Here's hoping both Calvin Johnson and I have successful third years...
In preparing for my three fantasy football drafts (must sound insane to many of you) over the last few weeks, I've been reminded of a mostly unproven theory about wide receivers. The theory goes that wide receivers typically break out in the third year of their NFL career, so rookie wideouts may be risky picks but those promising young WRs entering their third year (like Calvin Johnson, on one of my squads) have the potential for huge seasons.
Today marks the beginning of my third year maintaining Getafilm, and it's been hard not to consider the third-year receiver theory in the context of my own situation. Could this be my make or break year? Only time will tell. Currently I have no grand plans for change because I simply don't foresee having the time to do anything differently. A busy work year is ahead, as well as my own wedding within the next 12 months. How these will affect either the quantity or quality of my posts, I can't say.
But I still love movies and I'm still really excited about many of them on the way this Oscar season. I still enjoy writing and I'm feeling more sure than I ever have about what my strengths and weaknesses are. For example, I don't really consider my standard reviews to be all that great; more than any other kind of post, I feel some kind of pressure to write them. So I'm trying to resist the temptation to do so, even if it is "good practice".
At the very least, I should only review the movies that really move me to write, such as (recently) District 9 or Heart of Stone. I personally had little to say about Adventureland or The Soloist or Public Enemies or Bruno, for example, and there have been many "big" movies that I haven't even seen this year: The Hangover, Whatever Works, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Funny People, and so on. In fact, as of today I've only seen six of the Top 20 highest-grossing films of 2009 (and keep in mind I was paid to watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop).
And I'm almost proud of that. I'm realizing that most of these movies have little to nothing to offer me in terms of personal development (emphasis on me). I've looked back at some reviews and thought, "What was the point of me writing anything about that movie?" (e.g., Hamlet 2, Flash of Genius). And to say that the majority of these new releases have been covered enough in the blogosphere would be an understatement. Aside from Oscar chatter, I'm not breaking industry news here or building a lot of PR buzz for every upcoming movie, so why feel obligated to give all of these movies more than just a viewing - and leave it at that?
So I'm not going to pressure myself to review every one of these movies, if I see them at all. Besides, the best conversations that have taken place here have been from non-review posts. (Note to Minneapolis Star Tribune: As my track record for you has shown, I will still gladly watch and review any movie for a few bucks. And note to independent filmmakers: Please continue contacting me about screeners; I'm happy to take a look and plug your film if given enough lead time.)
My fiancee has a Netflix account. Netflix is a service I've passively ignored for years because I've spent so much time at theaters, but now I'm finally accepting that, for example, seeing Rififi for the first time instead of The Hangover on opening night is probably for the best. It might not be hip, and I might be out of the loop, but at the end of the day it probably enhances my understanding of film in a much more meaningful way. Of course, I didn't write anything about Rififi, but again, I didn't want to pressure myself to do so and at the time there were no urgent thoughts about it that came to mind.
I want to write what comes most naturally. This post, for example, is a breeze, while other posts frustrate me for days, sitting as drafts never to be touched again, or, when finally touched, given a quick pass before being posted (The Class deserved a better treatment). It's like cleaning your room by shoving stuff in the closet, and I'd rather not do that just for the sake of getting a post up "in time" (for what?).
So I'm going to try myself to write more freely, still keeping things related to film (as a matter of discipline; if I didn't I wouldn't be able to control the hemorrhaging of my thoughts), but doing so in a way that fits my writing style and my thoughts. In the short term this will probably mean fewer "reviews" (which is just about a 90 degree-turn from when I started), and in the long term I have no idea what it could mean.
It could lead to longer posts or shorter posts or fewer posts or more posts, but coming from all of them will hopefully be my most honest voice. And you should know by now that I always welcome yours.