I’ve been doing this THiNC. thing for going on 15 years I think. At first it was just a reaction to disliking the world of Facebook and the new insanity of likes and competitions for views, etc. And so I wandered off, did my own thing, and just started writing about whatever came to mind. I posted about tech, and art, and other inanities. But it was the movie posts that people started commenting on and reading. And so I leaned into the movies. Instead of Hollywood blockbusters and big budget movies that most other movie sites post about, I chose to go a different path. Indie movies, Mindjob movies, different sorts of movies that generally aren’t the normal fare in the movie discussion world. And over the course of the last 15 years, I’ve had a lot of really cool moments that have meant a lot to me. So I figured, I’d do a Top 10 Favorite THiNC. Moments. Not favorite posts. Or favorite movies. Just my favorite experiences that have happened as a result of this blog existing. Fair enough?
#10 – Learning How to Find Movies
Over the years, I’ve had to learn that the best movies that will make you think don’t come from the standard channels of distribution from Hollywood, or whatever. Meeting indie filmmakers, learning the great indie distribution channels. And so much so, that over the last year or two, we’ve been able to bring weekly recommendations. Finding one movie a week is hard. Finding 3, 4, or 5 a week, is way harder. So creating a fulfillment assembly line of new movies has been fantastic.
#9 – Discovering Tons of Movies I Wouldn’t Have
It goes without saying – save for the fact that I am currently saying the unsaid thing – even though I just took credit for learning how to find movies… you all have introduced me to way more movies than I have been able to introduce to you. If you could see all the movie suggestions via email, comments on the site, watch movie recommendations (red tab, bottom of this screen), Discord, etc., you’d be pretty amazed! haha. It’s been pretty unbelievable really. So many in fact, some have argued that I might have created the blog as a honey pot to just get millions of personalized movie recommendations just for me! I mean, it happened.
#8 – I’ve Learned So Many Things
Doing 2,000 anythings will teach you a lot. Plant two thousand flowers? Write 2,000 stories. Paint 2,000 paintings… it will teach you a lot. And I’ve learned so many things. For example, the very first thing I learned with this blog was that hardly anyone comes to the front door of websites anymore. Google juice means that everyone is always hopping your fence and the party is always in the backyard. So you have to write for those people, as well as the ones that are ringing the front door bell. But, at first, my thinking about how to write for a website was all upside down. You get the idea… but I have loved the learnings. Learnings about SEO and how that all works. Analytics and traffic patterns. WordPress. Patreon. Discord. Lots and lots of little cool things I’ve learned. Heck, we even rolled out like a BBC chat plugin on the site in the comments section for a year that just made everything more confusing! hahaha. I have learned a lot.
#7 – Meeting Other Bloggers
This one is probably a lot less known than the others – but I have had the fortunate experience to meet a bunch of cool bloggers. For a time, short films were a real passion for me on here. I loved everything about them. Especially because they were usually created by really cool, up and coming, soon to be famous Indie film talents. So much so, that I found myself writing up some really cool short films on short film focused websites. Like for free… just for giggles. But I also have met other equally interesting movie writers that do “competing” write ups for Indie type films. The fact that we never really competed, but just urged each other on is the coolest part. One connection I have made that really stands out is “This is Barry.” Barry is an awesome movie reviewer whose Venn diagram with my site is basically a single circle. We have even posted on each other’s sites.
#6 – Trying and Failing at Stuff
The list of things I’ve succeed at on this site I can count on one hand… but the sheer, enormously vast, number of things I have tried and failed at here?? hahah. I’ve enjoyed the learning all the same. A few of the things we have tried here and failed at… remote movie watching? Did you know that we have done like 5 or 6 different remote movie watching experiences? Host was an awesome movie watch experience. Taxi Driver was a mind-blowing experience, between Matt and myself! hahah. Cool all the same. His House was another great movie watch between Lisa and Erika and myself. What else? Oh, I did video walkthroughs for a little while. I did them solely for Patreon members, didn’t work. But I learned a lot about the process all the same.
#5 – Trying and Succeeding at Other Stuff
So, I’m good at failing, but on the rare occasion even a blind squirrel finds a nut. Yeah, the thing I’ve done that was just beyond the pale successful? The one thing that would sustain a whole separate website all by itself? My Dark Family Tree posts. Think I’ve done three of them, and one, by itself, has more traffic than almost the rest of the site combined for that year. Wildly successful. But who knew? Random.
#4 – The Really Fun Interviews I’ve Done
My chat with Omar this past year was just wildly fun – both of them. Definitely my favorite post in a very long time. But I also have made life long friends in some of my interviews with artists, and sculptors. And I bet you guys didn’t even know that I did anything other than movie posts. hah. But I’ve made some amazing connections with a few really cool movie makers and I’d literally do anything for many of these people if I can as a result. Literally anything.
#3 – The Patreon Crew Has Been Wildly Fun
A couple years ago – on a lark, I started a Patreon. Supposedly, you should give away cool rewards when you do a Patreon. Like, paintings, and sculptures, and whatever. But I can’t do any of that stuff. The funny thing about the Patreon group, is that about half of them want nothing in return. They just donate to support the cause. But the other half are a part of a really cool community on Discord that I’ve come to really enjoy. It’s been really amazing to watch it grow. (By the way you don’t have to be a Patreon member to join our chats on Discord. Honest.)
#2 – Interacting With “Normal” People on the Site
I love the give and take that comes from the site. The comments section is so flipping rich because of so many varied and beautiful opinions. I find all of your opinions so interesting (many times WRONG, but still interesting! hahah.) And very insightful. If you want to see a crazy comment thread, go read the comments from top to bottom on the movie The Prestige. Wow. First, it’ll take you a week. Second, it is so interesting. I have found so many of you so fun to talk to I actually have interviewed some of you. I remember the amazing chat I had with Murray who is from Iran. Or with Kenny, who likes to bowl? The interactions I have had with you all have been brilliant. So thank you.
#1 – My New Friends…
And this Cheesy Dial? This one goes to ELEVEN. I have met so many great people on this site. People that like horror movies exclusively. Or closed box films. Or classics. I’ve made a lot of fun friends here on THiNC. Some of these friendships live solely in the comments section of a single movie. Others start via email something like this: “You don’t know me, but I read your movie write-ups each week, have you seen…” Which is fantastic. I’ve befriended amazing artists I’m still in touch with regularly… movie makers that I cheer on from the sidelines, but most of all, I’ve loved getting to know so many of you all.
Personally, I started writing about movies because I saw them as a window into the chaos that this life brings. I saw them as discussions about what it means to be human, to be alive. To talk about God, death, life, love? All the better. I mean, regardless of our beliefs, we really are in this together.
Real quick – a few thanks I need to shout out. First, and foremost? Goes to CY… she is quietly keeping me out of trouble post after post after post. Thanks a million! Also, thanks to the gang on Patreon for your gentle guidance on movies I need to watch and review. And for your assistance in the past with the spotlight posts each week. Specifically, a shout out to Lisa on Patreon who previews a TON of movies that make it on to the site and does a great job tipping me to movies that you all might find interesting. Thanks, Lisa! And a quick thanks to my future friends that I’ll meet just after you screw up the courage to introduce yourself.
Edited by: CY