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VIDEO WATCHDOG ANNOUNCES
BACK ISSUE DIGITAL ARCHIVE
CINCINNATI, OH – November 25, 2013 - Video Watchdog, the Cincinnati-based film publication known as “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Fantastic Video”, today unveiled an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to bring its entire, almost quarter-century back catalog into the 21st century as a fully interactive, digital archive online. The campaign carries the endorsements of several noted filmmakers and historians, including Leonard Maltin, Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, Piranha), Ernest Dickerson (The Walking Dead, The Wire) and John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers).
Praised by director Quentin Tarantino as “the most reliable film magazine in the world,” Video Watchdog recently unveiled its first digital issue online in tandem with a somewhat revolutionary new business model. Beginning with the current issue, #175, after each new print issue of Video Watchdog is mailed to subscribers and retailers, a link to its digital edition will appear online in an expanded, enhanced format… that’s absolutely free.
Today the second step of this ambitious business plan was taken with the launching of a Kickstarter page dedicated to funding the magazine’s plan to scan all previous back issues – extending back to the first, published in June 1990 – and produce them online in a manner available to all devices, totally “cross-platform.” What’s unusual about this plan is the intention to make those (sometimes out-of-print) issues not only digitally available, but to newly augment them in the process.
Says editor Tim Lucas: “We see the available technology as a way to refresh all the work we've done in the past, to keep it alive, vital and growing, and not just on iPad - on PCs, Android, Kindle Fire platforms, as well.”
“There have been similar Kickstarter campaigns to fund the digitizing of other back issues,” allows publisher Donna Lucas, “and they have been very successful - but they’ve been limited to a single format. They are basically pdfs of those back issues. What’s unusual about our plan is that the online version of Video Watchdog will be its own artifact as much as the print version, and the current issue will always be free!” (Back issues, once uploaded, will be priced at $3.99.)
“In our earliest issues, we were reviewing films on VHS and LaserDisc,” remembers Tim. “This new digital technology will allow us go back and continually refresh that material, to offer updated information. We can add material relevant to our theme issues, annotate what we’ve already done, add color to early black-and-white issues, all kinds of things. We’re published literally thousands of reviews and hundreds of feature articles, and in time, there is the possibility of that entire body of work to stand renewed and refreshed.”
Robert Tinnell, director of the Factory Digital Filmmaking Program at the Douglas Education Center in Monessen, PA, praised the undertaking as invaluable not only to film buffs but film students. “The idea that film students could have access to this huge treasure trove – not only of film history, but film analysis, film criticism, discussion about cinema – that they could have these assets at their fingertips, on their iPads and iPhones – that they can be exposed to this level of critical thinking and, in turn, have that influence their work – that’s just so powerful to me. If we want to see better films in the future, we have to encourage students to think differently about the films that they’re seeing… and I don’t know anyone who does that better than the people at Video Watchdog.”
Video Watchdog has earned a reputation as the most visionary magazine of its kind – and perhaps the only magazine of its kind. It originated the approach now taken by all reviewers of home video product, and their 2007 hardcover publication – Tim Lucas’ 12-pound, 1100+ page critical biography Mario Bava – All the Colors of the Dark, with an Introduction by film director Martin Scorsese – was cited by Fangoria and other magazines as a “paradigm shift” in the realm of film biographies.
Video Watchdog also holds a record six wins as the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Films Award for Best Magazine, as well as an overall record 15 wins in other categories, including Tim and Donna Lucas’ 2010 induction into the Rondo Award’s Monster Kid Hall of Fame. As a company, Video Watchdog is also the recipient of the International Horror Guild Award, the Independent Publishers Award Bronze Medal, and the rarely-given Saturn Award for Special Achievement.
Tim and Donna Lucas are available for interviews pertaining to the Digital Edition and Kickstarter campaign. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to Kickstarter: http://tinyurl.com/vwkickstarter
Link to Video Watchdog www.videowatchdog.com