We review movies and TV shows, aggregate movie and TV news, offer opinions and analysis, and most of all have good fun and great discussion. We love film and TV and we want to share that love with you.

MovieByte was originally conceived when TJ Draper contacted Joe Darnell to find out what happened to the old Movieology web show and if Joe would be interested in doing a podcast with TJ. Though Joe is no longer a part of the day to day of MovieByte, he was still instrumental on co-founding the site.


This is the third major design of MovieByte which was conceptualized in Photoshop, and then lovingly crafted and hand-coded by TJ. Many thanks are due to Joe Darnell (designer of the first version of the site in 2012, and helped in the first redeisgn [the second version of the site] in 2013) for his input and critique of the design throughout the process.

The goal of this third design is to simplify the site experience with an emphasis on readability for the articles and reviews, and an emphasis on a good listening experience and ease of access for the show notes and links on the podcast pages. And we also wanted to draw more attention to the ways to subscribe and interact with a show.

Desktop Software

Several great desktop applications were and are utilized in the design and production of MovieByte. Here they are in no particular order.


Server Side

This site is hosted on a dedicated server in Dallas, Texas. DNS and CDN services are via CloudFlare. Media such as podcast MP3s are hosted on Amazon S3.

The CMS is ExpressionEngine 2. ExpressionEngine is awesome, but this site would also not be possible without these ridiculously great add-ons.

  • Auto Increment Field
    This add-on does just like what it sounds like. Every time a Channel Entry is published, it increments the field by one. We use it for tracking the episode number of each podcast. The first entry would be 1, second entry would be 2, the twentieth, 20, and so on. It’s extremely simple and extremely awesome!
  • Channel Files
    File management for channel entries. Extremely useful, but in the case of this site, it is used primarily for the podcasts.
  • HelpVars
    Make common segment and helper variables available
  • Imagee
    This add-on is for manipulating images in Channel Entries. It was developed in house at Caddis Interactive where TJ works and has not yet been released to the public.
  • Low Search
    Great search utility for ExpressionEngine — far better than the native search options.
  • Marksmin
    Minify the output of ExpressionEngine templates.
  • MX Stars Field
    Allows us to rate the film we are reviewing and display the star rating.
  • Resource Router
    Allows full custom routing control of URLs. Every single page on this site is served through Resource Router.
  • Scheduled Trigger
    A cron endpoint for triggering Channel Entries hooks for things like scheduled entries and the like.
  • Taxonomy
    Menu controller.
  • Stash and Mustash
    While stash can do many things in EE templates and is used for variable setting and replacing in the MovieByte header of the master template layout, it is primarily used in conjunction with Mustash for completely static caching, which makes MovieByte super speedy. Bascially, until a new entry is published and clears the cache, every visitor to the site hits a static HTML cache file and never touchs ExpressionEngine or the database.
    ​Great WYSIWYG fieldtype for ExpressionEngine Channel entries.

In addition, TJ did, of course, use his own custom built add-ons. Only one of these has been released publicly.

  • Pillster
    ​Create custom status buttons on channel entries.

There are three others TJ developed for this site that he is considering releasing to the public:

  • MandrillMailer
    ​This powers the contact form on the site and sends the emails via the Mandrill API.
  • OneSticky
    ​This makes sure there is only one sticky entry across all Channel Entries. This would probably need more work and some settings before release.
  • Typographee
    This could probably be released as is. It’s a tag pair that invokes ExpressionEngine’s native Typogrphy class on any content between the tag pair.

And there is one add-on which is very specific to this site.

  • PodcastFeeder
    ​This generates the feed for each of the podcasts.