Four years is a long time. It’s the term that a US president spends in office, the time some college students spend at a University, it’s the time between the Olympics and even the World Cup. To some, 4 years may not seem like a long time but in the entertainment world it is a lifetime. It sure feels like it especially when I try to recall my attempts to start a “movie blog” waaaay back then.
When I started Go,See,Talk in 2009 I had no idea what I was getting into. It seemed everyone had a movie website, but I thought why not try my hand at it. Frankly, everything sucked back then; writing style, design layout, you name it, it was amateur. Starting something all by yourself can be very tough and scary at times. Figuring things out, visiting other sites to see how they did stuff, button pushing to see what things do, etc. Like anything, after a while you get the hang of it. Of course I wasn’t alone and I have to give some thanks to other cinebloggers who started around the same time. Like a virtual water cooler we might have had different tastes in films we loved but we had a passionate little community and were all committed to writing about what ever we wanted to write about. Basically we helped each other learn to swim in the vast Internet ocean.
A few times I toyed with shutting the site down as it seemed like a hobby with no end goal. But possibilities certainly awaited those stubborn, passionate or persistent enough to keep at it. Volunteering at the Dallas International Film Festival in 2010 and then getting my first ever “Press pass” in 2011 landed me some invaluable connections and helped me see the bigger picture. Thanks to the simple but solid advice of just “sticking with it” from the likes of Chase Whale, Todd Gilchrist, Alex Billington and even Vic Holtreman of Screen Rant.com, it helped me understand that serious blogging isn’t a short game.
But for all the trying and failing, it wasn’t until Grady, Andrew, Bill and Jessica jumped on board with no questions asked that the site really took off. Aside from having people to help with news and reviews, they helped with the site redesign and it all became a team effort. Their involvement led to some perks that came with having staff that could capably help me keep G-S-T afloat. And when the perks came, they came in droves. We got invited to press tours, attended multiple festivals as Press and met/interviewed all sorts of film personalities. If you had told any of us as kids we’d one day get to meet our heroes, we wouldn’t have believed you. From Bond girls and SNL alumni, to respected international filmmakers, animators, producers, voice-actors and a couple iconic composers, looking back on it now the interview page of our little site still manages to impress me.
Now I’m not going to lie, it has been tough, as anyone who maintains a site or writes for a living can relate. But nothing of worth is created or attained without working for it. From screenings to contests to daily news posts, this so-called “hobby” feels like a full-time job. Yet between the rush/obligation to post, helping the new members of the staff find their literary voice, and the day-to-day chores, it seems like there’s never enough hours in the day. Even doing something you love can be tedious at times, but I will be the first to tell you the rewards have far outweighed the rigors and numerous twilight hour reviews.
In just the past year, even as a small site, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds as everyone embraced the opportunities and challenges. It’s the small but memory-making firsts that keep me and the team smiling. Andrew getting his first phone interview with Chris Kentis and Laura Lau for Silent House, Jessica facing stage fright to handle a slew of on–camera interviews, not to mention a few bucket list exclusives with Michael Giacchino and James Newton Howard, I feel so lucky to have these moments and more on the site. On that note, I have to applaud Grady not only for his reviews and tireless posting some of our most thankless staple content (What’s New On Blu and The CineMagic 8-Ball) but he’s a video editing wizard. Rounding out the foursome is Bill, still on loan from TheFilmStage.com I might add, whose caliber of writing, in reviews and his own impressive interviews, speaks for itself.
What I think I value most about maintaining Go,See,Talk is that chance to get a glimpse behind the Hollywood curtain and then extend those opportunities to all the G-S-T staff. Especially when it comes to taking our show on the road and trying build our awareness. At events like FantasticFest there’s uncanny exposure in such small confines, replete with all the personalities (both filmmakers and press) walking around free of egos, and it’s a joy to see people coming together for the love of film. Jessica did the same at BFI London Film Festival, Andrew continues making a name for himself and us in Boston while Bill and I try to juggle the Texas-based film events. Yet no matter when/where we are, whether on-site or behind a keyboard, I couldn’t be happier with how everyone has embraced the site with the enthusiasm I had when I started it.
So as every year is full of new challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned, one cannot choose but wonder what the next four years will hold. There’s lots of content and features I’m still trying to get off the ground along with my own lofty ambitions. One of which is the in-the-works merger between us and big time Dallas based film site, BigFanBoy.com. We’ve already begun sharing content/opportunities but once in place, that co-op will mutually help both our sites continue to grow. A little heads up, for our first public event, we’re hosting a Dallas Oscar screening this weekend, so keep an eye out for that along with plenty more as it develops.
If anything, managing G-S-T and working with a very devoted staff of very talented writers has taught me to take things just one day, one news story, one review/interview and one festival at a time. We Go, we See, we Talk and will continue to do so as long as we’re able.
Finally, as I am already grateful for the G-S-T staff who really does give their all (on top of their respective 9-5 jobs) if you’re reading this I’d like to thank you as well for helping keep G-S-T going. If you don’t read it, we don’t write it. That said, we hope we can keep your interest for another 4 years!