Over at Variety, Anne Thompson wrote an excellent piece yesterday on Premiere Magazine ceasing publication, and how it's getting harder and harder to find places to publish long-form movie journalism. Space for writing of any decent length about film has all but disappeared from most mainstream print publications, and the proliferation of movie writing on the Web has made it harder for print pubs about movies to continue to exist, Thompson says.

Part of the issue is that readers who have grown accustomed to the tendency on websites and blogs to write shorter posts with less commentary have less interest in (and patience for reading) longer, more thoughtful pieces about film.

Here at Cinematical, we have always supported longer reviews than readers will typically find at places like People or Newsweek, where real estate for more in-depth film coverage is hard to come by. Our regular reviews tend to run around 1,000 words, with fest reviews typically clocking in around the 500-750 word range. This gives our writers a lot more room to delve into things like the history of a genre as it relates to a given film, or to compare a particular film with previous works by the same director, or even to just talk about things like how the editing or cinematography or production design affect the film overall.

Although we do occasionally get readers who complain about reviews here being too "long-winded," for the most part our audience has seemed to appreciate the longer takes on films, because we're able to convey more about what we really think about the film any why than we could within a 250-word blurb that gives you little room to expand on why we like a film or hate it. I don't see the demise of Premiere as the end of the film-journo world as we know it, so much as it heralds a shift away from print media and more onto online media as a means of distributing what film journalists write.

Premiere initially attemped to do an online version as a subscription service, but frankly, your average film buff just isn't going to pay for an online subscription when there's so much film info on other sites for free. The site is now operating as a leaner, meaner online pub (albeit no longer paying the $2 per word rate the print pub paid, Thompson notes), with plans to capitalize on Premiere's reputation and brand in building a strong website that's a regular resource for film fans. Other ex-Premiere staffers are migrating to various online publications as well, but I bet for the most part they're finding it hard to find online film journalism work that pays even close to what they're used in in the print media world.

So what do you think? Do you care if print publications no longer publish longer pieces about film, or are you already getting your information about the film world online?

[via Hollywood Elsewhere ]