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Filmstalker's 3rd Birthday

Present.jpgWow, who would have thought that Filmstalker would have become so big and even been alive after three years? Not me that's for sure, and it's been an amazing ride, particularly this last year.

It's been this last year that has been the toughest for me, and consequently the site, what with tragedies both personally and in business, I've really wondered if I was going to keep going.

You see last year my mother took ill with inoperable lung cancer, and while she went through different treatments and did get stronger and better, she died late September. This did, and continues to, affect me deeply. She's never far from my thoughts and it's difficult to lose the image of her dying, and for a long time Filmstalker helped and hindered.

It wasn't just the personal life that was difficult, work has been going through a tough time. Working in a financial institution in tough times means cutbacks galore and, while I can't talk about it in public, it's certainly been a strain.

So imagine running a film site through all that. It's been tough. However it's not been all bad and Filmstalker did manage to provide an amazing distraction for me. I just buried my head into it and wrote.

I'm still not sure what will happen, although I'm still convinced that there's not a need to make this a corporate money earning site like so many others, and that's one aspect that brought me the biggest win of the year.

Orange and Saatchi chose Filmstalker to be one of the bloggers to attend the BAFTA's this year and I took the opportunity to live-blog the red carpet event and also attend the ceremony. It was an amazing evening and one that truly astounded me.

Filmstalker invited to the BAFTA's, who would have thought? Definitely the high point of the year Filmstalker-wise.

There have been other highs of course, and something else that stretched me to the maximum this year, and that's been getting married, the ultimate high point of my life and I now share a marriage with a wonderful woman who is so accepting of me and of you lot through Filmstalker.

She also gave me a glorious wedding gift, on the morning my best man dragged me through to his room and revealed a mammoth gift for me to unwrap. She had framed The Flying Scotsman poster that the director had signed for me and had my quote on it, and when I finished marvelling at that the 300 film poster appeared with a personal message from the superb Gerard Butler. What a fantastic moment that was.

Louise has been helping out more and more with the site too, and she's becoming a real good friend and invaluable with keeping stories turning round, allowing me time off, and getting on with non-news articles.

She's also going to help out with some behind the scenes work using her day to day skills in the near future. I have the idea for a couple of interesting Filmstalker projects, and I'm going to be asking some faithful Filmstalker members to participate in a couple of little betas were going to run and see if they would be worthwhile additions to the site. Nothing technical, just all about film.

Also coming up in the next few days is a questionnaire about the site that I would love as many of you to take as possible. It's going to tell me what you like about Filmstalker, what you want more of, what should go and what I should concentrate on. It'll be a huge help for the coming year.

Well that's been about it for the year, apart from more mentions in the press which always surprises me, the work is just getting busier and busier and harder to keep on top of, even with just working four days a week at a "real" job.

That means it's welcome to another year of Filmstalker, if I make it that far, but I think I will if you help me. You see there's one thing that remains true about this site through all of it, that it's about the discussion and debate.

Much as I could sit here and write huge dissertations (and sometimes I do in the reviews) then just walk away from the keyboard, I prefer it when I get feedback, and feedback that starts a discussion or debate. Sure I hate ignorant and aggressive comments, you know the ones that are so typical of people hiding behind the internet, but the ones that have opinion and can back that opinion up are the ones that really interest me and get me going.

I love that, and that's still why I do it all after three years, not for any other reason. If that were the case then I'd have tons of writers working for me for free and writing the daily editorial. No, if I want to make money and fame out of a site it wouldn't be with Filmstalker. This is about a passion for film and the discussion and debate with other passionate audience members, that means you.

So here is to the next year, and I hope that you keep coming back and getting involved in that debate. Thanks for the third year, you've been fab.

Richard.





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Comments

Hey I usually don't comment, but on this special ocasion, I must do it.

I would like to congratulate the creators of such an amazing blog, and I'm hoping that it will last for many years, since it has been a daily consult of mine.

Keep up the good work, Richard & Louise =)

Saudações de Portugal. Parabéns!

I have enjoyed reading your blog, whether I always agreed or not...........but then how boring if we always agreed!! Keep up the great work! Happy Birthday to Filmstalker!

KS Brown
GBUSA

Thank you both, it's great to connect with so many people from around the world, and I really appreciate you taking the time to comment back when you usually just read.

Spot on KS - it's better that we don't always agree, wouldn't that be boring? Perhaps you'll be tempted yet to wade into a debate when you don't!

Richard,

I've been reading Filmstalker since the first Dead By Dawn that you blogged about and its been my number one source of film news ever since. You have done and are doing a great job and I just want to say thanks for all the effort. Life very often has a way of throwing us around and I commend you on seeing it through thus far and I know Filmstalker has a wonderful future.

All the best

Neil

Richard,

You are definately the first place I go to find out about film news, there are so many films I would have never heard about if it were not for you and your site. (King of Kong especially!) Your opinions are always thought-provoking and insightful and even when I have seen particular nasty blogger comments you replied to them as you would anyone else and ruined whatever result the blogger wanted(don't think I could have!)

Your passion for film shines through and long may it continue (hopefully with some more red carpet blogging, that was great!)

Happy Birthday Filmstalker!

Just because we aren't 'commenting' doesn't mean we aren't reading. Congrats on the Three-Year Mark Richard. Here is to thriving into the future.

Congratulations, I pretty much subscribed from day one and have never regretted it. I don't always have the same taste, but I admire your genuine passion for the films you like.

I have to say I actually cried when you had the banner celebrating your mums life with you and your brother growing up. Touching and very sad.

Keep up the good work and I hope to be reading for many years to come.

What else is there to say? You already know that I dont go anywhere else if I want to read any film related articles or reviews so I may have been distracted with a new hobby but Filmstalker will always be a part of me. I can still remember with fondness how you let me in on the secret, and thus Filmstalker was born. ;P

It's been a brilliant 3 years and here's looking to a lot more!

Happy Birthday Filmstalker. It seems like only yesterday when you started the site!

I have to say, without getting emotional and sappy as seems to be happening to me at the drop of a hat these days, that your kind words are absolutely amazing to read and really have given me a warm feeling in what I do at Filmstalker.

There are dark times and times where I struggle wondering if I can keep going or even want to, and it's comments like these from you that turn that feeling around.

I don't know of you all realise that it's every comment, every piece of discussion and debate, even if it's arguing with me, that makes me come back and write the next article, and the next, and so on. It's what Filmstalker is about.

Neil thanks, and I'm glad I've picked up some readers from DbD, it's a great festival and one which I'm going to miss this year due to my wedding anniversary – real life is often more important than film, really! Perhaps next time around I'll buy you a pint at the bar!

I remember your site from the first time you commented, and I just checked now for what you have in production. Perhaps there's an opportunity there to feature the production work of a short from script to screen on Filmstalker.

Thanks Michelle, I have to admit I do sometimes come back to those negative and abusive comments with far too biting and cutting replies, but then that's my sarcastic and sharp way! I'm glad you want to see more, I'm working on getting more specialist blogging events, but it's such hard going – you would expect that in Scotland they would be keen to feature on such a prominent Scottish site that's read so widely around the world.

Long may that passion continue too, I still love it, I really do. Walking into a cinema still gives me a buzz, sitting down as the studio credits appear on my home cinema still excite me, I love film and just wish I had the talent to participate!

Thanks Kurt, that really is appreciated, and a sign of just what your site is about in that you and Leigh are the only two film sites that have commented back – it wasn't an article with breaking news or gossip to write an article about so why would others? - That should speak volumes for the quality and enthusiasm of your own sites.

I take your comment Kurt, I do know that there are far more people reading than commenting, but the discussion is what I strive for, even if it's just a small percentage.

Leigh, many thanks. Even thinking about that makes me well up and I don't think it's a period of my life I'm ever going to get over. However I know my Mum was proud of what I had done and I really wish that she'd been able to hear that I'd gone to the BAFTA's, she'd have been so excited.

I'm glad that you have said we don't have the same taste, I don't think anyone has, and that's what makes it so good, that's why so many sites can work alongside each other and together, and why the debate can be so much fun. Thanks for being here from the beginning.

Thanks Simone, you're one of the regulars and one of the first, and that will never be forgotten. You've also provided Filmstalker, and myself, with a great deal of support and positivity and that isn't forgotten either. If there were ever to be shares in Filmstalker I know you would have already bought some and earned a ton extra!

Cheers Dave, it's good to see that you still read, I know that most of my off-line friends don't have a real interest in films that I do so it's great to find that you're still here.

Thanks to all, the kind words are the kind of reminder that I need as to what this is all about, and gives me a great feeling to come back and read when my passion for the blogging side is waning.

Here is to more to come, and who knows, perhaps even something bigger and better.

Thanks to all the Filmstalker readers.

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