×

Upcoming Movies covers first hype

Dedicated Yahoo editor chronicles film development

movies.yahoo.com/upcoming

If it wasn’t for the Internet, Greg Dean Schmitz would probably still be a reference-librarian-cum-film-enthusiast in at the public library in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. But one day in 1997, Schmitz remarked that, unless you were interested in a film that was opening in the next few weeks, it was very hard to find information about upcoming movies, and a Web site was born.

Since those days, Greg’s Previews has grown to become one of the larger one-man film sites online, recently out-trafficking Ain’t It Cool News, aintitcool.com, according to comScore Networks for March 2003. But Schmitz’s site now has traffic help; in a quiet deal in December, 2001, Yahoo hired Schmitz full-time and integrated his entire archive into its Movies section. As it stands, Schmitz is one of very few Yahoo employees — they don’t release specific employee counts — who actually creates traditional editorial content, as opposed to managing collections of links. He moved out to Los Angeles in 2002 as part of the deal.

The site is arranged around movie pages, done in Yahoo’s overall clean, stark and graphic-light look with easy-to-read text. Each movie takes up one single large page with Schmitz’s meticulous chronicle of the movie’s path from conception past opening weekend. In the process, he creates a fantastic living document about the movie process; you can determine which studio blinked when two opening dates collided, and you can muse on the what-ifs by looking at early casting choices. The site does a good job of pointing to trailers posted online, and not just the ones provided by Yahoo.

Schmitz doesn’t focus on comic book adaptations to the exclusion of romantic comedies, but his enthusiasm for mainstream Hollywood fare is still apparent; blockbusters, perhaps by the nature of their coverage, costs and machinations, do get updated more frequently than indie projects.

He also provides a very complete release calendar tool, though the calendar’s not really searchable. However, the once-librarian has gone beyond the usual to organize the site so you can browse by writer, distributor, genre or video release date.

The move to Yahoo gave Schmitz’s site the promotional power and technical organization it needed to grow, but the content still hinges on one person, which is why it’s not likely to expand to cover other parts of the biz; Schmitz has a hard enough time keeping up with today’s domestic film release calendar.

Got a site to share with me? Email tfsmith@reedbusiness.com

More Film

  • Vice Christian Bale Sam Rockwell Playback

    Berlin Adds 'Vice,' New Films by Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine to Official Lineup

    Five new titles, including the latest films from Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine, have joined the competition program at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Adam McKay’s “Vice” will screen out of competition. “Vice” has already won a Golden Globe for star Christian Bale’s portrayal of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and picked up six BAFTA [...]

  • Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to

    Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to Berlin Market Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has added German romantic comedy “Cold Feet” (Kalte Füsse) to its market lineup at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sales agent will screen the film as a market premiere. Sony Pictures released the pic, directed Wolfgang Groos, in Germany on Thursday, and it garnered 100,000 admissions over its opening weekend. “Cold [...]

  • Neil Burger

    'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project

    “The Upside” director Neil Burger is set to direct sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” as his next project. The film will be fully financed and co-produced by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, and produced by Burger’s Nota Bene Productions and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Films. AGC also handles international sales on the new film. Written and directed by [...]

  • Berlin: M-Appeal Acquires Panorama Title ‘Greta’

    M-Appeal Acquires Berlin Panorama Title ‘Greta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights to “Greta,” the feature debut of Brazil’s Armando Praça which will world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section. The Berlin-based film industry has also dropped an international trailer, to which Variety has had exclusive access. Produced by Carnaval Filmes, whose credit include major titles by Marcelo Gomes, one [...]

  • Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary

    Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' for International

    Kew Media Distribution has boarded controversial Michael Jackson sex-abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland” ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Kew Media has taken international distribution rights (excluding U.K. and U.S.) to the two-part documentary, which is a co-production of HBO and British broadcaster Channel 4. Directed by BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, “Leaving [...]

  • Nordic Film Market: New Pálmason, Hákonarson,

    Nordic Film Market Selects Latest Palmason, Hakonarson, Hafstrom, Ganslandt

    The 20th Nordic Film Market in Göteborg, unspooling Jan. 31-Feb 3, will showcase 16 works in progress including Hlynur Pálmason’s “A White, White Day”, Grímur Hákonarson’s “The County”, Mikael Håfström’s “The Perfect Patient” and Jesper Ganslandt’s “438 Days.” Iceland is well represented this year with top directors and festival darlings Pálmason (“Winter Brothers”), Hákonarson (“Rams”) [...]

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content