Apr 3, 2012

The Future of ESR

Yesterday, I had posted a short piece on ESR's Facebook page, defending the viability of keeping it in print, when publications bigger and better than mine have succumbed to the all mighty Interweb. (Once again, I'll acknowledge the irony of defending print in an online post.) At the same time I had also acknowledged that over the past four years, we have published far less frequently. Admittedly, one new issue is bigger in size than the little digest-sized books I used to put out -gasp- four times a year, but even a few years ago, there existed far more venues year-round to get this magazine seen than now. As a result, it only makes sense to prepare an annual ESR issue, customarily debut it at Word on the Street, and then tour it at the events that still largely exist in the fall season.

After writing that bit, however, I began to ponder future plans for all things ESR. Way back during Expozine in 2009, our friend Eric Bourgignon had interviewed me for his podcast series "Vlog de Rien". One of his questions was where I saw this publication going- then as now, I believed that it would eventually give itself over to a longer format. Because of the irregularity of its publication, it no longer really needs to exist as a periodical, per se. As a result, we don't do columns on the latest DVD or book reviews as there already exists print and electronic entities that would cover similar material in greater regularity. Therefore, I'm wondering if our logical future exists in during longer pieces on works that still to this day are missing proper coverage in print.

Every year I ask myself if I'm running out of things to discuss that haven't been analyzed incessantly elsewhere, and am always surprised to discover new terrain, even in this age where online forums and blogs run the gamut of cinema big and small.  As a result, it may make more sense for the web component of ESR to review new books or DVDs (since this format is obviously more immediate and contemporary), and the print side would concentrate on longer, more thorough analyses that would seem inappropriate to the web.

Also, I've been looking at the viability of print-on-demand, which would allow us to release new works in a more professional and durable format than before, and perhaps, would finally open some doors to get these pages seen in other markets.

These are all things we're pondering right now as we prepare for another fall season. In recent years, I've wondered if ESR has run its course. Now, I'm wondering if, truly, we've just begun.

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