CONFESSIONS: A new year brings new exciting prospects for PNRNetworks

confessions2011Happy 2015, everyone!

Normally, I use this column to discuss various aspects of going to the movies, but today,  I’m going to turn my attention ahead a bit, as well as have a little look back at things.

In many ways, 2014 ended up being a watershed year for PNR Networks as a whole. We finally got moved to new, faster, and far more powerful servers, something I’d been trying to do since March 2013’s first and utterly disastrous attempt at moving things. There ARE still a few bugs here and there, but they no longer affect the whole of the system, and that’s definitely a plus.

Also in 2014, we were able to see more indie films than ever before, thanks to a growing network of contacts we’ve hooked up with, mostly through CriticWire’s help – and a hearty “thanks” to Steve and Eric over there for all the great leads they’re always more than willing and able to provide.

Now, standing on the threshold of a brand new year, we’ve got all kinds of new and exciting things happening, and a great deal of them will be happening in the next 7 to 10 days.

First up, the launch of brand new sites for nearly all of the PNR Networks family. I’ve been working on the new sites for months now, and this weekend, eCO and eCB will both come online, and it’s going to be a major overhaul. Designed with more interactivity in mind between the sites and our readers, we’ll also be introducing a number of daily columns on both sites and they’re bound to be really great. Then the next three weekends, the new sites for Platinum Roses’ Garden, the PNR Radio Network, and Mirrorball Mayhem will go live.

We’ll also be incorporating some old sites within other sites as well. The existing Save Our Screens site and the long gestating Rising Star Central and Movie Resource Center sites will be introduced as separate parts of eCinemaOne in the next few weeks, and we’ll also be introducing a brand new blog, My Life As A Soundtrack, into the PNR Radio Networks offerings, as well as briniging The Kirkham Report under that roof as well.

eCinemaBoston will unveil the New England Festival Database very soon – it was supposed to launch last week, but I ran into a couple of tech snafus which are now being worked out by people who know how to do it (in other words, NOT me, heh heh) and will be ready soon. NEFDb is the first project of it’s kind – I’ve looked around and can’t find anything similar, though I bet if it works other bloggers in other parts of the country will be taking their cues from it. You’ll have to wait to see it for yourselves, it’s too hard to describe here what I think is going to be a great part of the PNR Networks family.

eCinemaOne and eCinemaBoston are also reaching out more in 2015. We are trying to connect with more and more industry people through a new system about to launch, and we’re also reaching out to festivals and hope to make our first venture into sponsoring some films this year at local fests in the MetroBoston area.

And VIDEO is coming soon! Although we do have projects already on our YouTube feed, we plan to greatly expand our video activities over the next six months or so. We planned to introduce a regular vlog from both myself and Kim, a la John and Hank Green’s “VlogBrothers” vlog, in 2014 but life, as usual, got in the way. We are still planning this, and hopefully it will be coming soon.

And we’re making it easier to both listen to PNR Networks podcasts AND watch PNR Networks videos too – at long last, our BRAND NEW Roku channel launches THIS WEEKEND! Two years of planning has gone into our Roku service (which is free, by the way, at least for now), and you’ll be able to access ALL audio and video from PNR Networks from the channel. That means it’s truly a ONE STOP destination – Subject:CINEMA (including specials and the original MicroFOCUS), Platinum Roses’ Garden, Mirrorball Mayhem, Cavebabble, and Mashed Up Madness podcasts, as well as our YouTube channel and that of IFS senior correspondant Larry Richman, will be available this weekend when the site launches. Plus we have great plans for more features as well, including a channel devoted to Subject:CINEMA film reviews, the full time launch of Three Minute Weekend and Indie Film Quickshot mini-podcasts, hopefully finding a way to hook up PNR Radio Network, and…hold on to your hats – a new Subject:CINEMA SPINOFF, which may be coming as early as later this month…more details later!  As the year moves forward, we also plan to try and launch similar sites for outlets like Boxee, Samsung SmartTV, Amazon Fire, and Google Chromecast, depending on the costs involved.

We’ve also begun exploring some new ideas to help us generate some revenue for the site. We have never been a money maker, and although we made a little money (VERY little, almost invisible) in the early Mevio days, it’s been a long time now since we have worked on this aspect of the site. So don’t be surprised if you hear ads on the podcasts before too long – they likely won’t be long, or offensive, but hopefully will help us to generate a little more moolah so we can do more stuff.

And with a new year, that means it’s time to start planning for a busy first quarter Fethival season! With our research for the 2015 Fethival of Film Fethivals show already underway – it will be coming your way on Subject:CINEMA January 25 – we’re also already gearing up for the Boston Springs a Fethival season as well. For the uninitiated out there, the MetroBoston market hosts a HUGE number of film festivals and film series from March 1 through May 10 or so, and every year we do our best to bring you coverage of the festivals (when we can get there) and the films therein. We’ve already booked our trip to Salem for the Salem Film Fest – our third year of in-person coverage – and are planning extensive coverage of the other fests as well – Boston Underground, Boston International, Irish, Boston LGBT, Belmont World Cinema, Boston Cinema Census, and THE premiere spring fest in the area, the Independent Film Festival of Boston, along with the Boston Sci Fi Film Festival in Feburary (the only one that falls outside that 8 week window above).

This year’s Fest coverage is going to be a bit different than usual, though. I will try to get to most of them for at least one or two screenings, but Kim is not likely to be able to join me for two of them – Underground and LGBT –  as one of her friends is likely to be visiting from out of state and she’s going to want to spend time with her. Plus there’s also another mitigating issue this year, and that is whether or not I’m going to be making a Very Important Trip West (all deserving capitals, heh heh)  in April. It is my hope that if I can manage to afford it financially and timewise from work, I will get to make a pilgrimage I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet managed…more on this later, IF I can make it happen…but if it DOES happen, it’s going to affect coverage of the end of the LGBT fest and the beginning of the Boston International Fest, as I will be out of town…

As you can tell, it’s going to be busy busy busy around here the next few weeks, and that’s only scratching the surface. I hope you’ll continue to join us for our various endeavors, and I thank you wholeheartedly from both Kim and myself, as well as on behalf of the crews at Cavebabble and Mashed Up Madness and for IFS senior correspondent Larry Richman for your continued interest, support, and links!

Here’s to a great 2015 – may we ALL have a GREAT YEAR!


TC Kirkham, Webmaster, PNR Networks