Writing about oneself can be challenging. It’s very easy to come off like a narcissistic jerk whose simply listing all his accomplishments without actually telling anything about yourself. So my goal here is for you to learn a little about why I do what I do.
No matter who you are or where you live, if you’re reading this, more than likely you have something in common with me: A love of movies. I yearn to be transported to another place when those lights go down in the cinema, and with each film, I’m always hoping for that chance. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t.
An eagle eyed viewer did the math once, and told me that in the year 2013, my grades for every movie I reviewed, averaged out to a B- for the whole year. I found it remarkable that he attempted to add that up, but more importantly, it tells me that my viewers really do care. They want the same experience that I want. Some call it escapism, and that can be an accurate term. But to me, it’s not that menial. A good movie is like a balm. It can soothe, enthrall, entice, inspire. That’s what I want when I go to the movie theater, that feeling, that moment.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in awe of movies. I can’t recall the first time I saw Star Wars, but I certainly haven’t forgotten wearing out the VHS tape in my youth. Imagining that my friend and I were blasting snow troopers one winter on a snow day, or dressing up like Indiana Jones and making fan films were the sort of activities that filled my childhood.
As I grew older, my love for movies turned into a love for the art of film. I began to examine them, thinking about the director, the writer, the cinematographer. I tried to get inside their headspace, and discover why they made the film they did. I become entranced with film criticism, writing brief reviews from the age of 14.
I was tremendously inspired by Roger Ebert, and through him I learned that an opinion on a film was a universal concept. There was no right or wrong, there was simply, your thoughts. Through his television reviews with Gene Siskel, I discovered the idea of a debate on a film, but a respectful one. I didn’t realize it then, but I was teaching myself things that would really come in handy later in life.
It wasn’t until my twenties that I discovered reviewing movies on YouTube. I can’t say I’m the first one to start doing it, because there where a few back then that had already caught that bug. I immediately loved it, and have seen the medium grow and grow over these few years. It’s gone from a small group of “video bloggers” to a respected way of discussing film. Some YouTube reviewers are even recognized as press, and Rotten Tomatoes has opened the door for a handful of them to be certified.
My hopes are that YouTube reviewers will continue to gain more respect as legitimate film critics, and I’m absolutely positive I will see that occur in the near future.
Until then, I’ll be at the movies.
– Chris Stuckmann