The Experiment

Just what the hell is this blog all about? Movie Science, my friends.

We’re testing the effects of watching the same movie once a week for a year. How will it affect your work? Your relationships? Your dreams? Your attitude? Your… breakfast, whatever. We’re here to find it all out.

Here’s who’s watching what in 2013.

Becca is watching The NeverEnding Story.

Bill is watching Back to the Future.

John is watching Jurassic Park.

Ty is watching Ghostbusters.

Why those flicks? We each picked three Movies We Love and let the readers vote. Each film won by a landslide.

We’re currently in the second year of what’s projected to be a three-year experiment. The first year, 2012, was Movie You’re Ambivalent About. Three of us have completed that assignment: Bill watched Top Gun every week, John watched High Fidelity every week, and Ty watched The Truman Show every week. A fourth member, Nancy, watched Spider-Man 3 every week, but eventually quit halfway through the year. So, we have a newcomer this year in Becca, who will provide us valuable data on starting fresh with a Movie You Love.

How did this blog come about?

It started with Bill reading an article by Robert Fure on Film School Rejects which joked that watching Top Gun every week will lead to a healthier you. Since Bill doesn’t love but doesn’t hate Top Gun, the other three subjects also had to pick a film that fit the same balanced criteria. With that, we started Cinema 52.

What can you find on this site?

We’re all blogging the whole experiment right here, in as close to real time as possible. We’re self-monitoring subjects (there’s no scientist following each of us with a clipboard), so if you want to see something or ask something in regards to the movie you’re interested in, go right to the corresponding Cinemanaut.

There are many categories of entry on Cinema 52. Some posts fall under more than one, but here’s what to expect.

Viewings are the most common type of entry. Each Cinemanaut is required to report in with the details of every time they watch their movie for each week of the experiment. This is where you’ll find the little things they notice every time around or the various ways they modify how they watch in order to keep sane.

Results are for recording how our movies are affecting the rest of our lives. Changes in mood, accidental use of dialogue, songs that won’t go away… that comes out here. Each Cinemanaut will post an article in this category monthly.

Film analysis is when a Cinemanaut dives deeper into an aspect of their film. If they suddenly realize their movie is an example of trickle-down economics or a retelling of a Greek myth, they’ll make their case under this category.

Experiments are for deliberately trying to provoke a reaction from yourself or another Cinemanaut by using stimuli from one of the test films. Whereas results are mere accidents, experiments are posted because one of us intentionally fell asleep to our movie’s soundtrack or hid posters for someone else’s film all over their house.

Connections are for exploring media or other items that have a relation to a Cinemanaut’s movie, like reading the book that it’s based on, playing a video game that’s mentioned by the characters, or watching a film with a similar story.

Special reports are for exploring aspects of the project not directly related to our individual movies. This could be an interview with a psychologist, an analysis of ticket sales by genre, background info on one of us… anything that sheds more light on the Cinema 52 experiment as a whole.

Bonus viewings are for the times we watch our movie more than the scheduled once-per-week requirement. If it happens to be on during a flight or at a party or it helps us sleep, all those extra viewings will be logged here.

Informational posts will be updates from Cinemanauts. Check here for any future plans a Cinemanaut might have, content from fans they want to share, or any other generalized stuff you might want to know about them.

Announcements are just basic changes around Cinema 52. If we’re selling T-shirts or we won an award or we’ll be touring your city, we’ll let you know here.

Finally, the hypothesis section is where we all made predictions as to how Cinema 52 will change us. If this is your first time, starting here will give you a lot of insight into who we are.

Okay, that was informative. Let’s rock some shit. Welcome to Cinema 52.