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How do you film a blogger?

Alyssa Rosenberg notes that movies and films are increasingly replacing reporter characters with blogger characters. That's what's hip and with it, right? But this poses certain problems:

One of the great virtue of putting reporters on film is they're great drivers of narrative. They've got to go out into the world (even if there's an extent to which that's not reflective of actual reporting), whether they're chasing the results of a toxicology report on a murder victim or a dizzy heiress on the run, and interact with new people pretty much all the time to do their jobs. Movies and television shows about bloggers are going to have to find a replacement for that narrative momentum.

I can see them going in a couple of different direction. First, if these characters are just representatives of the typical slam on bloggers as folks hiding out from the world in their mother's basements, the character writing is going to have to be quite good, and the reach of those bloggers' influences quite extensive, to give them heft and impact. One way to do this might be to kind of borrow from hacker movies, and to turn bloggers into characters like Mr. Universe in Serenity (who is really basically a vlogger on some level) or Razor and Blade from Hackers: folks who have built structures to keep themselves secret, but still exert considerable influence.

Second, they can do what they seem to be doing with Glau, making folks blogger-reporters, so the means of information delivery changes, but the means of information gathering can stay essentially the same. That was kind of what they did in State of Play, where Rachel McAdams' blogger character learns the value of good, old-fashioned reporting (and maybe teaches Russell Crowe a thing or too).

Or third, they could focus on Gawker-style bloggers, and focus on the lives beyond the job, on the kinds of unique personalities that make folks uniquely good at that odd combination of gossip writing, personal reveals, and analysis.

They could also just make us really good looking. That works for plenty of other uninteresting characters.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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Let's face it; most of what most reporters do is talk on the phone and rewrite press releases. Hollywood just glams up their jobs by making them into investigators. Hollywood makes everyone into investigators. Lawyers, doctors, computer techs, cabdrivers. It can do the same to bloggers just as easily.

Posted by: tomtildrum | March 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jkaren | March 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

on the other hand, a blogger with a loud keyboard and a tendency to mutter and vocalize to him/herself in a seemingly random but narrative building way would be great for a radio drama (or, as they call them nowadays, a podcast).

Posted by: bdballard | March 17, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, knowingly I am going to talk about non-topic here. Apologies for that.

It is very clear by now that, CBO is bringing the reality very hard in face of House - if you go away from Senate bill, deficit is not going to decrease and you cannot do reconciliation. WaPo had good story about that yesterday also.

So why are you not talking about this potential deal killer here? Why is Media not talking about this?

Was Pelosi and House Leadership were 'drunk' not to realize this hurdle earlier when to every sundry they were giving the advise of 'relaxing' the Senate bill? (meaning more spending than Senate)

It is also clear that when President relaxed Senate bill terms, he also set the House & recon bill on the slippery road of more spending and basically not been able to meet CBO numbers.

This is amazing - with folks like Orszag, Rahm, DePearle, Sebelius & Schapario; White House did NOT have the numbers rightly calculated. Is this conclusion correct?

Speak Ezra, speak. We are not asking to 'hyperventilate' about the latest Whip count. We are asking here:
- has the ball got dropped in having right calculations done ready and
- have the 'wonks' missed this classic 'bad' handling by House and WH?

Check this link:

Posted by: umesh409 | March 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

an aside.....
the ads on your blog banner are getting better and better.
maybe it varies regionally....
but there is a beautiful advertisement
"the sacred made real"
with an exquisite sculpture,
for an exhibit at the national gallery of art.

there are many ads now for artisan festivals, plays
and creative events.
very nice!

Posted by: jkaren | March 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

How do you film a blogger? Well, if the blogger is being played by Summer Glau, as in your example, I'd suggest she be wearing a skimpy sun dress and sitting in front of a computer looking like the goddess she is.

It may not be as exciting as watching her kick reaver tush, but what can I say, I'm a huge fan.

Posted by: nisleib | March 17, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

As a screenwriter, I found this post amusing. Usually the go-to profession in movies is architect or advertising. They are professional enough that writers don't feel guilty that they are just writing about artist characters, while at the same time, they are still creative types.

Plus, these professions always have to prepare presentations to win an account which gives a writer a handy dramatic device.

As for bloggers, she misses one technique: Using the blog as a justification for a voice-over that allows the character to pontificate (the "Sex and the City" technique).

Posted by: QuickDarshan | March 17, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Kind of unrelated, but I hate how most movies these days take place in LA and have characters that work in entertainment. I'd list examples but they're from movies that I'm too embarrassed to admit having seen...

Posted by: megankeenan | March 17, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"They could also just make us really good looking. That works for plenty of other uninteresting characters."

No need to if they're British bloggers--our actors and actresses tend to look like real, honest-to-goodness people as opposed to Hollywood's "Body By Dow-Corning" types.

Posted by: litbrit | March 17, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

You skip filming bloggers and move right over to vloggers.

Posted by: boloboffin1 | March 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

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