Written by J.T. Johnson
I have made a decision that will hopefully impact my future in a positive way but it requires saying goodbye to something I’ve loved doing for years. I only ever want to do something as long as it is fun for me to do it, even if it can be stressful at times. For the past 12 years, I’ve been lucky enough to call myself a film critic. I’ve been lucky enough to have several of my reviews published in The Saline Courier and in the Bossier Press-Tribune. It’s been a lot of fun but there has been a catch.
I’ve had numerous sites over the years where I’ve published my reviews for any and all to see. The latest incarnation of that has been The Geekly Blog. There, I’ve written numerous articles and columns, but mostly I’ve used it to share my thoughts on the films that I’ve seen, both good and bad.
Every time I watch a movie, I write a review and then I have to go and prep it, get some images that I can use, insert those and eventually hit the “Publish” button so that it is released onto the internet. It really isn’t the hardest thing to do but it can be time consuming. Also, this isn’t what I’ve always wanted to do.
Yes, I’m afraid that it is somewhat true that behind every film critic is a frustrated creator. I had dreams of acting, writing screenplays and even directing my own movies. I put that dream to the side when I had to go get a day job and had to deal with some financial woes (some of which I’m still dealing with today) and family issues (which I dealt with a long time ago).
However, something happened in 2007 when I discovered the blog section on the old social media site, MySpace. I may not have become a filmmaker, but I was still a massive fan and now I had a way to share my thoughts with my friends. I immediately fell in and eventually, I found myself learning how to write better reviews and even making my own site thanks to things I learned while attending Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Now, I know some critics out there that write reviews from a very cynical place or they have an agenda or they’re just pretentious assholes. I never tried or wanted to do that. I simply wanted to write reviews as a fan of the cinema and as a fellow audience member.
Still, that itch to dive into a more creative arena and create my own thing was still there. Eventually, this caused my time dedicated to writing about films, both old and new, to become more of a distraction than something that was always fun to do. Over the past year, I’ve been diving more into my creative writing and even though I’m in uncharted territory and have absolutely no idea where any of that will go (if anywhere), I know that I need to follow that path.
So, what does this mean for my reviews? Well, at the end of the year, I’ll be posting my final end of year articles and in the meantime, I’ll still be reviewing as many films as possible. I’ll have my “Best of 2019” and “Worst of 2019” articles in addition to “The 25 Best Films of the 2010s”. After that, though, there will be a significant slow down in the content that I’ll be writing, if any.
Now, I’m still freelancing at the moment for my new film reviews, so they’ll still be written, but I’ll simply be sending them off to The Saline Courier for as long as they’ll accept them. I may even hop onto my Facebook profile real quick or Instagram to share my quick non-spoiler thoughts on a film and give a recommendation.
Beyond that, though, I hope to be diving headfirst into writing my own stories (I have two stories that I’m currently working on) and I do sincerely hope that they lead somewhere. The only way that they’ll do that, though, is if I dedicate the majority of my time to my more creative endeavors.
I want to leave by saying the following to anyone who has been regularly reading my reviews and columns throughout the years. I have had a blast coming to you as a fellow audience member and sharing my thoughts on a medium that I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. I hope that you’ve had a good time reading my articles and as always, I hope to see you at the movies!