As we wind down Film Stories for the rest of 2022, a few words from us to you about the year that’s gone and the year ahead.
To the loveliest readers in the land,
Thank you. Let’s start there. Spoiler: going to end there as well, and apologies for giving away the ending.
Somehow, this insane project of assorted Film Stories tentacles has got to the end of its fourth full year, and is heading to its fifth birthday in 2023. Considering how all this started, as one podcast from a pretty lost nerd, it’s a bit pinch myself that it’s still somehow going. And the fact that it is? That’s very much down to people like yourself. Your support, your eyeballs, your eardrums? They’re all very much appreciated.
2022 has been what could be described as a ‘challenging’ year. I’m really proud that we’ve kept Film Stories and Film Junior magazines alive and kicking against a backdrop of rising costs and in a tough market for magazines. This isn’t a setup for a price rise, but as always, anything you can do help spread the word is always appreciated. Independent publications thrive and survive on word of mouth. And we’re selling subscriptions from just £1! Forgive the plug, can’t miss a chance when you’re not a big publisher.
This year, we’ve managed to give, by our count, around 40 people their first paid print writing work. By the end of 2023, we hope to have broken through 300 people in total.
We’ve also ramped up our events in 2022, although we managed to sign contracts for places the day before travel problems were announced in most cases! Still, we’ve put on events in London and Birmingham now, and are heading to Manchester in early 2023. It’s really important to me that Film Stories isn’t an outlet that’s London-centric, not just because I live in the West Midlands. If you know of an independent cinema or venue that wants to host one of our shows? Get in touch.
The podcast, the thing that repaired my head at a time my head really needed the help, has had a record year. It’s now been downloaded over 1.3 million times, and I’m staggered by the level of support you’ve given it. And immensely grateful. It’s not taken for granted.
Next year? Well, some of the most ambitious things we’ve tried under the Film Stories banner, which are at various stages of gestation. If we get just one of them off the ground, it’ll be by distance the biggest thing we’ve done. We’re crossing everything. We’ll also tidy up this website a bit. The new site has been faster and more reliable(ish), but we’ve just got a bit of mopping up work to do on it yet.
That’s the end of year report-y bit. Now come the thanks. There’s no way that even an independent like Film Stories could exist without the work and support of a whole bunch of heroes. Please indulge me then as I thank just some of the people behind the scenes here.
A huge thanks to Lauren, John, Dan, Jake, Irene, Charlotte, Emma, Mark H, Gabriel, Finn, Jane, Susie, Leigh, Abi, Jack and his emails, Adam, Em, Jane, Brendon, Kevin, James, the Webscribe team, Mark, Hedda, David and the team at the Mac in Birmingham, anyone who makes coffee, the folks at King’s Place, the brilliant PR people who get what we’re trying to do and fight for us, the early morning Tweet brigade, and everyone I’ve forgotten. I’m not as young as I was, in my defence.
It’s been the toughest year for us – we’re not complaining, just building up to the bit where I tell you we’re taking some time off – and as a result, if you’ll forgive us, we’re taking a bit of time off. We’d have take time off anyway, in truth. But still.
This will be the last day of regular updates on the website until 2023. Furthermore, whilst a special podcast episode is dropping, the regular episodes aren’t starting again until a little bit of a way into January. We’re going to need all the rest we can get, as the new issues of Film Stories and Film Junior go to print when we get back!
Thanks so much folks. You’re the most important bit of what we do, and on behalf of everyone here at Chez Film Stories, our massive appreciation.
Have the best festive season you can, and we’ll be back with a lot more movie mischief in 2023.
Thanks folks. You’re the best.
Lead image: Bigstock
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