Film Threat has been a source of underground, independent film news since it started as a first-of-its-kind "zine" in 1985 out of Detroit. Publisher and editor-in-chief of FilmThreat.com Mark Bell bought Film Threat in 2010 from founder Chris Gore and has since managed the site and all of its content.
The magazine hit its peak in the 1990’s during the boom of underground films but in 1997 the publication took their indie film festival reviews, interviews and other content entirely online. Currently, FilmThreat.com takes in approximately 250,000 weekly page views.
"It has always been a question of ‘when’s Film Threat coming back to print?’ and now with technology like Print on Demand, print is there waiting to be used," says Bell. "Unlike web, the market for print is not saturated."
Now, Film Threat plans to create a quarterly glossy issue with exclusive articles and interviews entirely separate from its web content. According to Bell, the evolution of the site allows now to be the best time to add content in print.
"A nanosec, and it’s gone," says Bell referring to the quick nature of online-only content. Instead of the fast-paced web, the print will allow for new, extended content and feature in-depth information on films and filmmakers, leaving readers with a concrete image and a specific moment in time.
The first issue is scheduled for September. Bell considers going back to print reverting more to a golden age than a dark age, citing nostalgia as a main reason for bringing back old school ways of print indie film reporting. FilmThreat.com uses Facebook and Twitter as extensions of their site, but plan to unleash only new content quarterly in the print version.
Negative feedback leaves Bell to defend his shift from web to print. In a podcast interview with Proudly Resents, Bell states, "…I don’t see it as a step back, I kind of see it as an additional option…because we’re not stopping the movement forward at all, all we’re doing is kind of looking at the technology today and seeing how the technology today can make the past things happen more easily."
With prices still in the making, Bell suspects the print issue will not be much steeper than the original $4.99 per copy.
Film Threat has enabled crowd funding in an effort to acquire donations from generous fans, similar to Paste magazine’s "Save Paste" campaign, which attempted to wrench the magazine out of crippling debt.