Hello, I Must Be Going

The Future of One Perfect Shot.

I have been asked a few times to do an Ask Me Anything. From the very beginning people seemed to be as curious about One Perfect Shot as they were about the films we were celebrating. From the Arthouse to the Grindhouse and everything in between, One Perfect Shot was a place to appreciate cinema. The goal was to inspire filmmakers young and old to tell their own stories, to make their own films, to create their own perfect shots. Tomorrow, One Perfect Shot will begin its migration over to Film School Rejects. You may have already read a little bit about the purchase over on Variety. Our content and writers will remain, our celebratory voice for film will only grow louder as we reach more readers than we ever could on OPS, and our dedication to curating the best shots from cinema’s past will continue as it has for nearly two years. The transition will be seamless, and I can promise all of you that you are going to love what the Film School Rejects team has in store. Maybe now is a good time for an Ask Me Anything. Maybe I should start at the beginning as we near the end of this adventure.

I have two boys, Owen and Noah, my Mom likes to call them the O-No boys. Owen is my oldest, he’s incredibly curious with a good eye for great movies and technology. He’s also very protective of his little brother. Noah is 10, though functionally he’s about 3. Noah was diagnosed with severe Autism at a young age and like 1/3 that receive that diagnosis, he also suffers from epilepsy, but just like his Autism, it’s a pretty dramatic case which brings us to the emergency room and a free ride in the back of a “holy shit these go fast” ambulance with unfortunate regularity. It was on one of those visits when One Perfect Shot started.

My right hand held my son’s left hand as he lay in a hospital bed, recovering from a seizure that lasted more than 12 hours. It took a cocktail of medicines to stop and as it often does, the activity left him exhausted and weak. The nurses in the emergency room know us by name and greet us with hugs, making us as comfortable as one could be in that situation. As my son was soundly sleeping beside me, my mind began to drift. I started to think about my film projects and all the many stories I wanted to tell. I began to scroll through film frames; I was looking for shots that inspired me, moved me, shots that communicated the message of an entire film in a single frame. Not wanting to take up space on my phone I turned to Twitter and created an account that I could reference. I titled it Film in a Frame (too long), then went with CineShots (close), but finally settled on One Perfect Shot (bingo). It wasn’t that the films were perfect (though they often were), it was the shot themselves that I fell in love with, beautifully represented in a frame or a GIF.

One Perfect Shot had just over 30 Followers after the first day, just a few days later Edgar Wright re-tweeted a shot from SHAUN OF THE DEAD which was then picked up by Jon Favreau and others. 48 hours later I had over 5,000 followers, the next week I had 10,000, today we have nearly 200,000. That’s an awesome responsibility, and one I took a huge amount of delight in. I treated it like my own movie theater; I posted shots from double features that I dreamed of, went on week long sprees featuring the work of one or two Directors of Photography, reserved Saturday Mornings for shots from cartoons and always followed those up with matinee films for all ages. It was a social channel built to inspire me but you guys found it and turned it into something infinitely stronger and certainty more impactful.

That’s how it all began; one tweet turned into a career.

I didn’t do this by myself though. We have had some fantastic writers, each one I could heartily recommend and have deep admiration for, but One Perfect Shot owes a debt of gratitude to one in particular. Each film I dream of making, every story I want to tell, has had the input of one other person. I met this guy at the greatest video store on the planet called Mike Clark’s Movie Madness here in Portland. I brought him on to write at the first site I ever created (along with my friend Mac Bell) called Daily Grindhouse, and from there we began to plot our crimes against cinema as we spun stories and plotted productions. When it came time to find a Managing Editor for One Perfect Shot, H.Perry Horton was my first choice, almost more reflex than decision, he has been the best hire that I’ve ever made. He is a scholar of film, a TWIN PEAKS historian, and very close friend whom I can’t thank enough.

So, now I sit, watching the pieces move in the background as we get ready for One Perfect Shot’s new home on Film School Rejects. As mentioned, Perry and the other writers will be there, but I am going to be taking some time off to assist my little kiddo through neurosurgery. I am terrified but hopeful it will bring him an improved quality of life. I wish I could tell my son what is going to happen, I wish he didn’t have to go through this, but I am one of those guys that thinks everything happens for a reason, and he’s tough. He has taught me so much about patience and determination. When the doctors said he would never speak, he found a way through hand-over-hand communication. When they said he wouldn’t walk, he not only walked but he ran. There are tremendous lessons to be learned by those acts. Don’t let anybody tell you that you aren’t capable of doing something, don’t take “No” for an answer.

I remember posting a shot from SELMA, Ava DuVernay replied “I made it, Ma!” Yeah, she sure did, so can you. It isn’t what “they” say, it’s what you believe and then make happen. Time to make your own Perfect Shot. I’ll bring the popcorn.

See you guys soon over on Film School Rejects.

Oh, and one more thing. What’s my favorite shot of all-time? It’s this:

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Why? Because it was literally the very moment when the magic of movies clicked for me, when it all made sense. People came together to tell a story, and if that was possible then anything was.

Here’s to good watching, SALUTE!

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