Week One Thoughts

After one week of film posts I’ve realized more than ever that this is going to be an incredibly stressful and exciting adventure. Therefore, it’s good for me to try and make this as less stressful and more exciting as possible. And that requires me to lay out some guidelines—more for me than anything else.

With the current Monday through Friday posting schedule, I’m confident I can maintain the site and not get too burnt out. However, trying to analyze a new movie (almost) every day doesn’t allow for the best of analyses. Coming from a film studies background, I’m used to watching a film at least two or three times before developing a few theses to explore. Then it’s doing some cursory research to see what’s already been published, narrowing down my scope to a single thesis—which usually needs some revision, refining, or re-defining—before doing more in-depth research for material to support the thesis. It’s a process, to be sure, but it’s a scholarly-type approach necessary for argumentative essay writing.

With this site, I’ve come to discover, using my pre-existing process will not work, and here’s why:

  • I’m watching each film only once before writing about it.
    True, I’ve seen many of them before, but in order to ensure the movie is fresh in my memory I’m watching every single film before writing its respective post. When I’m writing, I may re-watch a scene or two to properly quote a line, describe the mise-en-scene, or grab a screenshot, but otherwise it’s one and done.
  • I’m reading/watching very few (if any) articles, reviews, essays, and videos about the films.
    Searching for published material takes time, and reading or viewing the material takes even more time. And the time can so easily be considered lost if there isn’t anything in the material that works for whatever pre-formed thesis I’m thinking about working with.
  • I don’t have much time to develop a strong thesis.
    Coming up with what to write about with a film isn’t that difficult, but coming up with something original or interesting can be tough. Having brainstorming time is crucial for developing an approach that offers a new perspective that the film supports because it takes time to get the okay and not so okay ideas out of the way to get to the intriguing idea(s).

Instead of letting those obstacles prevent me from continuing with this project or stress me out, I think it’s better to just embrace them as reasons to have fun with the writing. It’s okay for these articles to not have supporting materials to back-up an opinion or interpretation: this site is for me to share my thoughts on the Academy Award Best Picture nominees—nothing here is for peer review or publication in a journal, so it’s perfectly fine to just enjoy the films and the writing. It might take a week or two, but I should be okay with not having a “point” to every post. The films are the point, and good films (which all these presumably are in some regards) are going to have a lot of potential talking points. Jumping around from one thought/topic to another is going to happen, so it would be better to accept that fact instead of fighting to keep each post on a specific thesis. That’s not to I won’t try to have a topic/point/thesis, but that it’s not as pertinent to have one if this was supposed to be scholarly writing.

Giving myself the above leeway isn’t intended to affect what I write or how I write: it’s more or less giving myself permission to adhere less to academic expectations and to have as much fun as I can with the writing. This is a long-term project that requires stamina—and anything that can help keep that stamina fueled and maintained is worth doing.

If you liked what came this past week, please keep coming back. If you didn’t like it, maybe give me another week or month to get better footing before bailing. Whatever the case, I’ll be here, and so will the rest of the Best Picture nominees.