Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Decade Under the Influence

by Patrick Bromley
It's hard to believe we've been at this for 10 years.

As you've already been made aware on the site and on social media, our little site is turning 10 this week. We launched a decade ago on May 14 with the release of our Avatar podcast. I had no idea at that time that anyone would ever listen or read anything we did, let alone that we would still be doing it 10 years later.

This has been a great week on the site, with everyone looking back and reflecting on this past decade, calling out articles and podcasts they remember and putting into words what I find myself unable to: that what we have accomplished means something. What we have here is special. I'm not always able to see it, partly because I'm too close to it and partly because I'm not great at recognizing success or quality, particularly if I have anything to do with it. But reading the testimonials from the other contributors and the comments from all of YOU both here and on Twitter has helped me realize that F This Movie! has managed to bring some good into the world and matters to a group of people. I can't ask for more than that.

Outside of Erika, our kids, and our loved ones, there's nothing I care about more than F This Movie!. I take it very personally, and the sense of family that we've joked about all week but seriously tried to foster over the last decade matters a great deal to me. I want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable sharing their love for movies -- any movies, all kinds of movies. Lord knows we aren't shy about talking about the things we love, even when it might fly in the face of popular opinion or "respectability." I suspect my love of certain directors has made me the laughing stock of at least one critics' organization. I'm ok with it. If there's one thing I've hoped to impart over a decade of running this site, it's been to love what you love. Our writers and podcasters, particularly Adam Riske, have helped open my eyes to that concept even more.
I've had to step back a little in last year or so when I realized that I couldn't keep up the pace of two articles a day and a weekly podcast and a non-movie-related day job and that trying to do so was having serious effects on my health. That's been really hard. When things are clicking, I love writing for this site. I love running it. It's part of who I am. I don't write as much as I used to or as much as I want to these days because of a serious case of writer's block. I was starting to pick up some steam getting back to #HeavyAction, but then a series of catastrophic events at our house made me run right into a wall and I haven't yet recovered. Even writing this is a struggle, but we only turn 10 once and Erika really encouraged me to at least get something out there, even if it's not exactly what I had hoped to say.

The truth is, it's way too hard to say what I want to say. How do I summarize a decade in a single post? How do I properly express my gratitude to the people that have been part of this family over the years? My favorite people all contribute to this site. My lifelong best friend Doug, my brother, the man who makes me laugh like no one else, has written articles and podcasted with me and continues to do all of the special "event" artwork (Scary Movie Month, F This Movie Fest, Junesploitation -- coming next week!) and does an incredible job with all of it. We would be lost without his talents. JB, my mentor, the man my children call "Uncle John," who we spend holidays with and with whom we take family vacations, has written a weekly column for the last decade, one that is always informative and enlightening and entertaining. Do you know how hard that is? Try it sometime. I'm so glad Jan is writing more with us now, as she's one of the smartest and most insightful people I've ever known. The world needs much more Jan in it. Asking Adam Riske to come write for us is one of the smartest things I've done in 10 years of the site. He's unapologetically himself, which is good because that person is smart and sweet and big-hearted and incredibly funny. He's one of my favorite people and a dear friend. His writing is always inventive and hilarious and I love recording podcasts with him.
Mike Pomaro is one of my best friends and one of the nicest people I've ever known, which makes it all that much confusing why I mercilessly tease and harass him. Seeing him put his talents to use and become the filmmaker he was always born to be has been incredibly satisfying and we are all so proud of him. Adam Thas puts up with a lot of abuse, too, all of it out of love and friendship. He, too, is never afraid to love what he loves (ask him about Spice World) and has been so kind as to lend us his considerable talents as an artist over the years, too. He's the best. Bringing Rob DiCristino on board was another of my smartest decisions; he submitted some writing samples and his talent was undeniable. I would have been stupid not to scoop him up. (I'm very stupid, but not that stupid.) He has become an invaluable member of our family, but more than that he's become one of my closest friends. That's true of everyone who writes for the site, and one of the reasons I still love what we do at F This Movie!. We really are a family.

Robyn Buckley was someone I met through Twitter, and she brings humor and warmth and her background in theater to everything she does, giving her a unique perspective on the movies she covers and always making it fun to talk to her. She also loves making me watch long movies. Erich Asperschlager, who I met back in the days of DVD Verdict, has stepped away from writing to focus on his music, and that has been a joy to watch. He's incredibly talented and the songs he's written for our special events are so, so good. All of his music is. I was lucky enough to meet Mark Ahn through Erika (they teach together), and he's one of my favorite people with whom to talk action movies. He's so kind and mellow but loves the same stupid, violent shit as me. Love you, Mark.

Rosalie Lewis is the newest member of our family, but I wouldn't know it from how well she fit in immediately. Her passion for the things she loves -- particularly classic film and noir -- is inspiring and exciting to read. She knows so much and is always excited to learn more, which I love. I'm so happy that she and Erika became friends and opened the door for her to join us. My #HorrorBFF Heather Wixson has her own empire to contend with, but she's been good enough over the years to come on the podcast and lend us her writing talents from time to time. We're lucky to have her with us. Special shout-out, too, to Heath Holland, who helped build the site in the early days. Heath has gone on to build something huge and wonderful at Cereal at Midnight, the success of which has already eclipsed what we're doing here in just a few years. Heath will always be family. We've been lucky enough to host contributions from a number of writers, some only once and some for an extended stay. They've all gone on to do great things elsewhere.
More than anyone, though, I have to thank my wife, the love of my life, Erika Bromley. The Bue. Bue my Bue. This site wouldn't exist without her. Yes, she writes wonderful articles and comes on the podcast and is all smart and lovely and adorable, but it's who she is behind the scenes that keeps F This Movie! going. There are days I want to give up, and she won't let me. When I turned 40, she took over the site and dedicated a whole week to me, which is about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. She was the one who pushed for t-shirts and helped make that happen. She's the one who pushed for this whole 10th anniversary celebration and this week's live tweet because she is our biggest supporter and cheerleader (she has to outfit to prove it, and it is hot). I would be lost without her, and so would this site. She is the best of us, and I love her more than anything.

None of this would mean much, though, if not for you readers and listeners. Somehow we've built a community over the last 10 years of passionate, generous, eclectic, supportive audience members who go beyond just being fans and have become extended family. We created communal events years ago with the express purpose of celebrating movies together, and that spirit has turned into the vibe year-round here. I love reading the weekend threads turn into conversations not about anything we've posted on the site, but just about what everyone is into these days. I love seeing fans interact and becoming friends on Twitter. We know each other. We care about each other. We can swap titles and learn from one another. I love getting turned on to a movie by a reader, and I love it when I learn that some movie I've talked about has made a difference to someone or given them two hours of joy, particularly during times like these. Thank you, everyone, for being with us whether it's for the last six months or for the full 10 years. You are why we all do what we do.
Thank you all for the last 10 years. It hasn't always been easy, but it has always been worth it. This is a place borne out of love -- we love what we do and we love interacting with all of you and we love each other and we love movies. Hopefully we've helped to inspire some more movie love along the way. Here's to many more years of laughs and love, of new discoveries and old favorites. We'll keep being here as long you'll have us.

There are many, many film sites on the internet, but there's only one F This Movie!. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of it.

22 comments:

  1. I'M FEELING VERY EMOTIONAL RIGHT NOW! But seriously, this site is the best and one of the most positive places on the internet.

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  2. Thanks for everything, all the movie recs, the laughs, and your openness. F This Movie is one of my favourite things!

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  3. Welp, I'm now reduced to a gooey marshmallow of tears. Thank you, Patrick, for pouring your whole self into this site. We are so lucky to be a part of the world you've built.

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  4. Thank you Patrick for being who you are doing what you do. I don't know what else to say. FTM is movie love, it's community, it's comfort food, it's family. Coming on the site and listening to the podcast is like coming home and getting a warm hug.

    Sorry, I have something in my eye...

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  5. what 'critics organization'

    i just want to be sure to avoid them from now on

    i mean, laughing at a guy because he loves a director, what the hell man!

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  6. Thank you Patrick. That's beautiful. What can I say! I will be wearing my Fthismovie t shirt later and joining the celebrations later. Thanks for everything and all your time and commitments to creating this community of movie lovers. Hard to do while being a dad and running a house and a job and all the other stuff. Happy 20 years to you, everyone you mentioned above and all the F-Heads

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  7. 10 years. Damn typo

    I blame Xtro

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  8. What F This Movie means to me.
    Movie love. Community. Family. Friends.
    I was in a dark place after Kelly died. It was all I could do to keep my head above water. I wasn’t interested in doing anything, I was and am an extremely passionate person. When I was into something, I was in all the way. It seemed like now, I was just into getting through the day.
    One day while searching through Twitter, I saw a friend posting about #fthismoviefest. They were obviously watching True Romance and tweeting about it. I loved that movie, so I joined in. I know the movie, I knew the parts everyone was tweeting about, so I joined in without even having the movie on. That was kinda fun, Jurassic Park was planned next so I put the disc in and settled in for more.
    Fun. I was having fun. It was having a blast watching and talking about movies with these people…It had been so long. A passion reignited just when I was ready for it.
    So, Thank you Patrick. You (and all of the F This Movie crew) helped me have fun again.

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    1. Thank YOU, David. I'm lucky to be your friend.

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  9. You have a great group of contributors that all should be proud of themselves. Been reading/listening since 2012 and sincerely hope there is at least another 10 years to hang out with you all. Thank you Patrick, for all you do. The podcast is often the thing I look forward to most in the week (especially in these science fiction times we are living in).

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  10. Thank you Patrick and crew for everything you do!

    I stumbled upon the site mid-2014 when I was still in high-school. I fell in love with both the podcast and the writing immediately because it spoke to me in a richer and more honest way than modern "film criticism" or the pop-culture gatekeepers designed for people my age.

    Now this week I am graduating from film school, and I would be mistaken to think Fthismovie didn't help me significantly along my path.

    One thing I've learned through experience at school is that you have to love movies to make movies, and I would certainly be much more of a movie-neanderthal if I hadn't had the open-minded instruction from all of you fine folks.

    I'll always remember the summer before college where I listened to every episode over the course of several months lonely at work, or the long commutes to school with great episodes to keep me company on the road.

    With life rapidly accelerating, I'm sadly not as active as I once was in the comments, but I want you to know that I read everything (even the insane watchlists of J.M. Vargas), and I am forever grateful for the positive impact that Fthismovie has had on my life.

    Here's to spreading movie love for movie lovers wherever you are!

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    1. Who's more fit to be tied up: the guy who writes the "insane watchlist" or the dude that reads it? :-P I KID, I KID! :-D

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  11. Great tribute to what is truly one of the most wonderful sites and communities a guy could ever ask to stumble on and become a small part of. I love it and all of you guys unabashedly. It’s changed how I watch and discuss and care about movies for the better.

    I’ve stepped back from the site and movies in general in the past few years - a relatively late start on a family and home ownership (and since, oh, about 2016, worry about the current and future state of the world) has supplanted the (perhaps minor compared to many of you) passion I had for watching and reading and talking about movies, but I think that could change, and like any good “home” I always know I’m welcome here.

    Thank you Patrick and take care everybody - hope to see you all on Twitter watching two great movies that wouldn’t have ever been on my radar if not for this site!

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  12. Happy 10th B-Day guys and gals! Love the articles, podcasts, events and even the boss doesn't seem too bad. Love it all!! What you've built here is truly something special and has provided me many insights, cool perspectives, wonderful movies and tons of laughs. So thank you for all your hard work and CONGRATULATIONS on this amazing accomplishment. May the 14th be with you. In my mind now whenever there is an FTHISMOVIEFEST I'll imagine a ton of high performance Toyota's and Subaru's parked outside the Bromley house. See you later today at the Fun House well technically first in a young boys room and then a teenage girls shower...you get what I'm saying. MOVIES!!!

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  13. I've been listening for 8 years, since I had one daughter who was 3. Now I have three daughters and the oldest is 11. I'd like to say I grew with you guys, but let's be honest, getting older does not mean growing up. ;) Keep it up guys, I love you all even though you have no idea who I am!

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  14. As warmly as you have welcomed me into the FTM inner circle for reasons I'm hoping you never reconsider, I have always been first and foremost a fan of this site. You are talented, generous, authentic, and passionate. I'm sure you hate all this attention but sorry, George Bailey. We can't help it if you're the richest man in town. Congratulations and here's hoping we can all celebrate #FThisMovie50 together! Seriously... I wrote a killer lyric to rhyme with "fifty."

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  15. I knew I'd cry reading this, and sure enough I did. This is beautiful man. F This Movie was the first podcast I ever listened to, and it literally changed my life. I've opened myself up to so many different kinds of movies because of the recommendations here. Almost my entire love for '80s Horror is due to FTM. But better than that, I really believe I'm a better person because of this podcast. Everyone on this show is so good and decent and it makes me want to be better. And I know a lot of other people feel the same.

    But anyway.... movies are cool! Thanks for everything, Patrick.

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  16. Like a lot of old-time regulars, I came over from DVD Verdict (R.I.P. :'( ). F This Movie! was just another of the many links in the front page of the Verdict promoting affiliate sites, which I ignored. But then one fateful day in early October of 2011, the Verdict linked to FTM's first-ever commentary track... for "Sleepaway Camp." I must have listened to every podcast from '10/'11 in one month, based on the comment I left below in early November '11.

    It's easy to forget that only nine years ago little genre/horror movies didn't get much love or virtual "ink" online. YouTube was only six years old, Netflix was still a DVD-mailing rental service and an Amazon Prime subscription only entitled you to speedy delivery service. But here was this new-to-me site dedicating an entire fan-made commentary track to a lil' '83 horror flick I not only remembered fondly, but still held in high regard. I couldn't download and synch that commentary fast enough, so my first introduction to Patrick, JB, Doug and Mike was through audio and not reading their then-20 month-old site. To this day, "Sleepaway Camp" is one of only a handful of horror movies I can laugh at for its obvious flaws while still holding it in high regard as a mini-masterpiece of purposeful misdirection. It's the movie that introduced me to F This Movie, for which I'll be eternally thankful. :-)

    This also happened to be the first time I heard a podcast, a concept that was alien to me at the time. Nine years later FTM! isn't my favorite podcast anymore (that honor belongs to the hugely underrated Film Sack and the dearly-missed Friends In Your Head/Down In Front), but you never forget your first love. FTM! remains one of a handful of podcasts worthy of me downloading them manually and archiving them offline. It's like listening to old friends have a conversation you wish you could have with the people in your life you like and care about... who happen to not give a shit about movies to the degree that you do. :-(

    Last thing and I'm out. A month or so ago I had an accident at work and, without me knowing, some trash compactor guys threw my Galaxy 9 phone into a truck headed for a landfill. I was as mad as you'd expect, but it wasn't losing the phone that angered me. It was losing the micro memory card inside the phone housing close to 200 gigs of downloaded podcasts I'd accumulated over the years. Some will be hard to recover (all those "How Did This Get Made?" shows that are now behind a paywall), but thankfully others are more easily accessible for retrieval and relabeling. :-P

    HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY F THIS MOVIE! Here's to 10 more, which will take us to Patrick's oldest being of military draft age for him to go fight the US war against Mexico on behalf of Supreme Commander for Life you-know-who. :-O

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  17. Not going to lie got a little weepy. Happy 10th Birthday. You have created something truly special. I always felt I was weird for liking the things I liked. But meeting some amazing people through this site I have made friends who also like my weird things and with F This Movie have expanded my knowledge and enjoyment so much! You guys are the best.

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  18. I'll be brief. Just want to give a huge shout-out and thank you to everyone at F This Movie and especially Patrick. This site and podcast have meant a great deal to me and honestly helped me grow as a person and film fan. I wish you all nothing but the best.

    And Patrick, thank you for reccomending Mystery Team. That's been the most entertaining movie I've watched in a long time.

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  19. I was wondering how I could put into words what this site means to me, and couldn't have done it better than Daniel up here. I too know for a fact FTM made me a better movie fan, person and critic.

    I'll add that I've been through some rough personal stuff these past few months, and all of you have helped more than you could possibly imagine.

    This place is the best, and I mean that litteraly, and I'm so, so happy 2014-me googled "Sleepaway Camp conversation" after a first viewing that left me with hundreds of questions. Not sure whether the commentary provided all the answers or raised even more of them, though...

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