All my life, people have said that I talk about movies too much.
My relationship with cinema began at an early age. I’ll be honest – I was a weird, socially awkward kid who found it easier to spend time with books and films than with other people. Although I come from a big family and had plenty of opportunities to speak up, I never really developed the confidence or the social skills needed to fly under the radar. So if you knew me during High School, I’d like to take this opportunity to formally apologise for all the strange, cringeworthy stuff that I was at least partly responsible for.
But little by little, empowered by the invention of broadband and increasingly easy access to alcohol, my social skills levelled up and I became marginally less weird. A big part of that change was, unsurprisingly, the realisation that movies are actually a great social tool – it doesn’t matter if you’re into horror or westerns, musicals or action; you and I could probably sit down and have a great conversation about cinema.
It was about this time that I also discovered a deep love of writing. Although I started out with short stories (which were all pretty terrible), it became obvious that my real talent was writing essays and articles. Pretty soon, I’d been published in The Manc Bible (before it was just ‘The Manc’), UK Horror Scene, Popcorn Horror and I Love Manchester. I’ve covered film festivals, interviewed directors and generally had a pretty great time of it.
Eventually, though, my relationship with these sites started to go sour. I now realise that trying to condense everything that I felt about films into a 500-word listicle wasn’t exactly what I wanted, so I abandoned all dreams of making a living from my work and pretty much gave up on writing altogether.
Then 2020 happened.
Locked inside with nothing else to do, I started binging movies again. My partner, a wonderfully kind and patient person, was being driven slowly insane by my need to deconstruct and criticise everything that I saw on TV, so I needed to come up with a plan.
Start my own website where I can talk about movies as much as I want.
This project became writingonfilm.com. Starting in January, I will be publishing one essay every two weeks for the next ten months. Each essay will analyse a different film from a unique perspective and, importantly, none of them will be written as purely creative or purely academic work. Some might be more formal, with a focus on building fun and compelling arguments, but others will be more casual, even semi-autobiographical, focused on the things that I enjoy and exploring the ways that films have shaped my own perspective. My primary goal, however, will always be to create essays that are fun to read and that I’m proud of writing.
I hope you enjoy reading them.