UPDATE: Where Have I Been?
Hello, folks. It’s been a while. I may have some explaining to do.
So where have I been for the past few months? The answer is boring but honest; working. I’ve had the pleasure of working on the Production Side of a brand-new BBC drama series set to debut this October. This job has involved working in the Production Office, working on location, working on set as well as working as an Assistant Director. It’s also been long hours, with starts at 5am and finishes at 10pm being a regular occurrence and in that regard it’s been increasingly difficult to get to a movie theatre to watch the latest releases, let alone talk about them or write in-depth content on this site.
I’m coming to the end of the job now, however it’s looking likely that I will almost immediately begin moving onto another job with very similar hours and with a similar workload for the next 3-4 months. Now that is good for me because it means I can continue working in the industry I want to be in, work my way up the Production-ladder, I can keep paying rent, paying the bills, keep my car running, saving up cash to work on my own low-budget endeavours etc. But it’s also frustrating on a personal level because while my online content has never been financially viable enough to turn it into a full-time job, it’s something I’d probably still be doing even if I didn’t have an audience of readers/viewers/listeners etc. Because what I do online has NEVER felt like work. If it felt like work and if it felt burdensome then this article would be me announcing my retirement from this game. But because I love creating this content, this isn’t a retirement update.
But that annoys me, because I genuinely love creating this content. I love writing about films I find substance in, I love writing scathing reviews of films that rile me up and I love discussing movies with all of you in the comments section and seeing you enjoy the write-ups. But when you have long work-days, adult-responsibilities that need to be tended to during your “days off” and responsibilities to friends and family whilst also trying to find a social life, something has to give. And unfortunately that something has had to be my online content.
This time 2 years ago, I was seeing around 2-3 movies a week. In the past 4 weeks the list of movies I’ve seen stands thus;
- ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2‘ (It was pretty good)
- ‘Alien: Covenant‘ (It was pants)
On my website, I currently have 22 drafted review templates for films from 2016/17 that I have yet to write. But they’ve remained un-touched since early March. I’m aware that is not good and that readers are understandably frustrated but, like I said before, something has had to give and unfortunately that will not change anytime soon with more work coming in.
I see a few angry commentators and get some angry e-mails accusing me of being “lazy” because I don’t post as much content anymore and that I used to be able to knock out a review in a week or two. I find the accusations of laziness to be a bit disingenuous because my life has zero down-time. If I’m not working on a Production Job, I’m either spending time with family or friends, looking for the next job or doing chores around my flat. Once upon a time, when I started my online work I was about to start University. I didn’t have responsibilities outside of my own bubble; no rent to pay, no career to advance, no family members close-to-home to care for. That has changed now and my output (frustratingly) reflects that.
The awkward thing about my online presense is that I have a decent sized audience, but it doesn’t give me the sufficient revenue to make it a full-time commitment. Many YouTubers or Bloggers would build their audience and portfolio as they do a separate 9am-to-5pm job or abandon everything and commit full time to making it work. I do not work a 9am-to-5pm, I work a 6am-to-9pm job and I have too much on my plate to drop it to make it work, so I’m stuck in a limbo. It’s frustrating for dedicated viewers/readers/listeners and it’s frustrating for me trying to figure out the balance. Some audience members see movie-bloggers at ScreenJunkies, Collider, Channel Awesome, YourMovieSucks, I Hate Everything and others cranking out a constant stream of high-quality videos and wonder why I can’t do that. Well, that content is their job. For me, it’s a hobby I love that is increasingly difficult to maintain.
By the way, I’m sorry if this is a rambling, poorly structure post. I’m currently writing this in a sleep-deprived state and taking a stream-of-consciousness approach.
So what now? I love doing this content so I don’t want to stop, but something needs to change here. Do I abandon videos and try and do the written content entirely? Do I abandon my large portfolio of written work and focus on just making time-consuming videos? And if I did do videos do I stick with Editorials, In-Depth reviews, Podcasts, a combination? Or do I abandon it all and try and focus on other media-related endeavours?
This ain’t rhetorical, by the way. I would genuinely appreciate feedback and advice because I’m at a loss here.
I’d also like to make it crystal clear that I’ve had every single intention of making the content I’ve stated I’m working on. I had so many ideas and things to say in a “Top 10 Best/Worst” of 2016 video, the ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘ Editorial, reviewing all the “Best Picture” Nominees from the past year. Heck, I actually had a really awesome video planned for my 25th Birthday in June talking about the films that were the most influential in my life but then this BBC drama project over-ran and had scheduling issues so I’ve had to abandon that. I was all ready to get back into regular production of ‘Doctor Who‘ reviews after the 5WF guest-spot with Chris Johnson, but then I got a string of Production jobs back-to-back and I just didn’t have the time. The past 12 months have been an emotional stop-start-stop-start of video ideas and I’m…just really starting to burn out now.
I love doing all of the above, but the current structure isn’t working in terms of actually getting content made. The next time I have a break between jobs (lol) I’d like to try and make another short film and actually pay a skeleton crew and put together press-kits and make a true effort to get it into festivals but that leaves you folks with little Trilbee Content to read, watch or listen to. A part of me has recently wanted to write dissertation-length film reviews and publish them as unofficial viewing guides, like write 20,000ish words on each “Cornetto” Edgar Wright film and self-publish it, or do something similar with the MCU movies but I’m just spit-balling here.
So that’s where I’m at right now. I have an awesome audience of patient fans but I have no time to give them the content they’re here for. What do I do? I’m not sure, but I figured it best to just open up about the current situation and see if anyone has any suggestions. Either way, thanks for sticking with me despite the content drought. And I’ll see you folks next time.
P.S. I have not seen ‘Doctor Who: The Pyramid at the End of the World‘ yet.
Posted In: Updates
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Posted: 1st Jun 17