Let me share a story with you.
About six/seven years ago, when I had come back from New Zealand and was trying (and failing) to get my roots back into English society I started to get into film and media genuinely for the first time. At the time I didn’t think much of it, seeing my piquing interest in film as nothing more than a diversion from the reality I was facing. However, when I came across a website called “Spill” I began to see film in a different light.
After listening to a few of their reviews and hearing them just generally shoot-the-s**t I began looking at film from a more constructive angle, becoming interested in what made a good film and what made a bad film – and being able to identify which-was-which.
Those films which are good.
I’m going to write about this particular film in the coming weeks.
Those films which are bad.
That rating is only given to films which are not only terrible but also insult the audience’s intelligence.
Those films which just go beyond bad…
No… Just… No…
On top of this I found myself tuning in to their weekly podcasts where they generally just shot-the-s**t about current events and random funny stuff on the internet. Listening to these podcasts really helped me through some tough times as their gaiety mood was really catchy, especially last year whenever the trials and tribulations of University were getting to me – even more so this year when my immediate family pretty much moved out of the country. I never got the chance to go to any of the many meet-ups, some of which involved trans-Atlantic trips, but I heard that the way the crew engaged with their fan base was nothing short of legendary.
So, imagine my horror when I come onto the website last week only to find a message from the head of the crew saying that the corporate body who the site was sold to was pulling the plug on the entire operation and had given the crew about a month to get their affairs in order. Like the tens of thousands of viewers/listeners I was absolutely devastated. This site and more importantly the people behind its success in nurturing a brilliant community had become such a routine part of my week so losing them at short notice I knew would leave a vacuum. It feels really odd to write that. I mean, I’ve never actually met these people in person but for the past few years I feel as though I’ve known them. I guess this is somewhat similar to what some people feel when they get attached to other people they meet during online games like “World of Warcraft” or something, maybe… I don’t know.
Then, this morning the site’s original owner came out with a ‘Kickstarter’ page to generate enough funds to revive the site and ensure the survival of the community away from Hollywood.com. Evidently the massive community Korey, Martin, Chris, C. Robert, and Tony had cultivated meant as much to them as their fans revered them themselves. However, I could have NEVER predicted what would follow.
When Spill.com was launched I could never imagine how special it would become. Over the years we created an abundance of entertaining content. Movie reviews, podcasts, animation, and annual events. Most importantly it created a world wide fan base that has formed a unique relationship with the site’s personalities. And now it’s being shut down.
However, that doesn’t mean the essence of what it is has to end. Although I was ready to move on you, the fans, begged for the content to continue. You truly felt like you were a part of a family and you aren’t ready to give that up. Nothing was ever truly broken. The site just needed improvements. Now that we’re free and on our own we can finally start doing things right!
With your donations I’ll build a new site with a top developer, serving as a home for a new video series and a place to archive new podcasts. As a key member of the development team I can finally bring to fruition ideas from the redesign we never had a chance to complete while on Spill. This includes working properly on mobil devices. I’ll purchase the best equipment I can afford and pay what staff I can retain to produce our first video show. The funds will also allow me to dedicate my full time to making the site an even better experience than what you had before.
Your outcry of disappointment when you heard Spill was leaving means a lot to me, and I feel like I have to do this for you. You love this so much and with your help we don’t have to let it go.
Remember, if we exceed our goal the better we can make our content and the longer we keep going as we work to hit our stride. I’ll be posting images very soon for some of the perks you’ll receive for you donations. Thanks to those who have already helped. So far so good!
Korey needed a minimum of $30,000 USD to ensure the survival of the community and to keep the ride going.
Now, look at the figure that has been raised already…
By midnight here in the UK the crew had ALREADY surpassed that minimum and the total donated is STILL rising. If this was not enough the window for donations ends on the THIRTEENTH OF JANUARY.
Let me re-iterate that: This initiative was started SIX HOURS AGO and it has ALREADY received $10,000 more than the bare minimum that was actually needed.
My god. I’ve had a pretty poor week but THIS is nothing short of inspiring.
Are we looking at the next-step in public-driven enterprise? The story of the Spill crew is of course one of many I have heard being not only rescued but set free via ‘Kickstarter’ but this story in particular I find unbelievably inspiring. If you ask me, stories like theirs should be read by all aspiring entrepreneurs. The means to make your dreams into reality is out there provided you have the drive to achieve it.