Editor's Desk: Aubrey Day, Total Film

Total Film has just undergone a major redesign. PRWeek catches up with editor Aubrey Day to find out why.

Aubrey Day: Editor of Total Film
Aubrey Day: Editor of Total Film
Describe the magazine and its readers
Total Film covers every film release and is bursting with news and interviews, wit and authority. It covers everything from the biggest A-listers to the smallest curios. Its readers are primarily aged 17-35 and are passionate about movies and popular culture in general. Total Film appeals to the hardcore filmgoer and the casual viewer alike.

Who are your competitors and what makes you different?
Sight And Sound and Empire are the only other film magazines in the UK. Sight And Sound is an academic journal of record so the crossover is minimal. Empire magazine is also a mainstream movie magazine. The key difference is that Empire is rather MOR and married to promoting the product of the major film studios, whereas Total Film is a magazine made entirely for the movie viewer, and as such displays more invention, dynamism and opinion.

What changes have you made to the title and why?
We are still the same Total Film - informed, passionate, fun – but we are now a broader church than ever before and have refreshed the design to make the magazine strikingly modern and incisive, a high-end product that brims with confidence, knowledge, warmth and humour.

What makes a good story for you?
Unprecedented access presented in a unique, vigorous manner. Features should have a strong angle and be supported by sidebars that are fun and/or informative.

Of which story are you most proud?
Our Avatar coverage. A 32pp supplement dedicated to the film that has changed cinema and celebrating the 30-year career of director James Cameron, including new reviews of all his movies, fresh interviews with key players and lots of fun, irreverent boxouts. And it was all topped off by a genuine world exclusive - a candid interview with Cameron in his office on the Fox back lot in Century City, LA.

What opportunities are there for PRs to get coverage and what tips can you give them to be successful?
We will cover any movie of interest or quality, so there are huge opportunities. The sooner we can be shown the movie the better – that way we have time to come up with the best possible coverage and arrange to come at it from an interesting, attention-grabbing angle.

PR pet peeves
Our deputy editor, Jamie always gets fed up with long, rambling messages with a phone number left really, really quickly at the end, or leave a lengthy message and then say ‘I'll put it in an email.’ I've never understood PRs pitching us feature ideas - thanks for telling us how to do our jobs.

How does your online offering fit in with the magazine?
Totalfilm.com will follow the magazine revamp with a refreshed look and feel, reflecting current online culture and social media trends. There will be new regular features, greater focus on Total Film’s peerless review content and a smarter, more integrated presence for the magazine.

Circulation: 81,029 ABC

Contact: Jane Crowther, associate editor (features) – 020 7042 4843

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