You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Upcoming Movies covers first hype

Dedicated Yahoo editor chronicles film development


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

  • 'Who Will Write Our History' Review:

    Film Review: 'Who Will Write Our History'

    The most famous diarist of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, began to write down the drama of her daily life with no ulterior motive (apart from her teenage ambition to write fiction). But in March 1944, the year before she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she heard a radio broadcast by a member of the [...]

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content