Taking It To The Next Level

*Editor’s note: Nathan McKinney will be contributing to this site. This post serves as his introduction. -Dale*

I’ve always admired people who find a way to take their passions, convert them into a practiced hobby, and stick with it enough that it becomes a vital part of who they are. It requires considerable dedication to turn something that you love into more than just a thing you do from time to time. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to marry up my passions in such a way that I can continually be inspired enough to dive into them long term. The adventure I embark on this weekend is an attempt at that.

The passions I intend to marry up are movies, writing, and a little bit of film making.

For movies, in the last several years, I’ve slowly ramped up to seeing a enough of films to give myself a wider view of the industry. I dedicate time and energy into chasing films that are off the beaten path. It’s not uncommon that I seek out a movie, on the only screen it’s playing in town. Sometimes I’ll see a few films back-to-back in the same day. Most of the films I see are independent or foreign. I will watch plenty of mainstream film, but I don’t generally waste my time on the uninspiring Hollywood stuff unless it’s getting reasonably good reviews, or if it’s part of a genre or license I have an affinity for, like science fiction or comic book movies. By the time the awards season rolls around, I’ve usually seen most of the contenders and am usually scratching my head at what got overlooked.

I’ve always loved to write. I’ve taken vast breaks from the hobby, but off and on, I’ve always plied my hand at churning out a blog about this or that. But I’ve struggled to keep the fire lit. By focusing my writing efforts on movie reviews, it should be easier to maintain that vital and constant inspiration with each new film I’m watching, and since it’s a hobby I already spend a lot of time on, I feel I can speak to film critique with a minimum of authority.

Lastly, film-making. My passion for film goes beyond the watching. I’ve started to explore the world of developing my own films. And while stand up film review videos aren’t exactly the artful hallmark I’m aspiring to, they will give me some experience and will work well in hand with the written reviews.

That brings me to this weekend, when I will be attending the True/False film festival in Columbia, Missouri for the third time. I’ll get into the details of that festival as the weekend progresses, but for now, let’s just say I’m excited to give you my perspective on one of the greatest documentary film festivals in the nation. That’s a statement I have little basis on which to profess, seeing as True/False is the only documentary festival of its sort I’ve attended, but based on my past two years’ attendance, I have a hard time believing it could get much better.

So stay tuned as I take you to Columbia this weekend. We’ll talk about film. We’ll talk about how to attend a festival and I’ll help you figure out if festivals are right for you! I’ll be reviewing each movie I see over the course of the weekend, as a video during the day, and then a written version in the evening, each will show up in my Facebook feed, as well as be hosted by my buddy Dale Maxfield over on his site dalemaxfield.com. Dale’s dedicated himself to his own version of this hobby for three years now, so it seems like a logical place to live for the short term.

Thanks for tuning in. This’ll be fun!

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