Personally, I was the author of article #1. But then again, back in those days I had a one-in-four chance of being the first person published, boosted by the fact that I was was the only user actually in the system at that point. So it seems appropriate that I would be the one whose byline appears on this, our article #20,000. However, it wouldn’t feel right if this were about me. I may have started this little engine, but it’s many miles and many articles have come from dozens of wonderful contributors, delivering over 10 million words of movie loving content to over 75 million readers worldwide to date. That is how far we’ve come here at Film School Rejects. Today we happily celebrate an amazing milestone that far exceeds any of the hopes and dreams we had when this thing began.
Last year, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary by looking back to where it all started. Our first article, the first articles of some of our long-time veterans, memories of those early days. Today brings more of a statistical celebration of the journey itself. In almost six and a half years (2,316 days or 55,571 hours to be exact), FSR has published exactly 20,000 articles for your perusal and (hopefully) your enjoyment. Those articles have come from 86 contributors, many of whom have gone on to bigger and better things. The most prolific of our contributors include names you’d probably expect to be on such a list — myself (5,060 articles), Cole Abaius (3,845), Rob Hunter (1,341), Robert Fure (1,098), Kevin Carr (1,074), Nathan Adams (1,031). It’s worth a bet that if you’d asked them just after having written their first article if they thought they’d write more than 1,000 articles for FSR, every single one of them would respond by being unsure if FSR would last that long. We have, and through the contributions of some truly talented individuals, we’ve endured through to 20,000. And we’re just as excited today about the next 20,000 as we are about those that came before.
To celebrate appropriately, I’ve asked the writers of FSR to take a few moments and tell you all about the articles we had the most fun writing, reading, discussing, defending and publishing for the world to see. We begin with a note from Mr. Cole Abaius, who has been our Managing Editor since the inception of the position (i.e. as soon as we could afford to have one, he was the obvious choice). His first article with the site, a review of Ong Bak: Thai Warrior published August 28, 2006, was article #304.
Managing Editor Cole Abaius:
“After 6 years of writing for FSR and a couple years running the site, all of my favorite articles (mostly intimate reviews of pudding flavors and think-pieces on what the message of Ernest Scared Stupid REALLY was) never made it past the editorial gauntlet. Sad to say. As for things that have made the website, I’ve loved writing for Old Ass Movies (because movie websites don’t cover the glorious history of movies nearly enough) and interviewing filmmakers and film journalists for Reject Radio, but it’s also been truly incredible to see columns like 6 Filmmaking Tips and our Short Film of the Day take off because they’re ridiculously fun to do and there’s an undeniable pleasure that comes from a large audience getting eyeballs on something you’ve written (especially when that something is showcasing the great work from up-and-coming filmmakers). There are also dozens of mostly-unread editorials and opinion pieces that were challenging and engaging to write, but my favorites are almost always ones that celebrate and luxuriate in the magic of movies.”
And now a selection of our favorites, courtesy of the contributors of Film School Rejects:
“Not only is this our most read of all-time (seriously, almost a million people have read this one article), it was one of the great collaborations we’ve had in the six years of this site’s existence. It took weeks to put together, but watching the team debate and fight and work through the blood bath of rating the best films of the decade was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as Publisher. It was just as fun fun behind the scenes as it was to read and comment upon for our readers. I can’t wait for 2019…” – Neil Miller
“Lists are a mainstay for film sites because readers love debating what did and didn’t make the cut. I don’t do a lot of them, but when I heard Stephen King’s Dark Tower series was coming to the screen courtesy of a hack writer and an uninspiring director I put together some far better combinations.” – Rob Hunter
“Putting together such a list was a somewhat terrifying experience – it was my first official list for FSR, I was riffing off a great post by Matt Patches, and mentioning anything related to romance on the Internet is a good way for commenters to get buckwild (I think this post inspired more than a few people to call some of my ex-boyfriends homosexual, the Internet’s favorite “insult”) – but the end result was something that was incredibly fun to reflect on, write about, and share with our readers.” – Kate Erbland
“The most fun Commentary Commentary I’ve put together yet thanks in large part to Christopher Nolan’s soothing and elegant voice.” – Jeremy Kirk
“I thought getting to see Clint Mansell (one of my favorite composers) perform his work live would be one of the highlights of my year, but getting the opportunity to speak to him was incredible. It was a great conversation and definitely an item now checked off my bucket list.” – Allison Loring
“I’m known alternately around here as the foreign guy, the DVD guy and the asshole, but I have on occasion teased my softer side with gushing reviews of sweet romantic comedies, my affection for Keith Coogan, and this peek into my childhood.” – Rob Hunter
“I’ve only done a handful of interviews for FSR, but I’m certain that my twenty minutes spent on the phone with Harmony Korine will prove unparalleled as one of the strangest conversations of my life. I’m not sure if I’d say this was one of my most ‘enjoyable’ experiences as a blogger (especially because I felt like the straight man for Korine’s bizarre performance), but it’s definitely one of the most memorable moments I’ve had writing for FSR.” – Landon Palmer
“I don’t do a lot of interviews for a couple reasons. For one, I’m far more interested in the finished product than I am in the soundbites repeated during press tours. For another, I’m not very good at them. As evidence I offer up my interview with Chloe Moretz during the Kick-Ass junket.” – Rob Hunter
“Cole’s article about the MPAA needing to die was probably the best thing I’ve read this year on a film site. It was focused, insightful, and overall aggressively meaningful journalism far beyond the typical everyday fanboy perspective news piece. Where a good portion of our content is handled humorously and tongue-in-cheek (because that’s who we are) Cole showed that there’s more to our writing range and we can transition from slaps to fists if we feel inclined to do so.” – Adam Charles
“While I didn’t write this one (though I did write a WTF article about it back in 2008, which got similar responses from Twi-hards everywhere), I thought this was a stroke of genius for Cole to actually read the book and comment on it before the frenzy took hold. This showed FSR was truly ahead of the game.” – Kevin Carr
“I originally wrote this piece out of frustration with conservative commentators’ faux-outrage at Cars 2. After I published it, I thought it was a bit too obvious to be funny, and I felt the need to explain at length my intents in attempting satire (which is not something I usually do) in the comments section. Then people read it. And thought it was real.” – Landon Palmer
“I am a big fan of Landon’s Culture Warrior and as a Mad Men fan, this was one of my favorite pieces from him. I have always found the way the show deals with history interesting since it does so from a very specific group of people’s perspective and Landon did a great job of highlighting that here.” – Allison Loring
“It’s a combination of things. One, I’ve never quite been this good a writer. Second, the experience that led to this article is something that Cole Abaius and I (along with our respective digestive systems) will not soon forget. Sometimes I miss writing For Science, and wish that I had time to bring it back. It was fun and illuminating at every turn.” – Neil Miller
Rob Hunter: “Some of my favorite posts of mine are the ones that garnered the most negative responses. I’m no masochist and I don’t particularly thrive on hateful comments, but I love seeing words and opinions get people so fired up. A few highlights include:
- my one bad year at WonderCon
- my slam against Transformers
- my criticism of Kevin Smith’s opinion being labeled “newsworthy”
- my innocent little trailer post about Christian Bale’s Flowers of War“
“Because I made a joke about Inception sex (ironically, it was the inception of the article) on Facebook and wanted to see how far I could stretch the application of sex metaphorically onto other films from 2010; and it turned out to be the most fun I’ve had writing an article and challenged how clever I could possibly be without forcing it.” – Adam Charles
“It’s rare that any current films make their way into the JFC canon, but seeing Shark Night 3D at midnight revitalized my love for all things schlock and reminded me why I started this column in the first place. It also has my favorite Jaws pun I’ve ever constructed: ‘all this thing does is swim, kill, and make little sense.'” – Brian Salisbury
“The piece I thought best represented my insights was filling in for Landon on a Culture Warrior article and writing about how the general public seems to feel about film critics. It was something I was inclined to write, originally, in the wake of Kevin Smith’s publicized outrage towards critics after the negative reception of Cop Out. I let the words sit for a while and waited too long to the point that it was no longer topical. Then, the issue re-arose after the release of Atlas Shrugged and thought it seemed like a good time, again, to readdress my thoughts on the whole thing and tried to offer a more deconstructive perspective on criticism instead of just furthering the yelling competition.” – Adam Charles
“FSR is better than any other site when it comes to April Fool’s Day fun. We don’t simply write joke stories and try to pass them off as truth, we put real effort in and make the day an experience. My favorite example of this is when we transported the site all the way back to 1980, and I turned my weekly DVD column into This Month in VHS.” – Rob Hunter
“A piece I found utterly laugh out loud hilarious (and still, to this day I’ll revisit) was Cole and Landon’s Talking Heads piece when we themed April Fool’s Day last year around Armageddon. It’s a perfect conversation-formatted gag that works really well as a written back-and-forth instead of a vocal recording. It’s a lot funnier reading it and imagining them taking it seriously instead of listening to them laugh as often as I’m sure they did while they were typing. Actually, now that I think about it, I remember most of our Armageddon-themed pieces that day being pretty hysterical.” – Adam Charles
“The topic for this post was a popular one that seemed to be looking for some sort of clear-headed take on it. I think I provided a well-rounded look at the the characters and plots of both books and films, especially considering that I’ve actually read the source material (and most commenters, ahem, had not). It was the sort of post that just poured out of me, as even I didn’t realize just how much I hated Bella Swan until I set fingers to keyboard.” – Kate Erbland
“I labored all night trying to wrangle my affections for Joe Cornish’s stellar Attack the Block so that it was more communicative than, “ZOMG ATTACK THE BLOCK SO GOOD TO MY FACE!” It’s one of those reviews that caused me to sweat, to delete multiple drafts, and ultimately feel I had given back to the film in some small way.” – Brian Salisbury
Alright, so that’s a few more than 20 articles. We’ve never been great at math. Movies are more our thing.
For more of our best and most popular articles throughout the years, check out our Greatest Hits board on Pinterest. Thank you all so much for reading. Here’s to the next 20k! Also…
Cole Abaius and Robert Fure (sort of) in their attempt to score a date with Scarlett Johansson.