on what is being discussed.

    Agree with others that Twitter only leads me here where I expect to find more in depth posts but as of late, have not. Still I keep checking because I really do respect the group of people who take the time to comment even if its just a BYOB post. I don’t know how DP would feel about this (or others for that matter) but the best Twitter experience that has come out of The Hot Blog has been my following of LexG. Love his point of view, as well as many others on here, but he seems to have embraced Twitter for what it is.

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    “Yeah, it’s pretty obvious when you don’t even bother to write something up about the Oscar nominations that you’ve lost interest in the blog.”

    You know, I was going to post a comment about this myself last week — and decided not to, because I figured it would only stir up nastiness on your part, Dave.

    But here’s the thing: For quite a long time now, you’ve been dropping hints — well, actually, making statements — that you didn’t see yourself as having a long-term career in movie blogging, and that you likely would move on to other things sooner than later. Maybe now is the time to make that move. (And no: I’m not applying to be your replacement.) I kinda-sorta think you’ve burnt out on this. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — hey, Graham Greene didn’t stick with movie criticism terribly long — but you might only make yourself unhappy if you stay at the party too long.

  26. YancySkancy says:

    Dave did have a couple of nomination day columns–they weren’t posted to the blog for whatever reason, but they were on the MCN home page. Same with the Gurus o’ Gold stuff.

  27. leahnz says:

    Oh no this is depressing and i was already in a blue funk for some reason – i hope the hotbog doesn’t close up shop, that would be the end of an era. i haven’t been commenting as much but the people here by and large are really into movies and kind of diverse with interesting points of view, i don’t even ‘know’ anyone here IRL but it’s like a bunch of old friends talking (and arguing, like a family around the thanksgiving table after an afternoon of eating too much and boozing), if it was just suddenly gone one day it would be a bummer — but it does need DP (or a chosen surrogate) to keep it going with topics and input or it withers on the vine. This was the first place I came to see the oscar noms/reactions but for the first time in many years it didn’t happen.

  28. Greg says:

    Shouldn’t the title be ‘Devolution of a Blog’?

  29. Greg says:

    Thanks Brack…Ive got my TV hooked up to the internet and never thought about watching DP30s in HD on my TV through Youtube. Watching the Judd Apatow DP30 as I type. Excellent.

  30. Bennett says:

    I’ve been a long time reader, yes since the TNT days…I do miss your in depth writing/reviews…Twitter is nice, but it is a short blast, often without the same context and connection as your longer form writing.

    P.S. Am I the only one who is underwhelmed by Zero Dark Thirty? A good well made film, maybe that month of hype led to too high expectations, but overall I thought it was inferior to Hurt Locker.

  31. Sam says:

    Agree with Daniel. Been reading you since 1998. I like the DP/30s, but I’m not sure they’d keep me here on their own. The articles, reviews, and commentary is the real value and the reason I’ve been a regular reader all these years.

    When The Hot Button became The Hot Blog, it didn’t really matter all that much. You still posted essays about your perspective, just in a freer form. Worked for me.

    But Twitter is no substitute. You can’t make an argument on Twitter — all you can do is argue. You can state a point, but you can’t back it up. You can’t elaborate on the nuances. And because of that, I’m not interested. I haven’t followed you and don’t have the interest to.

    Obviously if you’re questioning the course of your career, that’s something you have to sort out for yourself. But if you’re interested in thoughts about whether the blog as a format is still relevant, well, yeah, of course it is. It’s just a way to organize your written work.

    If you want to switch technologies, fine, but at best it won’t matter to your readers, because they’ll still be consuming the content they want from you. At worst, as in the case of Twitter, it’ll fundamentally change the nature of that content and lose its value.

    Basically what I’m saying is, unless this reflection is for your own sake rather than that of your readers, don’t sweat it. The blog works.

  32. Gus says:

    I echo Daniel’s sentiments. Twitter is nothing to me as far as substantive commentary goes, and though I followed you for a while, I had to unfollow for the same reasons as cited above – the personal sniping and retweeting of things that simply support whatever position you happen to hold. There’s not much of significance that comes from Twitter discussions in my mind and obviously it’s the worst archival medium ever. Revisiting positions or writings is not possible.

  33. hcat says:

    Its a shame that you don’t have the time anymore, even when I dont agree with you I enjoy your take on things (Disney went to Netflix, which I felt was pretty syiesmic but there was nothing addressing it on these pages), but often come just to shoot the shit with others. If you can’t do regular posts just have someone there toss up daily BYOBs with links to the day’s big news items so people can discuss them. Hell throw sanj a few bucks and have him do it, just steer him more toward the Hollywood Reporter and not E!.

    Or hell Lex, if there was ever a time for you to step up, here is all this web real estate with vines growing around the porch.

  34. storymark says:

    Let me be another voice who agrees with Angus about Twitter. It’s garbage. Narcisism central. Every time Ive bothered looking through my feed, it’s been an utter waste of time.

    And like others, Ive been reading Poland since the Rough Cut days…. but Im not bothering with his tweets.

    If he feels a personal need to move on – I can’t complain, it’s his life. But handing the keys to someone who does care would be nice.

  35. berndog says:

    Longtime follower. I found you many years ago off your EYES WIDE SHUT article. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed your analysis. Film, industry, and award season. That’s why I stopped by. What’s Poland’s take? Or at least that’s why I USED to stop by regularly. The passion with which you consistently wrote about the industry and the films that moved you, was awesome. Whether I agreed with you or not. And of course the follow up discussions in the comments section was always worthwhile.

    I understand if you don’t want to do it anymore. But think about what got you here. The Kubrick pieces. The MATRIX reviews. Even your recent THIS IS 40/Apatow piece. For me, that was the blog at it’s best. For what it’s worth…

  36. David Poland says:

    Just for the record, hcat, there was a long piece that included Disney/Netflix.

  37. LYT says:

    Assuming DP’s income comes from ads on this site, moving it all to social media sites would be foolish and won’t happen.

  38. Js Partisan says:

    Twitter is wonderful. It is not narcissism central, it is not the end of discourse, and it is fun. It’s a great place to discuss things but David is not a fun person on twitter. He’s better long form than short form. He disagrees but overall, this blog just needs to be given to someone who cares enough to update it.

    If David is against that then guess what? He should sync the blog with twitter. That’s right: put your twitter comments on here and let us comment on them.

  39. Glamourboy says:

    So it is Tuesday, and no blogs from DP since Friday. No weekend box office. Only one report from Sundance. Guess this isn’t the place to go anymore.

The Hot Blog

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon