Origins: Marshall and the Movies

30 07 2010

Here it is, folks.  The Project that is perhaps the most responsible for making July 2010 the biggest month in my history comes to a close with a look at my own origins.  I’ll answer my own questionnaire, which has taken some people minutes and others days.  Then tomorrow, expect a wrap-up of the entire project, sharing what I’ve learned from everyone’s unique responses.

What movie began your love affair with cinema?
I don’t know if I can point to one specific movie.  I talked to the director of my nursery, and she said that even at three years old, I could name directors, producers, and writers of movies.  So to start at 1997, when my memory of movies really begins, would be cheating.  A lot of those Disney movies were my favorites growing up, such as “Hercules” and “Mulan.”  And gosh, I sure did love “George of the Jungle,” which may be why I still love Leslie Mann so much.

When did you start blogging?
July 28, 2009 – a year and two days ago!

Why did you start blogging?
I saw the movie “Julie & Julia” and was inspired by Julie Powell. She turned what she loved into something that would ultimately become her career. I wasn’t exactly thinking about a career when I started blogging, but something about the line, “I can write a blog. I have thoughts!” resonated deeply with me. So that’s the spark that lit the fire, and it’s been ablaze ever since.

What has kept you going?
Christopher McCandless, the subject of the book and subsequent movie “Into the Wild,” wrote this profound statement before dying: “Happiness only real when shared.”  I feel such a bliss watching movies, and it wasn’t until someone came up to me a few weeks after I had started and said, “I saw The Hurt Locker after reading your review and it was AMAZING!” that I realized that my joy could be spread to other people through this blog.  I began writing a weekly series, the “F.I.L.M. of the Week,” that suggests a great movie for the average reader that they might not have known about.  My hope is not necessarily that they will scorn watching corny and contrived movies (because I sure haven’t!) but that they might find the same happiness that I get from watching movies.  Ever since that day, I guess you could say I’ve kept blogging for other people to experience movies like I do.

Has there been a particular person (or people) that has helped you along the way?
I didn’t get into blogging for the community, and it took me a long time to realize how strong it was and also how much I needed them to make my site more widely read.  I definitely had some reluctance, thinking I could do it on my own, but eventually I was set straight.  Thanks to everyone who read me during this obstinate phase, particularly M. Carter, who has been my oldest consistent reader.

What’s the best part of being a blogger? The worst?
The best? Every time someone tells me that I’ve influenced them in some way, be it that they have seen a movie I recommended or seriously reconsidered a philosophy that I’ve examined.  Everyone wants to feel important, and I get that feeling every time someone comments here on the site or tells me in person.  Thank you, everyone who does so.  Without you, I’d only be serving myself here.  I love knowing that I can be a part of your life, no matter how small.

The worst?  I can’t count the number of times I’d rather watch a movie that write a review or a factoid.  There really is no rest for bloggers because we always have to stay on top of our game.  We’re either writing our own content or looking at other people’s to see how we can improve our own.  Internal improvements are never-ending.

Has blogging increased or diminished your passion for movies?
It has for sure increased my passion. I had worried at the outset that moviewatching would become something so routine that it might become monotonous, but that has absolutely not happened.  Without blogging and finding these other incredible sites, I never would have seen some of the movies I’ve seen this year.

Although I will say, at the same time, blogging has increased my distaste of bad movies. Knowing that I’m throwing away two hours of my life to watch a horrible movie stings even more now because that time could have been used to write a blog post..

What’s your proudest moment as a blogger?
The single proudest moment is still getting the nod from Ebert. But I get a kick out of every time someone pings back to one of my posts, someone adds me to their blogroll, someone mentions that my opinions matter to them, and someone considers me in the same league as these extraordinary writers out there.

What advice would you give to someone looking to follow their passion? To someone starting a blog of their own?
Do it! Blogging may not be your thing, but find some way to share your passion with others. While we are still seeing what’s going to come out of “Marshall and the Movies,” you never know what your outcome will be.  Maybe it connects with a new career, or with people who share your interest, or perhaps it’s just an outlet for you to share everything that’s going on in your life.  But there’s something so exhilarating about blogging, not knowing where you’ll end up.  It’s fun to be along for the ride.

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3 responses

31 07 2010
Whitney

Marshall, I remember you at around 3-4, quoting producers and directors! I’ve never had a more fascinating conversation with a 4-year-old since! Your blog is quite impressive, and I actually use it to determine what movies go on the Netflix queue. Keep up the good work!

31 07 2010
Castor

Great series, loved reading everyone of them! Thanks for making this possible Marshall 🙂

2 08 2010
Aiden R.

Can totally relate to your Hurt Locker experience and how awesome that is. My friend recently went out and bought Star Wars Episodes IV and V after reading my latest SW reviews, I felt so…influential. Great answers and great meme (if that’s even the word for it?), man. Glad to have been a part of it.

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