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Underground Film Timeline: Phase 8 Complete

Film stills from classic underground films

Work on the Underground Film Journal’s Underground Film Timeline has picked up in earnest lately and I’m pleased to report that I have successfully added data from Scott MacDonald’s incredible book Canyon Cinema: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor to it. That, plus some significant design changes make the Timeline worth checking out if you haven’t in awhile.

Canyon Cinema was a fairly quick book to index for the Timeline. While MacDonald meticulously provides time-related reference to events in the legendary film distributor’s history, such as the publication dates of each of Canyon Cinema’s Cinemanews magazine issues as well as the publication dates of each of their catalogs, the mission of the Timeline is to only provide information regarding significant events in underground film history.

That said, I was able to grab some great stuff from the book, particularly as it relates to one of the underground’s most significant institutions. Plus, it was also nice to focus almost exclusively on West Coast-based events and filmmakers, which has been getting short shrift in my other sources used to build the timeline.

Regarding the Underground Film Timeline overall, I’m pleased to report that my recent fiddling with the layout of the timeline has resulted in a significant increase in web traffic to it.

Yes, I happen to think it looks nicer overall, which is a good thing, but the adding of film stills and breaking up the page using proper header tags has made the timeline more attractive to search engines, driving more visitors to its pages.

The uptick in traffic, although still on the slight side, is encouraging. Although, at this stage, I’m not sure what the next step will be. I have a few more books I’m considering indexing and I want to add even more images. However, it feels as though the timeline needs some kind of big boost to make it even more useful for other researchers and underground film fans. I’m just not sure what that boost could be at this point.

And if you’ve made it this far through this article, please consider clicking through and checking out the timeline’s changes. It looks nice.


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