Saturday, July 2, 2016

MY OFFICIAL MOVIE CRITIC DUTIES FOR EXAMINER.COM END AS THE NEWS SITE FOLDS


This week, the Examiner online, the venerable catch-all of news, opinion and every topic under the sun, sent out emails of notification to its “examiners” to let us know that it was ending. No more articles would be accepted and the entire website would fold on or around July 10th. My days as one of their Chicago film critics, and their main Chicago Horror Movie Examiner, are now over. No chance to even say “goodbye” to my followers there. Hence, I'm telling you here if you follow me in both venues.

It was great while it lasted. Truly. 

It was really fun writing for them. I was published practically every week and built up quite a following. The editors at the Examiner were terrific people and I had great interactions with them. And being able to be one of their venerable movie critics, one who outlasted a lot of his contemporaries over the years there, gave me a forum to put forth my take on movies, write about the trends and big themes in them, as well as Hollywood, and contribute to the awards season by publishing a year-end best list that was quoted and referenced on Twitter and other social media. All very fun, all very flattering. And it went on for five and a half years. It was a great privilege to be an Examiner. 

The gig also pushed me to see more movies than I probably would have normally, particularly on the horror front, and it was great to see all that was out there. Granted, being the Chicago Horror Examiner meant I often saw the bad and the ugly, along with the good, but it was fascinating to dig so deep into what scares people. And it was a pleasure to come into contact with many of the filmmakers and fans who loved the genre as much as I did. 

I met a lot of others too in my travels within the press world of the Examiner. I met a number of wonderful folks at the Chicago Film Festival. I was invited to be a member of the terrific new Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle by fellow Chicago Movie Examiner Don Shanahan, a great guy with his own movie blog too. (EveryMovieHasALesson.com). Plus, I developed quite a following of Twitter followers waiting for my reviews from the Examiner, as well as followers and friends on Facebook who did the same. 

What the Examiner contributed to the conversation online cannot be underestimated either. They were in so many cities, with so many niche Examiners covering all sorts of things, from local art scenes, high school sports, community colleges, various music venues, all sorts of cultural festivals, and every kind of eatery, bar and restaurant - it's a wonder that they're stopping. Who will cover so much after the Examiner is gone?  

Yet, they are about to shutter in the next week or so. In case you're interested, my Examiner reviews will be up on the site for the next week, but after that, they’ll likely be gone forever. You know, I got the gig because of this blog, and it was fun doing them in tandem for these past five and a half years. This blog will continue, having gotten better because of my time at the Examiner. I shall remain here, writing it in my spare time about the movie business and what captures my attention, and hoping that you will continue to follow me here. (And if anyone wants to offer me another critic gig somewhere, just holler!) 

Oh, and I’m still doing the movie review podcast series for the International Screenwriters Association too, and you can listen to “Page 2 Screen” at networkisa.org or on iTunes. They’re downloadable for free in both locations too. 


So, the only thing left to say really is, "Thank you, Examiner, for the great opportunity and experience and memories." It was a privilege and an honor, and I appreciate all those who read my thoughts and followed me so faithfully there. I hope you will follow me here as avidly. Indeed, The Establishing Shot will remain, but how very, very sad that the venerable and vast-reaching Examiner will soon be no more than a very fond memory.

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