Introducing: The Underground Film WordPress Theme
The Underground Film Journal is proud to announce the launch of its first ever free WordPress theme, which I have called — in honor of my favorite kind of movie — Underground Film. While I have designed this theme specifically with filmmakers in mind, Underground Film is an official, fully functional WordPress theme that any blogger or website developer can use.
To install Underground Film, just search for the term “underground film” on the “Install Themes” page in the “Appearance” section of your WordPress admin area. Or, you can download it from the official WordPress Theme Directory and upload it to your server.
In addition, I will be maintaining a page on the Underground Film Journal that will highlight and walk bloggers through some of the theme’s special customizations. Right now, that page just displays the Read Me file that also comes included with the theme, but I hope to keep the page updated with more info and to jazz it up a little.
I created this theme for two reasons. One, I just wanted to see if I could create a WordPress theme from scratch. The Underground Film Journal is a highly modified version of the Morning After WordPress theme that I’ve been tinkering with over the years. So, I wanted to take all those skills I’ve learned and apply them to an original theme.
But, more importantly, I was getting frustrated seeing so many film websites that included a “blog” section that either redirects visitors to a blog hosted on a free service like Blogger and WordPress.com; or, linked to a static HTML page that included faux blog-like entries.
One of the great things about WordPress is that it can be used as a full Content Management System where, in the case of a promotional website for a film, can include the static pages that a film needs; such as Cast/Crew, Synopsis, Trailer, etc.; as well as actual blog updates.
Actually, you can use the Underground Film theme to solely host static film promotional pages and completely skip using the blog functions. In that regard, the Underground Film theme is a bit unusual from other WordPress themes as I designed it thinking the main menu links that appear in the upper-left sidebar of the theme would link primarily to Pages and not to Categories like most WordPress blogs do.
I also included a special Trailer page in the theme to mimic how I’ve seen most film promotional websites spotlight their movie’s trailer, which is sort of floating over the background rather than looking like it’s been embedded in a blog post. It’s also possible to set the Trailer page to be the site’s default landing page. Instructions on how to do that are on this page.
So, I might do some future posts on things one can do with the theme, or I might just post that info on the theme’s page on the Underground Film Journal.
One last thing: The theme is ready for HTML5, so you can embed your own hosted videos with the theme. To do so, you can follow these two tutorials I’ve written up: Embed HTML5 Video Into Your Web Page and Embedding the New YouTube & Vimeo on WordPress (using Method #2).