Underground Film Journal

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Revamp: Underground Films List

By Mike Everleth ⋅ October 26, 2010

If you haven’t seen it yet, I recently redesigned the Underground Film Journal’s Underground Films List to help make it a little more user-friendly. Rather than a straight list with a cluttered bunch of links, I’ve made the list more graphic oriented, like you’d find on regular film ratings and database sites.

Granted, my overall design skills kind of blow, but I’m happy enough with this new layout that I’m already dreaming up a couple more useful indexes that I can apply it towards. One of the main goals of the site that I’ve become even more obsessed with recently is how to drive visitors to watch more great underground films.

I’ve never been truly satisfied with the blog format and the site’s evolution has been a direct steering away from that look. (It’s just a slow evolution as redesigns take a lot of time away from writing.) I don’t like writing about something that’s on the homepage for a day or two and then it disappears into the ether unless people deliberately go searching for the content in a particular article. But then it’s difficult trying to find more ways to keep throwing film titles in people’s faces to remind them that they have to check those films out.

One of the ways to do that, I believe, is to keep making the site more graphic-oriented and not so text heavy. Design isn’t my forte, so when I dream up new resource projects it’s usually in the format of a boring list of links. I do read design websites and books, but my brain just isn’t programmed to think that way first. I’m trying to change that little by little.

So, please check out the new Films List, click on a review you haven’t read yet, or add a film to your Netflix queue or take a chance on buying something at Amazon.

In some other site news: Yes, I’m still working on the Underground Film Timeline, just at a much slower rate than I had been pushing a few months ago. I’m also still very excited about the Timeline and it’s filling out very nicely with the addition of data from David Curtis’ Experimental Cinema book.

The reason for the Timeline slowdown is that it wasn’t getting the amount of traffic I had hoped. So, I started focusing most of my non-blogging time on other areas, such as the Films List design revamp and the filmmakers indexing project I haven’t talked about much.

The filmmakers indexing project involves me filling out the filmmaker tag pages on the site, including adding some biographical info and partial filmographies in addition to the Underground Film Journal’s list of links to articles. This is a really slow building project, which is why I haven’t been hawking it. But, for a sample, check out the page for the latest index I did for filmmaker Vanessa Renwick.

Then, of course, in recent weeks traffic to the Timeline has really perked up, so I partially regret slowing down work on it, which is always the way.

Lastly, I started a new Underground Film channel on Vimeo as a place to collect videos I’ve seen or plan to see in the future. Again, this is just another way to help spread the word on great films that need to be seen. If I put these films in enough places around the Internet, people will just have to be forced to watch them at some point.

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