An Open Letter to Variety

Dear Variety,

Screw you. I was excited about that project; you said it was happening. Now I hear on Twitter it's not? You're the trade newspaper! You can't get stuff like this wrong. In a town predicated on empty promises and self-indulgent bullshit, I need an ultimate authority on what the hell is actually going on. Clearly you are not it. I get that Hollywood makes its own rules (about everything) but now we're throwing away journalistic integrity? Only a matter of time I suppose.

We used to rely on you, Variety. At festivals, your film reviews gave insecure acquisition execs the push they needed to buy the tiny little movie they liked but were too scared to tell Harvey about. For the executives and the Hollywood infrastructure, you gave them refrigerator material. After years of assisting and ass kissing you announced their promotion and officially allowed them to assemble what was left of their self worth only to subsequently become a major league asshole. Kidding. Kinda.

Now you've proven yourself to be just another name in the crowd of an annoyingly democratic system of entertainment news and criticism. It's making me incredibly jaded. I can't have faith that a movie is actually happening until the director tweets an image from the set. It used to be that if it was in Variety or The Hollywood Reporter it was real, right? It looked like Nikke Finke had the drop for a while, but with the blogosphere so relentlessly saturated with news and updates, who can we trust? Where do we turn for "official" industry news?

But don't worry about us, Variety. I think we're starting to get our answer. More and more, we are turning to content creators for updates on their work, and it's pretty damn exciting to hear from them. With new media, we're starting to learn about projects directly from the people that are making them happen. We are indeed witnessing a media shift, but I'm not sure this one's all that bad. By getting updates right from the source, we bypass speculation, the rumor mill, and fake reporters. Think about it. Isn't the most valuable Iron Man 2 update Jon Favreau's update?

That said, here is a list of ten creators that are doing your job. More pop up everyday.

1. Robert Rodriguez - @Rdz
2. Jon Favreau - @ Jon_Favreau
3. Greg Mottola - @GregMottola
4. Simon Pegg - @simonpegg
5. Edgar Wright - @edgarwright
6. Kevin Smith - @thatkevinsmith
7. Mark Romanek - @markromanek
8. Diablo Cody - @diablocody
9. Aziz Ansari- @azizansari
10. David Lynch - @David_Lynch

So don't think you can slack off, Variety. You're gonna become obsolete. It's probably too late anyway. You fired your best critic, Tom McCarthy, you're gonna lose some street cred there. Thanks for that, now every asshole with a laptop is a film critic. I want to hear from A.O. Scott of the New York Times, not Zitty McGeekerson from his nifty fanboy blog.

But maybe we don't need you Variety. With more and more industry leaders breaking their own news, you may become a thing of the past. If so, it's been real. Oh, and you talk annoying. I'm pretty sure "distribbery" isn't a word, and what the hell does "shuddered ankle" mean?

See ya wouldn't wanna be ya,
Nick Kreiss