In the past, we've marked these commemorative milestones with special lists (like this one and this one) or with podcasts on Star Trek, because a perfect world is one in which time is measured in Star Treks. So I'm not going to do that here. I just want to say a couple of things about where we're at with F This Movie! and where we'd like to go. And I don't want to get into too much back-patting or self-fellating. I'll leave that to you guys (which means it's not "self-fellating" and more just "regular-fellating," but, you know, SOME ANTICS). Besides, we did enough of that on and around our 100th podcast and F This Movie Fest last February.
Since starting the podcast and website back in May of 2010, we have published 132 episodes of our podcast. We hosted F This Movie Fest, the very first all-Twitter film festival. We've been written about by The A.V. Club and The Huffington Post. We hosted our own screening of Die Hard and got to watch the Greatest Action Movie ever made with 100 of our closest friends, fans and family. This year, we introduced (30) Stars of Summer, which may not ever come back, because holy shit. We've watched trailerz with Doug and shit on classics with JB. We've held two Scary Movie Months, which means we've held two F Scary Movies! Challenges. The first year, we had 125 entries. By year two, that number had grown to 435.
|The F This Movie! crew at Die Hard (not pictured: Erich and Alex)|
Writing about movies never feels like work, even when it's A LOT OF WORK. I made the decision over a year ago to try and post new content at least five days a week, and overnight F This Movie! morphed into a monster that needs to be fed again and again. There are days when I wish maybe I didn't need to write 2,000 words on a Steven Seagal movie at 11 o'clock at night, but that's just a time management issue. While I'm actually doing the writing, it's fun. It's cathartic. I like developing and organizing my thoughts about a movie as I type them. I like focusing on movies that don't always receive the kind of serious critical attention we try to pay. And knowing that I'm actually writing for an audience that READS THIS STUFF is what makes it worthwhile. It's the difference between lecturing someone, which I'm not interested in, and having a conversation, which I love (especially when it's on the internet, and I don't have to have any of that panic-inducing real-life social interaction. I can't even answer the door when the guy [or girl, because GIRLS CAN DO ANYTHING] comes to deliver the pizza. I AM NOT JOKING). The discussion we have in the comments section is my favorite part of posting a new piece. Hell, its the whole reason we do this.
These days, there are so many goddamn movie sites and it seems the internet is pretty evenly split between those and porn (although people taking pictures of food that they're about to eat is something of a dark horse).
It now occurs to me that we might have chosen the wrong path.
Because of this overcrowding, it's becoming increasingly difficult to make one's voice heard amidst the white noise that online film conversation has turned into. One of the things that has been most rewarding about FTM is the response we've had from so many of you who point out that we're doing something that's just different ENOUGH to stand out from other sites. Maybe it's because we joke around without constantly being superior smartasses. Maybe it's because we try (TRY...) to not be pretentious douchebags. Maybe it's because, as at least one reader has affectionately pointed out, we love movies and are excited about them. That doesn't make us special among movie fans -- we all, in theory, love movies, and that's why we're here -- but in a culture of criticism that's become increasingly hip and snarky and THE WORST, it's nice to distinguish ourselves in that way, if only a little. By the way, we are far from impervious to sarcasm and snark; JB wrote 52 different columns called Shitting on the Classics, after all.
We also live in a culture now in which everyone has to make his or her own opportunities. Media has been democratized at the same time that it has basically been taken over by corporations. So while there's very little chance that Newscorp or GE will take a chance and give you a break (unless you are a racist or a raging asshole, in which case WHEN CAN YOU START??), it has also never been easier to just DO IT YOURSELF. That's a blessing and a curse. Plenty of good art and content has sprung up where it might not have otherwise. But the flip side is that there's SO much of it now that it's just become noise. Everyone is a photographer. Everyone is a musician. Everyone is a filmmaker. And, yes, everyone is a critic now, by virtue of the fact that everyone has a movie blog or a podcast. Just in the time that F This Movie! has been around, we've seen dozens of podcasts spring up that essentially do the same thing that we do, just as when we started out, we were doing something not unlike some of the other movie podcasts out there. We have outlasted many of them. Others, I'm sure, are even more popular than ours. And I will not sleep until that is no longer the case. DO YOU HEAR ME, SLASHFILM? YOU CALLED DOWN THE THUNDER, WELL NOW YOU'VE GOT IT.
I'm incredibly lucky, because when I decided I wanted to start a podcast and a website I didn't have to seek out contributors or co-hosts at all. My closest friends (and my wife) are all people who love movies. Who know a ton about movies. Who have seen a lot of movies. Plus, they're great conversationalists. And they're all funny -- and not Jim Carrey, funny, either. More like JEFF DANIELS FUNNY. What you hear on the podcast is basically just the conversations we would be having anyway, from the way we talk about movies to the way we joke around and constantly give out contact information. It's a pretty great circle to be in.
The best part about F This Movie! is that we've been able to open up the circle. We get to have new, cool conversations about movies we like or don't like with new, cool people we wouldn't otherwise know. I've been turned on to new movies I wasn't necessarily aware of. Heath Holland turned me on to the Dolph Lundgren Die Hard rip-off Command Performance, which was super entertaining and hit me right in the Heavy Action sweet spot. J.M. Vargas alerted me that I should DVR Possession, a movie that's not even available on DVD. Having seen it, I'm not sure I should have listened, but I appreciate the recommendation. Someone posting as 'Anonymous' turned me on to These Amazing Shadows, a really solid documentary about the National Film Registry. Tons of clips. I love clips.
So, yes, we are still small. We're growing every day, but in the vast ocean of the internet, we are but a tiny a shark waiting to become a Jaws (3D). But we're still a success, because together we have all created a place to talk, to exchange ideas and to share in our love of movies without a bunch of negativity or dickhead trolls (also the name of my first punk band). My wife can attest to the fact that, outside of my family, there's only a small handful of things that make me happy. Running this site makes me happy.
Thanks to all of the F This Movie! writers and contributors, who are all incredibly smart and funny and dedicated, and who consistently turn out some of the best and most unique movie writing I've read (and I've read a LOT). Thanks to Michael Stailey and Melissa Hansen at DVD Verdict, who are good and generous and wonderful, and who offered to pick up our show and put it in the rotation, bringing our silly podcast to the ears of thousands of unwilling listeners (and who, incidentally, run the best and most prolific DVD and Blu-ray review site on the internet -- good luck finding a title that isn't covered on DVD Verdict).
Most of all, thanks to you boys and girls, who have supported us and engaged with us and who are the driving force behind this whole thing. I so appreciate all of your emails and comments and feedback. As we go forward, is there something we're doing that you'd like to see more of? I dream of a time when we can post multiple pieces a day, so that our readers have to keep checking back every couple of hours. Right now, in order to do that we would have to start posting movie news items, which would make us just like every other site. I don't want to be that. So, short of telling everyone that James Gunn is directing Guardians of the Galaxy or that Peter Jackson will or won't be turning one movie into three, I'm open to suggestions. I can't promise to take all of them, but I'm more than happy to hear your thoughts. I love our community here. Thanks for being part of it.
I'll bet our next 500 posts go more quickly the first 500. I hope you guys will be here for every one of them.