A Reject Says Farewell

By  · Published on June 30th, 2015

Columbia Pictures

Turns out, there are no SEO best practices to apply to goodbye posts. It seems pretty high-on-the-hog to use my own name as a keyword, and “goodbye” seems trite, even “Film School Rejects” is sort of goes-without-saying, so this post won’t be SEO perfect (sorry, Neil), but I think it will be okay. I don’t think anyone will mind.

Back in the summer of 2011 – nearly four years ago, if you can believe it – a little website called Gordon and the Whale closed up shop after what was, by all accounts, a great run. GATW had, for so long, been my online home, my first movie-writing gig on the web, and my introduction to the wide world of movie blogging. When GATW shut down, I was in search of a similar home, a independent site that would allow me to do what I wanted (if we’re all being honest here, and why the hell shouldn’t we be?, I still didn’t know what that meant, but it definitely meant writing and editing and watching movies and doing it alongside people that I liked a whole bunch), and FSR was my first choice. Thank goodness they went in for my “hey, need another writer” email. I hope it was well-written.

When I first started at FSR, I still had a day job – an extremely understanding one, based on how many film festivals I attended during that time period – and was only just starting to snag other freelance gigs. I knew that I wanted to do this professionally, but making that leap was a terrifying prospect (hello, health insurance). As I waffled and wavered, FSR remained my home. I got to do everything I wanted to do, and more, from the daily grind of news writing to the snazzy festival stuff like covering Sundance and TIFF (and LAFF, and AFI FEST, and Tribeca, and NYFF, the list goes on). It was a perfect situation. Since first coming on board, I’ve gone all-in on this writing thing, moved across the country, and continued to have to explain to people that I was not actually rejected from film school (some things don’t ever change, okay?).

Because FSR is an independent site, we don’t have an office or a home base or anything like that – the Rejects are far-flung and diverse. Still, the editorial team has long made it our business (well, with some fits and starts) to have organized editor conference calls, which mostly devolve into all of us giggling madly at each other while also trying to plan coverage for the damn website. They can take hours and they’re mostly exhausting and weird and insane, and I love them. As readers, you’ll never be subjected to them, but they provide a really weird framework to the look, feel, and tone of the site. Read FSR enough, and you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to talk to us for hours at a time. I promise that’s a good thing.

This is all a long (and perhaps vague? at least until now?) way to say that this is my last post at FSR. After writing about film for years and hitting the freelance trough pretty hard over the last 28 or so months (it’s easy to keep track of time when you’re predisposed to meticulous budget your time and funding – freelance trick!), I’ve accepted a full-time position as Managing Editor over at Indiewire (get to bookmarking, guys, as if you need to be told that), and I’m starting oh, well, right now, actually. It’s a job I am extremely excited about, but taking on a full-time gig means saying goodbye to my freelance outfits, including FSR. I don’t know how to do that, not in the way it really deserves to be done, so this is what you’re getting. (When I called Neil to tell him the news, I made it about halfway through the phone call before I started crying, even as Neil was repeatedly telling me how proud he was of me. I probably should have led with that, but I prefer to keep all mentions of my sobbing in a professional situation buried under the fold.)

A quick peek at the site reveals that this is my 1,717th individual post on the site over my four-year tenure, which seems like a truly insane number. I guess I’ve written that much? WordPress wouldn’t lie, right? It appears that my first post was about Mimi Leder’s upcoming All Quiet on the Western Front film, which still hasn’t happened. At least that bit of nostalgia allows me to feel another emotion beyond “deep mourning interspersed with tremendous excitement,” which happens to be pretty heavy to carry around, and now I’m just mad. Where is this Mimi Leder movie? Why hasn’t it happened? Am I just deflecting and stalling? You bet I am!

No post would ever do justice to what FSR means to me and what it has given me, so I’ll stop here. FSR gave me a home.

Thanks to Neil Miller, Scott Beggs, Rob Hunter, Christopher Campbell, Allison Loring, and the rest of the FSR family. I couldn’t have done it – any of it – without you.

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