Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What's Next?

So, if you've been reading my posts lately, you might have noticed something I snuck into yesterday's movie post - Yojimbo is technically the last movie out of Ebert's books. (!!)
"What does that mean?" you might be asking yourself. "Is this stupid project over or not?"
Well, yes and no. Mostly no.
Here's the thing. When I first set out to do this project, I said I was just going to do the Great Movies books. No more, no less. And hey - I did it! I went almost a year watching a movie and writing about it every. single. day. There were a few days I had to skip movies because our power was out, or I was too sick, or I because I didn't have a movie or had the wrong version. There's not too many, and I have a plan for them, which I'll go into in a second. I feel really good about what I did here. I learned a lot - it seems dramatic to call it life-changing, but it really was. I started the project because I was lazy and unemployed, and I thought maybe it would give me something constructive to do with my free time. My fantasy goal was to have the blog help me get a job where I could maybe write for the web. I landed a great job while I was doing this project, and because of my blog and knowledge of the intertubes, I'm going to start blogging for my company, and updating our website. I never expected to have steady readers and commentors. I certainly never expected Roger Ebert to notice! That meant a lot to me, and it was extremely cool to have the person I was sort of reaching out to actually notice that and reach back across the vast wasteland of the internet. Everything turned out way better than I could have hoped for.
"So, what now?"
Now that I've spent almost a year as a slave to my TV and netbook, to say the least, I need a break. "But", you cry, "what about those movies you skipped? You're not really done!" You're right. I'm going to give myself a little while, maybe a week, maybe more, to get myself (and my Netflix queue) in order. Then I'm going to watch the movies that I skipped. I am not going to watch them every day. I'll watch them in the order that I was supposed to watch them, but maybe just one or two movies per week. Maybe more than that. Who knows!
And after that? I'm not posting anymore until after New Year's. I need a serious break. I always feel like I whined a lot about how hard the project was, but man, it was tough. I worked a full time job majority of the time that I did it, and my life was honestly only working and blogging. I would come home, put on yoga pants, and start a movie. By the time it was over and I was done writing about it, I'd usually just go to bed. Two nights out of the week for the entirety of the project, I wasn't even home until after 9 p.m. It wasn't easy. The project was unruly. Want to go out with your friends on a Friday night? Have to work on the project. Family in from out of town? Better find time to work on the project. Power out? Better get hardcore and hook your TV up to a generator, because you need to work on the project. Out to lunch with your friends or co-workers? They'll probably want to ask you about the project. It was worth doing, 100%, but it was challenging! It sounds like it would be easier than doing something like, say, starting to run every day for a year, because I just had to sit on the couch and be lazy. But movies take a lot of time! Most of them were around two hours, sometimes quite a bit more. Then I'd work on my post. So you know, it took up a little more time than a half hour jog or something.
"Whatever. What the eff are you doing after New Year's?"
Most likely, I'll watch the Great Movies that Ebert posted online, probably just one per week. Look at it this way - he doesn't really post them every week consistently, and if I do them all in like, a month, I'll run out of stuff to watch and write about! This way, I can sleep at night and have, yunno, a life, and still keep up with my blog. Possibly it will be January and I'll be all, "Screw movies and movie blogs!" and I'll start doing something else. Probably not (uh, since I already bought some of the out-of-print movies I would need), but I'm dumb and unpredictable. I'll keep you posted if I branch out into any other endeavors that you might care about. Suggestions are welcome, as well.
"So, did you like, learn anything from this?"
Most certainly. It really was life-changing for me. Before this project, I was one of those people who would try to start something like working out or trying new recipes or going to bed before 2am, and after about a month or so I'd either have injured myself too severely to continue or gave up. Most people I know are like this, although I think they injure themselves less. But I did something I set out to do. I watched all of Ebert's Great Movies in his movie books. I watched one a day, every day, for almost a year, barring the handful that I had to skip due to natural disasters and roving plagues. Nobody's perfect and I knew I wouldn't be able to watch every single movie - I figured there would be some I wouldn't be able to afford or find and I'd have to skip entirely. I wish I could better articulate how happy I am that I actually completed what I intended to. It means a lot to me, and I know it's going to affect me from now on - I'll always know that I can make time to work on projects, that I can finish them, that I can challenge myself and stay with something even when it sucks.
There was a lot I learned about movies, as well. Movies, despite the fact that they aren't really as well-respected as like, books, can be really life-altering to watch. There were a lot of movies that taught me new things, be it about filmmaking or about life. I found new genres that I love, new directors, and saw so many different and great stories. I also found that it was could be very isolating. Probably what I learned about film could be it's own post or several posts, which maybe I will write if you plead with me extra nice.
Really, I'm just really happy that this project turned out so well. Sure, it wasn't a smashing internet sensation, but I got way more out of it than I had dreamed of when I started it. Thanks so much for your support, guys - you really rocked and were awesome motivators, and your comments and feedback meant a lot to me. I don't want to repeat myself, so instead, I'm going to have sort of celebratory beverage. 
See you in about a week! :)


  1. Congrats Mandy. This is something close to what I wanted to do when I was looking for a job around 6 years ago. I am so jealous and at the same time very happy for you.

  2. Way to go Amanda.  At some point maybe you could pick and review your own top movies.  

  3. Haiku for you.

    Proud of You, I am
    One of the Lights in my life
    You are my Daughter

  4. Congrats! Looking forward to your continuation of the list (more Roger Ebert GREAT MOVIES books will surely be on their way).