Monday, September 17, 2007

I Hate filmscreed

Yeah, I kinda do. Let me ‘splain why.

This blog got started way back when because I was getting an itch to do a bit of writing. I had been poking around Usenet in the film groups and had tried my hand at some short commentaries, and this had whetted my appetite for more of the same.

It was about at this time that the concept of the weblog started to really gather steam. A Usenet acquaintance named Tom Sutpen had started his own blog, and as I read it, I began to think why not? This was the perfect forum for what I wanted to do – To write about something I was passionate about. Thus, filmscreed was born in the fall of 2005, featuring an essay on Kon Ichikawa’s Fires on the Plain. My intent was always to do commentaries on off-the-beaten-track stuff, just like my blog description says.

I was trying to sit down, do the toil, and perhaps create something worthwhile. In looking back at those first entries, I see that they were far from perfect, but they were at least created with enthusiasm. After a while, however, I started to be bothered by the small number of responses I got, and I began to think that doing an entry every two or three weeks wasn’t enough, that people needed a more steady diet or they’d get bored.

That’s when I decided to start supplementing the blog with photos and film posters, thus keeping a more steady flow of material out there. This was interesting, and it was kind of fun to hunt up stuff to put online.

The change was gradual, and it was abetted by some changes in my life. A new job cut drastically into my free time, making watching movies a lot more difficult, and writing about them nearly impossible. The result was that the blog became saturated with “quick & easy” stuff – Photos, movie posters, magazine covers, and writing took a backseat. When I did write, I had to cram it into the rare bits of free time I had. The quality suffered for it, culminating in the piece I did on Underworld Beauty a few weeks back. It was sloppy, I wasn’t happy with it, but I posted it anyway.

So, now I have made a decision. I briefly thought about just shutting down the site, but decided that that wasn’t an option, so I am just going to dedicate myself to re-inventing filmscreed the way I originally envisioned it – An "insufferable film snob" writing about movies. The posts will be more infrequent, and the film posters and other images aren’t going away completely (I’ve got waaaay too many of them on my hard drive, and I’m not going to have done all that for nothing, dammit!) but the focus will be put back on me sitting at a keyboard and hammering out my thoughts on movies.

If you are one who reads this blog with any regularity, I hope you continue to. I've got a lot of stuff that I want to talk about, and a lot of work ahead of me. Please, just be patient with this time-challenged amateur scribbler.




Bob said...

I'm really glad you're sticking with it, Jeff -- but I sure don't blame anyone who doesn't. Along with the very real need to sleep and have a life and maybe relax sometimes, I wonder how many great novels, screenplays, and short stories are not being written because of blogs.

In fact, the lack of time-meme seems to be spreading throughout the cinephile blogosophere, with both Dennis Cozzalio and Andy Horbal writing posts that imply future cutbacks because of real-world issues and the utterly creditable impulse and/or need to do other things sometimes.

Still, I say stick with it in whatever form as long as it works for you.

And I feel your pain about the comments. I think, numbers of readers aside, what we write about may not be controversial enough to get people excited enough to post, we just have to hope they're sitting at home somewhere, nodding sagely in agreement or stroking their chins thoughtfully, maybe bookmarking us.

Even some of the best known of cinebloggers don't always get comments. A lot of David Hudson's great Greencine posts are uncommented on, for example, and we know they reach an awful lot of people, relatively speaking.

I know that on my site, still a very far cry from SLIFR/Self-Style Siren/Girish levels of readership and online props, if it weren't for comments from other bloggers, mostly during blogathons, it'd be one lonely looking place.

Jeff Duncanson said...

Thanks for the pep talk, Bob. It's good to hear.

Steve said...

If anyone can sympathize with not having enough time to write, I can. Glad the blog will be hanging on, though. I'll be reading, I can tell ya that... :-)

Jeff Duncanson said...

Thanks, Buddy.

Flickhead said...
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