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A Brand New MovieMaker Site

moviemaker_thumbnail.jpgExciting news! Hop Studios has just completed a major project: the migration, redesign and relaunch of MovieMaker magazine’s website. MovieMaker is the nation’s leading magazine on the art and business of making movies and the most widely read magazine on independent film in the world, plus it’s based in New York, so you know it’s hip. They’ve had a website since at least 1996, and it’s gone through a lot of changes in that time, from long pages to flash navigation and popups and more.

What a relaunch this is! I can’t tell you how much pizza and how many sleepless nights were undertaken in the cause of independent cinema journalism. Well, I could tell you, but then you’d think we were some sort of super team of super heroes, when we’re just regular human website designers.

MovieMaker’s new site design is, in the words of those who’ve seen it: striking, fresh and easy to navigate (thanks, Mom!). The forums are rejuvenated and integrated with articles, as are the regular polls. There’s commenting. There’s tags and share icons. There’s a very complex system of ad serving that targets advertisers to exactly the articles and other content they relate to. There are individual staff biographies and contact pages. It’s all a bit like coming down Christmas morning with a surfeit many gifts under the tree.

The front page now features a large alternating promo spot that looks gorgeous, and can be used to promote not just articles, but blog posts or anything else that the site’s editors wish to highlight. Parts of the site’s interactive effects are powered by jQuery, and other parts by home-programmed JavaScript. The site overall is much easier to update, despite there being many more ways for the editors to put content online.

Now that it’s relaunched, the hard part is definitely done, but the development isn’t over. There are many more new features planned that will be rolled out as part of the ongoing development. These new features will build community and make MovieMaker an even greater resource for the independent cinema community. We’re looking forward to helping grow MovieMaker’s site over the coming years.

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