The State of the Lake 2013

LakeUpdate

Happy New Year everyone, and I am humbled and blessed to be closing out my second year running Journeys in Classic Film.  In this final Lake Update of 2013, I’ll be running down a few awesome things which this blog gave me in 2013, as well as touching on a few things to prepare us for 2014!  It’s all happening, so let’s dive in!

I’ve mentioned this time and again, but I never believed I’d be writing for this blog two years later.  This started out as a test to see if I could maintain a blog, as well as an outlet for me to discuss movies I normally don’t cover for my other projects.  Two years later and the stats have never been better.  The site is consistently getting between 200-300 hits a day with TCM graciously retweeting a few of my things this year.  I also made my first 100 dollars via WordAds, so thank you to everyone who puts up with the ads on the blog, the money helps offset the various plugins I’ve purchased to help maintain a level of professionalism.

This year was all about exposure for Journeys in Classic Film, and people are definitely responding.  I was able to interview the darling Jane Withers this May as well as Danny Kaye’s daughter, Dena.  Both of the clickable links will take you to their respective interviews.  I was floored both took the time to talk to me and at this point my nervousness and general fears of stammering during interviews have dissipated.  I also was offered a visit to the Warner Brothers Studio for a tour as part of their 90th anniversary.  This was a huge deal for me, my first business trip, and a perfect foundation for (fingers crossed) the upcoming TCM Film Festival.  During the trip I was able to talk to some fabulous long-time blogger friends and proved to me the community of classic film fans who are out there.  The review content has also been out-of-control as I continue to cultivate relationships with 20th Century Fox, Twilight Time, Kino Classics, and Warner Archive.  Thanks to all the fine people there, as well as the countless authors, who send me wonderful movies to watch and books to read.  My mother is a taste irritated that I’m rapidly running out of room to put everything.

I’ll post the full report WordPress makes me, but I’m flummoxed to see I wrote over 426 items for this blog, over half of them complete movie reviews.  I always fear I’m repeating myself in reviews, or struggle to diversify the words so you don’t get bored, but this year the blog really forced me to become a better writer.  I thank everyone who doesn’t send me comments about spelling errors or grammar issues because no one is harder on that than myself.  I want to present thoughtful, incisive content to you, and there’s no excuse to skimp on quality when you’re all taking the time to read it.  There’s blog which are far better than mine, and they inspire me to write better everyday.

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So what does all this mean for 2014?  Even more reviews for one!  I have a bit of leftover review content, so look for reviews from Warner Archive and Kino Classics in the next few days.  I also got quite a few movies purchased throughout the year, and Christmas, I want to touch on.  I’m planning to resurrect Biopic Theater, especially in light of all the upcoming biopics in the works, although I’m unsure currently whether it’ll be weekly or every other week.  Inspired by TCM, I am interested in starting a Friday Night Spotlight series of my own, mostly as a means of getting through some of the movies I’ve purchased and have yet to watch.  If you have any ideas for biopics or a Spotlight topic, let me know.  These are in the planning stages and I hope to have more definitive plans in the new few weeks.  I’m also planning to bring back the Leading Man Tournament, but it will probably be a summer offering to give me proper time to plan it, but it will be coming back!  With the TCM Film Festival coming around the corner, and my participation in it still undecided, I am hoping to provide some coverage whether I’m there or not.

You’ve probably noticed the site looking different in terms of coloring and layout.  I have retired the black and white background just to make the text easier on the eyes.  I am working on a Veronica-based banner for 2014 and think the new background looks fantastic.  There’s also a few changes in the works which I can’t talk about at the moment.  If they happen they will be a massive change and a huge step towards the future of this site, but again they aren’t set in stone at all so no point in getting you excited now.

A lot is happening and, as always, I’m happy to have your input.  You guys take the time to read this blog and it should be as fun for you to read as it is for me to write.  If you have any suggestions, comments, want to chat you can email me directly at journeysinclassicfilm@gmail.com.  There’s also the Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/JourneysinClassicFilm) and the always popular Twitter page (@Journeys_Film).  Here’s to a kick-ass 2014 and I hope you all are prepared to stick with me!  It’s been great 2013, but time for a new year of fun.  Be sure to visit throughout the week as I list the most popular articles from this year, as well as the best and worst movies I watched and reviewed this year.  Have a happy, and safe, New Year!

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