FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

May 3, 2010

an open letter

I posted about this over yonder on the Pretty-Scary forums, but I think it bears mentioning here. You see, I am what you might call "irked". I said:

I'm fucking tired of indie (and even not-so-indie) horror filmmakers acting as if they're OWED space on my site, as if I should feel privileged to have the opportunity to post about their work. I don't mean people offering to buy ad space, I mean people sending me a "post about this!" message. What they want, basically, is free advertising.

I run a blog, not a news site. I don't post about every new thing that comes down the line. I don't make any money off of Final Girl. I don't run ANY kind of advertising on it, including Google AdSense. Although money is nice, I like my site this way. A couple of times I've been approached by video game companies who offer free games in exchange for a post- I've done this, and in those posts I'm very up front about whoring my site out for a free video game. I'd whore out my cats for free video games! I'd whore out your cats for free video games.

But when I get an email (or, worse yet, a comment on a post, as I did today) that isn't even a press release- something that just says, basically, "Great blog! I would love for you to feature my movie." it really rubs me the wrong way. Should it? I don't know. I hate the fake praise, and the lack of personalization. At least SPAM spam is amusing- this is just gross. I mean, NO SHIT you would like me to feature your $5 movie. Again, it's free advertising. I know it's tough out there for the little guy to get attention, but at least send a legit fucking press release- it's a bit more professional. But don't fucking TELL me to post about your crap. Really, it makes me want to give them NO publicity, and I want to ignore the movie itself completely.

A comment?? At least take the time to find my email address, which is linked on my site.

Now, let me say this: I really do understand indie filmmakers (or their cronies) sending out press releases or emails to draw attention to their work. If you don't put the word out yourself, you run the risk that no one will ever see your website or your trailer or what have you. I get it. Shoot me an email, by all means. I'll check it out, and if it's something super awesome or something I dig or I want to post about it, believe me, I'll post about it. I've gotten many, many emails, however, that say little more than "Post about this!", as if I have to. Guess what? I don't have to. 

I got fucking hounded by some douchey indie-producer about posting a trailer for some movie, to the point where they actually pulled out the "These other blogs (yes, they named names) have posted about it and we'd REALLY APPRECIATE it if you would post about it, too." card, as if peer pressure would kick me into action. It didn't. 

I like spreading the word. I like the idea that I might be able to introduce anyone reading this to a movie or filmmaker. It's good. It's "community" and good karma and all that shit. But honestly, I'm not going to give free publicity to people who expect it. I don't care if every other blog in the horrorverse posts about it. THIS IS NOT A NEWS SITE. I'm not in this for blog hits or to get "in" with filmmakers or what the fuck ever. Point me to your work, and if I want to write about it, I will. End of story.

But for fuck's sake, do it in an email. If you leave a random comment on a post saying "Here's my work, here's my website, great blog!", I will not publish it. Unless I'm drunk, or in one of those "Eh, what's the harm?" moods...then, 20 minutes later, I'll remember that you're being a leechy a-hole and I'll delete the comment. Finding my email address, which is linked on this site, is not difficult. 

I bid you good day.


BJ Colangelo said...

thankyou thankyou thankyou for posting this. I only review screeners that people who send me personalized/press release emails. People are GD ridiculous.

Kmork said...

I'd whore out my cats for free video games!

I eagerly await a future post about this topic.

...something that just says, basically, "Great blog! I would love for you to feature my movie." it really rubs me the wrong way.

I can -sort of- understand why certain individuals would leave such comments (in the sense that they're targeting a blog which reaches a wide array of potential viewers) but nevertheless, how is it any different from when a blogger brings up the dashboard only to see a comment like "Great Blog! Check out the latest penile enhancement drug now!" with one of the preceding words hyperlinked to some bullshit web site that will never be visited anyway? It's not.

Stacie Ponder said...

Screeners I don't really mind. Nowadays, though, it seems that filmmakers/companies want you to post about EVERYTHING. "This person was just cast!" "The director thought about costume ideas today!" "We don't have any money, but we swear we're going to make this movie!" It's like they want me to post about a really cool idea they had.

Stacie Ponder said...

Oh, and Chicken- it's not ANY different. It's just as blatant and effing gross.

At least with SPAM spam, there's an absurdity to it that I find amusing: "Super blog! I was just thinking about that movie. Office furniture" and I imagine it's written by some robot somewhere.

And yes, I understand filmmakers wanting to reach out to the appropriate fanbase...but it's just SPAM and it makes me want to shuuuunnnnnn. If you can't find my email, then at least leave a comment that says "Stacie, can I get your email address?"

It's all about manners!

gord said...

Just another reason I enjoy this place so much. You give those jerks 'tude!

TALKING MOVIEzzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kmork said...

Just in case I misrepresented my opinion: I completely agree with you. The comment was directed toward the hypothetical (and not-so-hypothetical!) filmmakers and their cronies.

Christine Hadden said...

I'm positive I don't get as many of these type of things as you, but I still agree it is utterly annoying. I even recently got a facebook blurb from a director who wanted ME to cough up ten bucks to watch his efforts and blog about it. Um... I'm thinking no.

I'm all for indie films getting their due, but when directors shamelessly beg for notice by means other than legit emails and press releases, it itches my britches.

Also, I find it hard to write about things I'm not particularly interested in seeing, and considering how there's so little time in the day and I have a "real" job, I don't do posts about random movies just to have a daily post or to proselytize for an eager director.
But hey, that's just me.

B-Sol said...

Amen! This has become a major pet peeve of mine in the past year or so, and I've tried to raise awareness of it whenever possible. There's a lot of rank unprofessionalism going on, and yes, a lot of people acting as if they're entitled to not only get space on your blog, but there's the expectation of positive feedback, as if it's my job to help promote their movie. Every time I see someone else taking a stand on this issue, it makes my day just a bit brighter. Thanks, Stacie.

Kensington said...

Nobody puts Stacie in the corner! :-)

Hey, Stacie, speaking of video games, have you played "Silent Hill: Shattered Memories"? It's billed as a "re-imagining" of the original game. Unfortunately, they re-imagined it as an awful game almost entirely devoid of scares, mood, tension, conflict or fun.

It's the first Silent Hill game I was able to complete in just a few hours and had zero interest whatsoever in playing again, not for the alternate endings or the UFO ending.

Just in case you're looking for a reason to save $30...

Stacie Ponder said...

I played the Wii version a bit over Christmas, and I thought it was a pleasant diversion- mostly because of the wiimote-as-flashlight thing. I don't have a Wii, and I won't bother picking up the PS2 port.

You're right- it was definitely devoid of scares and it didn't feel Silent Hill-ish at all. If they re-made the first game with better combat and graphics and added some content (a la the Resident Evil remake for Gamecube), I'd be down with that. I admire them trying out new technology and all, but the 'ice world' thing was bizarre.

Never thought I'd say it, but I think the series really needs to be laid to rest.

Andre Dumas said...

First Barry, now this?? You can't have two irksome weeks in a row! Eat some McDonald's and you'll feel better.

I finally turned down an indie film the other day and it felt goooood. That's right I said NO (but nicer sounding) and like 1 week later he tried to get me again, probably in mass email or facebook message form. Bah.

spazmo said...

And yet, Shattered Memories got huge love from reviewers. Like, scores of 7.5 and 8, which is the main reason I shelled out 30 bucks for it.

Maybe this dovetails with what we've been discussing - journalistic prostitution. I can't think of any other reason for that crappy game's high marks.

Keep it real, Stacie!

Stacie Ponder said...

Andre, good for you. It's tough because I want to help people out, but...I've learned to stop automatically saying yes when "friends" from social networking sites want to send me movies. If the movie is good, it works out fine...but if it's not, I feel guilty posting something negative (we're fake cyber-friends, after all) so I don't post ANYTHING and then I feel douchey for having a copy sitting on my shelf.

Of course, they should expect honest opinions, which might not always be positive. Sometimes you get pissy directors who don't understand that, though...ARRGH.

However, at least a review is valid content for my website- unlike "I decided to make a movie, post abut my idea".

Curt Purcell said...

Even news sites try to draw a firm line on real news vs. free advertising/promotion. It seems like all the big comics linkbloggers have to say something like this every so often.

CashBailey said...

And to be completely honest, I'd say a good 85% of these people making movies have no business going near a camera in the first place.

Anyway, I thought all of these cheapo shot-on-shitteo horror movies just went straight to Lionsgate. They'll put any old shit out, as anyone who has seen an Ulli Lommel movie can attest to.

RJ Battles said...

I love your angry posts. My favorite is probably from the time that guy copied your post about drinking too much coffee.

My blog has about 20 readers- which is fine with me- so I don't have many filmmakers trying to get me to write about their movies, so I can't really relate.

Anyway, looking forward to the next FGFC.

Stacie Ponder said...

Ha, I forgot about that guy! That was weird. He'd pimp my site in one post, then blatantly copy my content in the next, acting as if it was his own. He deleted his blog after I posted about it.

Right now I've got a Facebook friend whose "About me" is virtually the same as my "About me" here. I haven't said anything, but...I mean, it's kind of my BIO and you're going to COPY IT for your Facebook bio? La-aaa-aaaa-me.

Missy Y. (formerly A Case of You) said...

This is why I enjoy a virtually readerless existence. (Well, I am not sure *enjoy* is the right word.) I can write whatever I want, get off topic when I want, use whatever language I want, tell people to fuck off, and enjoy a solicitation free existence. Plus, when I get a random moment like that, it still feels novel and doesn't anger me. I try my hardest not to pimp myself.

The whole blogging thing is, for me,a purely for the love of it venture, you know? And I can imagine that if I were inundated with these kinds of posts, it would really piss me off.

Though, as I have at least two posts in which I reference space peanuts, I am sure I have very little to worry about.

Hud said...

Memo to self: don't piss off Stacie.


Burgundy LaRue said...

As someone who's been toying with the idea of starting a blog, I can see where this sort of thing can be a PITA. Nothing wrong with self-promotion, but folks have to know when to draw a line and not cross that line as to avoid upsetting people.

You want to see as many people succeed in achieving their dreams. Life's too short to have any other mindset. But they can't expect you to be there for everything they do. It's not practical.

Stacie Ponder said...

"Memo to self: don't piss off Stacie."

Dang, and I thought I was being restrained!

Fester said...

Maybe you need to follow SF writer John Scalzi's lead and obtain your own "Mallet of Loving Correction."

Chris Otto said...

To be crystal clear: I love this Web site, but Stacie may NOT have my cats.

Ruben Romero said...

I may be in love with you.