Pitchfork Media launches The Dissolve, a movie site looking to break the cycle of online hype – TechCrunch


Pitchfork Media, the company behind the music site all my cool friends read (I use the past because, like me, my friends got old and uncool), just launched a new property – Dissolve it, a site devoted to films.

When I loaded up The Dissolve earlier today, my first feeling was familiarity. It is generally not something you want in a new property, but in this case it was a good thing – I was happy to see the signatures of several writers that I used to read on one of my sites. favorite art and entertainment, The AV Club. The Dissolve was founded by Keith Phipps, who previously edited The AV Club, its editor Scott Tobias was a film editor at The AV Club, and yes, Phipps seems to have done a good job bringing several of the writers from his old gig to new.

Phipps told me he started dreaming about The Dissolve after his departure from the AV Club in December. As he tried to figure out what he was going to do next, Phipps realized that what turned him on the most was “coming back to the movies” – the movies are a big part of The AV Club’s coverage. , but they are mixed. with TV, music and more. The Dissolve aims to be all movies, all the time.

It’s not that the Internet is exactly lacking when it comes to movie sites. Phipps said he thought there were “tons of great movie websites,” but he had his own vision of “a kind of place to hang out, read and talk about movies.” He noted that for many sites there’s a bit of a “hype cycle,” where they release every trailer and every piece of news or speculation about a great movie, but once it’s actually released in theaters. , the discussion ends.

“We’re not going to be completely left out of the game,” Phipps admitted, but said he wanted to tone down the hype a bit and mix things like the release of trailers with in-depth discussions of older films. and new.

An example of this approach is a series called Movie of the Week, where, as the name suggests, The Dissolve will air a number of plays throughout the week, addressing different aspects of the same movie. And it doesn’t look like these are the last blockbusters – the first selection is Man rest, the second will be Zelig. You can read some of the other features provided in The “user’s guide” from Phipps.

When it comes to community building, The Dissolve hasn’t done anything too new on the tech side. he comments on stories, of course, and he also has what Phipps called “a very informal partnership” with the movie rating service. Mailbox. Phipps added that he was open to exploring other services that could be added, but that he was not interested in creating a separate forum or social network: “There are already enough. “

But given the proliferation of online movie review, much of which is free, isn’t the news and aggregation-based model one that makes economic sense? Phipps said that to a large extent he let other people take care of the business side – although at first he had to convince Pitchfork, especially Pitchfork chairman Chris Kaskie, that The Dissolve could be. a lucrative proposition.

More generally, Phipps quoted his aforementioned editor-in-chief, Scott Tobias, and suggested that there is “a real estate bubble when it comes to pageviews in a movie.” He said he was disheartened when he saw “variations on the same story aggregated on links on every site” and that an approach that values ​​pageviews and nothing else is “disastrous for creativity.”

“I hope we’re going to build a quality audience that our advertisers think is worth reaching, rather than just aiming for the numbers,” said Phipps.

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