Sunday, January 12, 2014

Announcing my departure from We Got This Covered, and looking toward the future at

A screenshot from We Got This Covered on the day I started writing there

As you may have already heard on Twitter earlier this week, I have made the decision to leave my post at the entertainment website We Got This Covered, where I have served as Associate Editor and film critic since May of 2012.

Nothing sinister is going on here – this was a completely amicable departure I made on my terms, for my own reasons, and without any malice towards the site or its staff. I had a fine time at We Got This Covered. I remember fondly the day its Editor-in-Chief, Matt Joseph, asked me to come on board, and I am extremely grateful to him for the many, many opportunities I was afforded by writing for his publication. I cannot say the entire experience was perfect, from beginning to end, but I can say that, on the whole, it was an extremely satisfying stretch of my career, one that I will always cherish.

But now it is time for me to move on, mostly for personal reasons, and I want to fill my readers in on at least some of those reasons right now, as well as explain my plans for the future – most of which are centered around this very blog, and many of which I think are rather exciting.

Continue reading after the jump...

First things first: As some of you may know that, in addition to writing movie reviews, I am also a full-time student at the University of Colorado Boulder, seeking a degree in Critical Film Studies. I’ve always had to balance my ‘critic’ life with my ‘school’ life, since I started doing all this back in elementary school, but as you might imagine, that has gotten more difficult in college, and it’s become increasingly tough the deeper into my education I go. That became readily apparent last fall, where I had to scale back my work for We Got This Covered severely because of school commitments (and because I started a part-time job teaching and tutoring, both for the experience and to help pay the bills, school and otherwise). The time crunch was set to become even more extreme this semester, as I have also started a Graduate program at the University, and will be working towards both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees simultaneously.

This is the main reason I chose to resign from We Got This Covered – I could not give my position the attention it deserved, and I didn’t want to split my attention even more than I already have trying to fulfill more responsibilities than I could bear. There were other reasons, though, many of them centered around my desire to venture out in a different creative direction than what We Got This Covered offers. I thought 2013 was a tremendous, perhaps landmark year for film, for instance, and yet even then, I realized, about midway through the year, that trying to review everything that comes out, good and bad alike, isn’t what I want my future to be – I want to take in modern media, yes, but I guess I reached a point where I felt I’d rather do it on my own terms, and there are decades of past cinema classics I had found myself being prevented from catching up on due to my commitment to write as many ‘new’ reviews as possible.

I will also admit to becoming a bit disillusioned with the constant rat race that is working for a big entertainment site – it’s nothing We Got This Covered was specifically doing wrong, necessarily, but the general tenor of the modern entertainment press, and the constant demand for frivolous news (casting, random tidbits, outright gossip etc.) and lightweight feature articles (top 10 lists, rankings, more rankings, etc.) that modern entertainment sites must provide to be competitive in a dense online media landscape. I don’t care about any of that stuff, personally. All I want to do – all I want out of my work as a critic, in truth –is to study, write about, and discuss great movies – that is all I have ever wanted out of this part of my life, to be honest, and I thought, after a lot of consideration and soul-searching, that I could do that better going out on my own again, than by staying with We Got This Covered.

All of this had been on my mind for a while – months, really – but I was committed to seeing 2013 through to the end, and that I have done. I finished my commitments for We Got This Covered for the year, and with a clean slate presented by the arrival of 2014, I thought now the best time to walk away, if walk away was what I must do. It was not an easy decision – on the whole, I’ve liked working for We Got This Covered immensely, and as someone rather averse to change, shaking up my own personal status quo was not necessarily a pleasant thought. But all told, the time felt right for a change, and so here I am, a free agent once more.

What does the future entail? I have no concrete answers, but I can promise you that I fully intend to keep writing about movies – and television and gaming, if I can manage it – here at Fade to Lack, my old blog, where much of my life’s work is already archived. I plan to continue reviewing new movies here, when ones that interest me come along, but moreover, I intend to get some new columns rolling as soon as possible, columns focusing on great, older movies that I have never had the chance to write about, and which will hopefully allow me to broaden my own artistic horizons. That is what I am working hardest on at the moment, getting these new columns ready to roll, but I am simultaneously thinking of other content I could offer here at the blog, and I am certainly open to suggestions.

There is also the issue of the podcast, of course. Since very near the beginning of my time at We Got This Covered, I co-hosted WGTC Radio, a weekly film and gaming podcast, with my good friend Sean Chapman. Leaving We Got This Covered does not mean the end of the podcast. I want to stress this point. I have negotiated with Matt Joseph to keep my podcast alive, without making our subscribers follow a new feed, and while Sean and I still need to work out the details on what form the show might take in the future, I want to keep it as a centerpiece of this blog. It’s a podcast I’m really proud of making, and I don’t intend on giving up on it at this time. It will have a new name, and may come out on a new schedule, but I think it will still be around.

And, most excitingly, I have spoken with my editor at the Denver Post’s ‘YourHub’ section, and we plan on getting my work back in the paper on an at least semi-regular basis in the near future. This pleases me to no end, and I look forward to interacting with that audience again.

For the sake of clarity, here is a list of all the things I want to accomplish here at Fade to Lack over the coming weeks and months:

·      Continue reviewing new films, when inspired to do so.
·      Publish at least one or two weekly columns that analyze and discuss classic foreign and American cinema, the major column tentatively titles Masterpieces for its intended focus on truly great and influential works of cinematic art.
·      Update the blog’s Review Archive to ensure every review I wrote between 2007 and 2012 is readily available (the whole of 2010, and much of 2011, is currently incomplete).
·      Create a complete archive of the Podcast, in all its forms – Monthly Ten, Monthly Stuff, WGTC Radio – where listeners can stream any and all episodes from one convenient page.
·      Hopefully, review certain television shows regularly – Mad Men will, I can confirm with total confidence, be part of the rotation in April.
·      Hopefully, write about gaming and music when I can, as these are also core artistic interests for me.
·      Finally, and assuming I can find the time, I plan to completely redesign and overhaul, porting it to another web hosting service (likely WordPress) and making the design more usable and attractive.

So that about does it for now. We Got This Covered is behind me, and I look back upon it fondly, but the future is ahead, and there are a lot of tasks I want to accomplish. Mostly, I just want to write, and write on a consistent basis about art that moves me, and I think you can expect to see that here at Fade to Lack, hopefully in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all your hard work Jonathan and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. I'm especially happy that you have decided to continue with the podcast so we can continue to hear about Doctor Who and the other most important things in life. Thanks to you and Sean I got into Doctor Who in the first place and your detailed Doctor Who specials remain some of your best work. Your podcast shows have also been my #1 source of game recommendations. Keep up the great work!