Flixist was born on October 15th, 2010. As of this writing, that’s a year and some change, and in that time, we have seen a lot. Our early adopters will remember seeing our friend and nemesis Tommy Raptor more than often enough, and I speak for everyone when I say that we are thrilled that he is extinct. Since then, we have reviewed countless films, interviewed Tommy Wiseau and freaking Elmo, and brought you daily news, reviews, and trailers.
But there’s plenty more than that at Flixist. We’re committed to building a film community: a place where like-minded people go to share their thoughts on movies, have a lot of fun on the Internet, and even create lasting relationships that transcend the computer screen to which our writing is confined. Cat pictures and fart jokes may also be present.
Upon first look, it’s easy to miss a lot of this. That’s why I’ve created this little guide. For the new Flixist visitor, let this serve as a first taste of everything the site has to offer. For the initiated, this is your way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Flixist experience.
You may have heard of Destructoid, which is kind of a big deal. If so, you probably already have a basic idea of what we are, but here’s the full history. Destructoid was founded in 2006; you can read that full (and incredible) story right here. Seriously, read that. You could meet a unicorn with the power to turn trees into gingerbread and you’d be unimpressed after hearing Destructoid’s history.
Flixist came about around five years after Destructoid was founded. Matthew Razak and Tom Fronczak, two of Destructoid’s editors, conceived the idea due to their shared love of films and desire to cover the industry with more references to phallic objects and defecation. In early 2010, the time was finally right to start seeking staff and building a website. And what better place to seek that staff than Destructoid itself.
It was with a simple post that the process began, and before anyone really knew what was happening, the site had a full staff, the name Flixist, and an ugly little raptor to greet users when the site wasn’t working right. We all joke about it now, but trust me when I say nothing was more frustrating for us than to be ready to come at you with a bunch of awesome content and not having the ability to do that. It was a tumultuous beginning for all of us, and it may have killed a few of the editors who have now been replaced with doppelgangers (not me of course, as I murdered my evil twin years ago), but we are all stronger for it. Except the dead ones. They’re mostly just dead.
We picked October 15th as our official birthday because, frankly, that felt like the first day that we were really in business. It also happens to be my own birthday, and now that you’re privy to that fact you’re obligated to send an annual birthday card addressed both to Flixist and to me enclosed with nudie pics of your favorite actress. Anyway, between then and the end of the year we had our first awards, a great series called “Movies That Changed Us” that served as a sort of introduction to the site and staff, and much more.
A great many more things have happened between then and now, but it wouldn’t do for me to explain it all to you. If this is your first visit here, go and read some posts. You’ll get the gist of what we’re doing quickly enough.
I could tell you the story of each one of us, where we were born, the first movies we saw, but I’m getting bored just typing that. Instead, let me show you.
Ahh, that’s nice, isn’t it? That’s us in all of our glory. I know the little pictures by our articles make it hard to get to know us, so hopefully these larger full color photos help. The bottom of each photo has our respective usernames for Twitter, so feel free to add us there. Who the hell is Tommy Raptor? More on that later.
Really, we’re just a group of guys and gals who really like movies and want to bring a little fun to the Internet by blogging about them. If you like fun and movies, I think you’ll like it here.
First and foremost, Flixist is a blogging community. It’s what we do all day, and while the front page of the site is dominated by our posts, we’re absolutely not the only voices here. Absolutely anyone can blog on Flixist thanks to our community blogs section. If you’ve already started a blog on Flixist, awesome! There will be some great tips for you in a bit. If you had no idea that you could blog here, let’s start at the beginning.
First of all, as long as you’ve registered for the site, you have a blog. It might not have anything there yet, but that’s something that can easily be fixed. You might want to start by tricking out your profile. Tell us a little bit about yourself and maybe even throw in a photo or two. You can include text, images, video, rich links, and more. Make it personal and enjoy.
You can start a new blog post at any time by clicking the “new blog” button near the top right of the homepage, which will take you into the post editor. Once there, everything is pretty self-explanatory. The little top field is for your title, while the rest of it is for your full article.
You’ll notice that the toolbar lets you do a few fun things with your blog, such as bolding, rich links, alignment, and image and video embedding. It’s all in bbcode, so you can either use the toolbar buttons or code it in yourself. Separate from the toolbar is the ability to upload your own photo to your blog in case you don’t want to host it somewhere else.
So now that you know how to write, what should you write? Well, you can write anything you want. Most of the time you’ll probably want to write about movies, but if you just have something you want to tell us, that’s fine too. Just keep in mind that your blogs can be read by anyone here, so write about stuff that the community will care about. If you write something really awesome, we’ll post it to the front page!
We also have a monthly topic offered in our Bloggers Wanted feature. It’s the easiest way to find something to write about. And while we’ll put any awesome post on the front page, this is a great way to increase your chances of seeing your work on our front page.
Here are some general tips and best practices for the blogs.
- Please proofread. Your blog shouldn’t be a mess of misspellings and half-finished sentences.
- Lead off your blog with an image, just like a header image used on the front page.
- Write an intro of a paragraph or two to tell us what you’re talking about and why we should keep reading.
- Find the sweet spot of length. Don’t make it too short that you can’t offer a complete thought or so long that Thomas Pynchon wouldn’t be able to finish it. Being as weird as Pynchon is totally encouraged, though.
- Every few paragraphs, put in a new image. It makes your blog pretty like Alison Brie and makes people want to sex it like Alison Brie.
- Have fun! Let your voice come through. Let us get to know you. Sing your own special song. Let your light shine. Turn on your heartlight. Also, don’t be cliched.
Most of our reviews are going to speak for themselves and stand alone as individual products, but you may wonder what our overall approach to reviews is. I’m happy to shed some light on that.
Typically, our staff will review new releases as they come out; Friday is the big review day, as that aligns with the both the release date of most films and the embargo date of most reviews. With that said, if you’re interested in reviews, it makes sense to check every day, as you never know when a new review will be ready.
A lot of reviews will also come with one or two shorter reviews at the end of the main text. These are second opinions coming from another staff member who saw the film, and the goal there is to offer as much of a comprehensive look at a film as possible. Our reviews are subjective, as reviews always should be. If we get as many voices in there as possible, you’ll be sure to find one that you relate to.
As for the reviews themselves, we have a scale we use to ensure consistency in scores. See that full scale below.
100: – Legendary. These films are as close to perfect as a film can get. These films are, quite literally, the best and most influential films ever made.
95 – 99: Ultimate. These are films that change what we think films are capable of. They move beyond genre conventions to create a unique experience that is one of the best films ever made.
90 – 94: Spectacular. We’re lucky if even one film a year scores between 90 and 95, and these instant classics will go down as some of the best films we’ve ever seen in our lives. You’ll find a lot of Oscar winners in this range.
85 – 89: Exceptional. These films are some of the best films its genre has ever created, and fans of any genre will thoroughly enjoy them.
80 – 84: Great. These films are great representations of their genre that everyone should see in theaters on opening night regardless of their film interests.
70 – 79: Good. 70s are good, but not great. These films were usually destined to be great, but their flaws held them back. They often have a stereotypical plot or are great films that have a few minor flaws. While some may not enjoy these films, fans of the genre will definitely love them.
60 – 69: Decent. 60s are movies that are flawed, but still enjoyable. These films may not have attempted to do anything special or interesting, but they are nonetheless enjoyable. These typically make great rental fodder or a fun matinee.
50 – 59: Average. 50s are just okay. These films usually have many flaws, didn’t try to do anything special, or were poorly executed. Some will still enjoy 50s, but most prefer to just rent them. Watch more trailers and read more reviews before you decide.
40 – 49: Subpar. 40s are subpar in many ways. Though not offensively bad, these films often have poor acting, poor directing, or poor plotting. Fans of the genre might defend them, but most people won’t enjoy them very much. These films can have standout elements, such as a particularly great performance, but they’re never enough to save the film as a whole.
30 – 39: Bad. 30s have very little redeeming value. While very few people may find them entertaining, the vast majority will want to skip them altogether. These films are just not good. They are only worth watching (as cheaply as possible) just to see how bad they are.
20 – 29: Terrible. 20s are terrible in every way possible. Not even a single scene was mediocre, and the entire cast should be ashamed. It doesn’t matter what your film tastes are, you shouldn’t see these films. If you spot them on TV, seriously consider changing the channel.
11 – 19: Atrocious. Awful in ways you didn’t even fathom possible. If you paid for this, you’ll be incredibly angry; even if you didn’t, you might still want the director’s head on a pike. These are films where everything went wrong. Avoid it at all costs.
0 – 10: Repulsive. You would have to TRY to make a film this bad. With today’s budgets and technology, hardly any movie could come out this horrendous. If this film comes on your TV, throw it out the window because it’s been sullied forever.
Who the hell is Tommy Raptor?
In the early days of Flixist, we were launching a brand new site structure, a bunch of experimental features, and, well, opening a new site. As such, there were some problems here and there. The site would go down. Pages would disappear. It was a bit frightening.
The mascot of this fright was our new friend Tommy Raptor. TR is a coloring book drawing of a raptor made to look like Tommy Wiseau, famous actor/director thing of The Room. When the site experienced troubles, his image would be displayed along with the appropriate message. In those early days, we saw more of him than we saw of the site.
As time went on and Tommy’s role as the messenger of destruction waned, he became a sort of unintentional mascot for the site. There is something charming about him. While he’s not a writer, he’s still an important part of what Flixist is. He can even be found on Twitter, where he spends his days pretending to know a lot about film and making snarky comments at Flixist staffers. He jealous.
Why do you say “Like this, but ______”
Header images at a film site are often pretty boring. Slap in a still from a movie and you’ve got a header. You can personalize your image by tossing a little text into it. Maybe make a little joke.
Over time, we realized we were all making the same joke with a lot of our header images. Let’s say, for example, we’re describing a new dinosaur movie that takes place in Egypt. Stick with me here. For an image header, we might use a still from Jurassic Park with the accompanying text of, “Like this, but with mummies.” And there we have it. A tongue-in-cheek summary.
So, uh, pterodactyls?
Yeah, this is a weird one. What is up with Flixist and pterodactyls?
If you haven’t noticed, we’re not like other film sites out there. We’d rather go to events and interviews and have fun rather than ask the same questions that everyone else already asked. We’d rather go to a red carpet and ask everyone to act like a pterodactyl. Why? Honestly, why not? It’s fun. It’s silly. It’s who we are.
And that’s exactly how it happened. Our LA crew had an X-Men: First Class event to go to and asked themselves, “How funny would it be if we asked everyone to act like pterodactyls?” And so they did. And so in an email thread later on Alex demanded that we do that for everyone we meet. And so it was written.
Protip: taking a picture of yourself pterodactyling (yes, that’s a word) is a great way to say hello to us.
Read this story. Sometimes we are merely the ones to make the insanity even more insane.