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Filmstalker's first birthday!

FilmstalkerIt's a year today that Filmstalker began. A whole year, and it's flown by.

When I first started this site all on my own, I was wanting to fill a void that had been created. I wanted to keep doing something I was so enjoying, writing and watching films and then engaging with other people all over the world about them.

Now, I'm still doing it all on my own, and it is almost a full time occupation, every spare moment I seem to be doing something related to Filmstalker. Yet it's been one hell of a year, and one I wouldn't change for anything.

I actually have a real job, oh yes, and it's been hard doing both Filmstalker and working for a living. During the year I've dropped my working week from five to four days to try and accommodate the screenings in Edinburgh, screenings which have since curtailed and found me working more on the site.

The last year has been made harder by some people. I've lost people who might have become friends, been let down badly and bitterly disappointed by a few (particularly in the last few months), I've been surprised by how geniune and kind a few people have been, I've found out how supportive real friends are and how amazing my fiancée really is. At the same time I've discovered just how much I love writing.

I'd just like to take a moment to say thank you to some people who have shown particular kindness and helped me while I was ill earlier in the year. There's no need to mention names, you'll hopefully know already.

The site has been going from strength to strength. Someone once told me that there was a threshold figure for a site, Filmstalker broke that on the first month, and every month since it has grown. Actually that's not true, the month that we were mentioned on AICN meant a fall in visitors after an incredible spike in readers, so apart from that every month has been up. We're up again this month with another sigificant rise in visitors, I do hope it continues!

Over the year there have been some great mentions on the way. Various filmmakers have carried Filmstalker quotes, from the makers of Holly (Filmstalker review), The Treatment (Filmstalker review) and The Flying Scotsman (Filmstalker review) to Kevin Smith and Joe Carnahan. Then, just last week, the UK paper The Guardian featured Filmstalker in its entertainment section The Guide.

There's been the press screenings and festivals, and the most recent thrill, the trailer mention. I review everything I see honestly, I review the films the way they make me feel, there's nothing else to them. I could play them up and make sellable quotes, but I don't. So that makes it all the more sweeter that the excellent Air Guitar Nation (Filmstalker review) picked up my review and dropped a quote in their trailer. That made me so happy you can't believe.

All that said Filmstalker is still running in the red. Currently it's over GB£500 down, most notably for the travelling to see the early screening of 300 (Filmstalker review), but mostly because of the continued growth of the amount of visitors to the site and the need to upgrade the bandwidth.

I hope to find a day where it breaks even, and perhaps can pay for more visits to early screenings, but to be honest right now I don't mind. The best bit is being read and getting into the discussions, and that's where you come in, the reader.

You are the reason that Filmstalker is doing so well and that I'm here every morning, lunchtime and evening, writing away and frantically trying to get caught up on emails. For that I extend a huge thank you and a big plea to keep coming back and get involved with the comments.

Here is probably a great time to say particular thanks to regular readers from the beginning, there are quite a few of you, but Simone and Peter deserve a mention for getting to the heart of Filmstalker from day one, as well as long time visitors Meli, Vic, the list goes on.

I know there are many, many more of you who keep reading, keep commenting, and really do get involved. Give yourselves a namecheck in the comments, I can't go through you all here!

There's also the FoB's, Louise (who helped out on the site during the EIFF), Pablo, Lee, Dave and Martin who all deserve a thanks, and the great Kevin who has done so much work behind the scenes. Not to mention the friendly site admins and writers who have been giving advice, helping out, and linking to Filmstalker. Many warm and genuine thanks to all.

To celebrate I'm planning two big events. The first annual Filmstalker Hotdog Awards, and a nice competition for UK only residents - since all the competitions we get from marketing companies are US based, I thought it only fair.

Did you know that on the 9th of March last year, these were the first stories written:

Find Me Guilty trailer, Eli Roth directing Kings Cell, V for Vendetta reviews, Pink Panther remake sequel, Balboa teaser shows new Rocky

Then the following day the official announcement was made, Grand opening of Filmstalker, along with...

Craig didn't want Bond, Channel 4 buys Fox films, First Bond Footage, Crouching Tiger prequels, Sandra Bullock goes serious

So Happy First Birthday Filmstalker, and long may they continue. Here's to your health welcome reader, I'll have a dram for you tonight.



Yay! Happy Birthday Filmstalker. Well done Rich - you've put an impressive amount of effort into making it work.

Happy Happy Birthday Richard!!!
- This is when you were truly born into a new life :)

Very happy anniversary indeed. The big things are yet to come! This is the best film blog ever seen. Cheers Rich!!!!

I visit this site everyday and it has became one of my top website I must visit (which I do, more than once a day).

Thanks Richard.

Happy Birthday Filmstalker!

Here's to another year... and more!

great years work. i know how hard it is, i know what energy and time it takes, and i know it also makes a difference both to the writer and to those that read it regularly - so, keep it up, but dont forget to strike that balance!

awesome stuff, keeping us lot entertained surely must be a fulltime job and then some

*Simone drying tears*

I can still remember what I told you when you let me in on the secret that Filmstalker will be born after your hiatus from writing. I told you in the most cinematic fashion that, if you build it, they will come and look! :D

Just an assurance that I will support Filmstalker in every way I can. I am really in a celebratory mood right now, if only all the filmstalkers lived close together then I am buying everybody a drink!

Anyway, KUDOS to Richard and FILMSTALKER!

Happy Birthday Filmstalker,

I have to say Richard you are the hardest working guy on the Internet, you put most of us to shame!!

Keep it up mate.

Happy Blog Birthday, Filmstalker!

Richard, you run a terrific site and a great community here. Most blogs I visit each day offer one or two stories that I know I want to read - when I come here I start at the top and work my way down through them all.

Good writing, good reviews, great commentary and news. Thanks for your work and congrats.

Yes, I've only recently discovered Filstalker. But great job Richard, keep it coming...

Congratulations! Filmstalker rocks and it is my daily or twice daily stop for movie news.

Keeping up a movie site is no easy task (believe me, I know!) and Richard does it better than almost anyone. Keep it up and I look forward to many more birthdays for the Stalker in years to come.

Cheers bro!

A year? No way! I remember those days of discussions over the name, when to launch, the stress, the stress.

Keep up with the good work, Rich.

Dude, congratulations! You've done a hell of a job with the site. I apologize for not dropping in more often.



I can't believe it's a year already. Keep up the good work. Despite other peoples best efforts you're doing an amazing job!

Looking forward to the Hotdog Awards by the way! ;)

Happy Birthday Filmstalker.

Happy Birthday Filmstalker!

Congrats on the wonderful achievement Richard!

Happy (belated) Birthday Filmstalker!

Congratulations Richard. You've done a wonderful job over the past year and long may it continue. I still stop by every day for my "fix" but unfortunately I don't always get time to voice my opinion, but fingers crossed that can change.

Well done Richard, and here's to the continued success of Filmstalker!

A belated happy birthday, Richard, and keep up the good work.

I'll never stop reading, Richard. Never. I don't get as much time to comment, but if i feel I really have something to add, i'll do so. but your good taste in movies and honest class act presentation keeps me coming back.

Congratulations, Richard, and thanks

And another big "thanks" from this regular visitor. I discovered filmstalker through another blog site in Canada which had been my main source of film news, but which started to get annoying with its endlessly artificial rant style and "me! me! me!" approach to everything. I don't think I've been back there apart from a couple of times since they mentioned filmstalker, which is now my most visited site for film news and reviews. So, well done you!

Thanks for all you do and, most importantly, keeping it honest, relevant and interesting. I enjoy the impartial news, and I enjoy the "personal" reviews, even when occasionally I don't agree with them (life would be boring if we all liked the same things, right?).

You have a great site here, and hopefully it will start to move "into the black" soon.

So, anyway, Happy Birthday, MANY happy returns and thanks for all the hard work you put into what is a great resource for us movie fans.

Logboy - Balance? Oh that's between work, Filmstalker and sleep isn't it? I'm not keeping a balance at all...but at least I'm enjoying it!

Hey Simone - Yes, there are some coming...well, a few more than that! I'm glad. Now if I can just sort out these performance issues we might get more people commenting!

Matt - Many thanks, I don't think I put anyone to shame, I've just got fast fingers!

Burbanked - I'm always curious how people interact with the site. There will be a survey coming on just that, with prizes, so watch out. That'll help me refine the site even more.

Martin - Keep coming back and I'll keep it coming.

Drew - Cheers! Very kind words, and they mean a lot coming from other site owners. I'm hoping Filmstalker keeps going too, although there have (and are right now) moments...

Lee/Pab/Louise/Dave - Yes I remember all those times too, and you guys have been superb and extremely selfless with your support.

Vic - No need to apologise, you're a busy man too.

SnowLeopard/mogulus/marina/spidey - Good to see you're still here!

Mogulus - Very kind words, thank you again.

Ian - Cheers, and to all...

I do think that we all have to disagree to keep things interesting, but it doesn't have to be forced, argumentative, or downright abusive. I'm really pleased with the quality of readers that have come to Filmstalker, and it has made the enjoyment of this past year even better.

I do appreciate all your comments, genuinely it has made me smile and reminded me what the benefits are in running the site. Not the money, not the films, but the interaction with readers and providing something that you all find interesting and relevant. Truly, that delights me.

Now if I could just get the comments running faster I'd be a very happy man.

Thanks again to all...and I hope you keep reading for the coming year.

Richard, I think it's safe to say that as long as you're here, we'll all be here! Thanks again for extending your open invitation to all, and I look forward to more discussion right HERE on Filmstalker; the best damn movie site on the net!

To my favorite Englishman!
Other than Simon Pegg.
Or Nick Frost.
Or Nicholas Burns.
Or Armando Iannucci.
Or Steve Coogan.
Or ...
Or ...
Dude. You're somewhere on the list.
At least you're on the list.
Congrats on a great first year. I'll continue to stop by now and then.

Congratulations on a year! I can't believe it's a year already - where has the time gone? Thank you for all your hard work to bring enjoyable movie news and reviews. I wish you continued success. :)

Thanks guys, spidey that's great to hear!

Oh and thanks Mack, but I'm not English, I'm Scottish...so really I'm not on that list at all!

Wow. Coming late to the B-Day party. But Congrats on the first year. It's a very regular stop in my daily routine!

Congratulations Richard, when you create something you enjoy and are passionate about the time passes quickly. You deserve success and will go from strength to strength. Great achievement.

Many thanks Margaret, and great to see you are still looking at the site.

Cheers Kurt. Without sounding crawling I really respect you guys at Twitch, so good words from you guys are always received well.

Happy belated, FilmStalker! Many have tried their hand at this blogging thing but only a few make it to that milestone 1 year mark. Here's to many, many more.

I have about 6 regular movie websites I check twice a day (when I wake up and before I go to bed) and this is one of them, even though I just discovered the site semi-recently (within the past few months).

Keep up the good work!

but I'm not English, I'm Scottish

Having just returned from a 5-day stay in Scotland absorbing its history and then reading this, I just have to say something! :)


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