What Do You Want to See in 2022?

I will admit that these last two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind when it comes to emotions. At the start of December, I was coming off a real rough year for my writing business, and I also started thinking the success of this site and The Movie Breakdown was a distant dream.

Fast forward to what we call the present, and while the finances are about the same, suddenly our little caboose of a podcast has the backing and support of the major media company, iHeart Media. Both Scott and I recognize this is one of those golden opportunities in life that you need to capitalize on. This seems to be the moment when fate come barging into my office and screams, 'This is the break you've been want in order to expand your podcast and site. This is what can lead to achieving your dreams!'

I tell fate she is right. I also ask her to stop screaming, because it riles up the dogs and gives me a headache.

This all feels surreal. If you asked me in November to make predictions for what happens in December, being devoured by an anthropomorphic shark seemed more likely than the podcast joining a major company that wants to expand and grow it. 

I must confess that I got into my own head where I convinced myself that iHeart Media were going to back out when they realized they made the offer to the wrong podcast. It appears they didn't. It appears they wanted us. It might be time to tell my self-doubt and negative voices to take a permanent vacation, because they don't know what they're talking about.

This has been a confirmation that my dreams can be realized. I have so much to be grateful about. Emotionally it has been a rough few weeks as Christmas approaches after a year with several financial hits. I know that I can't afford what my kids 'really want', and it has made me feel inadequate. But I also know this Christmas will still be amazing because I am spending it with a family that I love. I also need to tell myself that I already have what I need and I can be very happy with this life. I also dream bigger, and right now, I finally feel like I am racing towards my dreams that I have as a writer and podcaster and entertainer and storyteller. None of that matters if I am not grateful and in love with what I have now, and well, I am. 

Now with The Movie Breakdown being part of iHeart Media's Spreaker Prime podcast division, it indeed appears to be the time to really capitalize on this golden opportunity, this means turning this humble little sometimes updated blog into the daily updated movie and pop culture site that I've envisioned running for almost a decade. The site Scott and I talked about outside a movie theatre in 2013.

As I announced previously, the plan is to relaunch Beyond the Balcony officially on January 1st. The big move is that Scott Martin will be joining as a regular contributor. This means we will be having editorial meetings to plan out the articles and reviews and get a strategy in place to really turn this into an appealing movie and pop culture site. The idea is that with two writers that there should be at least two things posted on a weekday, and we will be able to review far more movies. The vision is that this will be a must visit location for movie fans.

As I confessed, Beyond the Balcony is likely never going to be a place where we have exclusive breaking movie news. It could be a place where our unique perspective on that news is valued. We have been writing and analyzing movies for a decade now, and we have a lot of insight and experience to bring to movie discussion. We hope to lean into that in 2022.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the tagline of the site is 'A place to explore movies, the creative process and life itself.' I still feel with this focus on making it movie and pop culture that the tagline embodies our vision for this site. We want this to be a personal site where you connect with the two of us. All movies say something about our culture, society and life. The plan is to use movies as a way to explore all the important things in life including social issues, politics, mental health, creativity, family and our personal lives. I love movies because it is a way to connect to everything in life. That is the ambition with this site. I hope that kind of approach excites people.

It was also the vision of The Movie Breakdown, and it connected with enough listeners that we got a great offer from a great media company. I feel like it is an approach that truly bring value to readers and listeners.

As we work hard to create a movie site that will bring real value and connect with our readers, we now turn to you and ask what do you want out of this site? 

The focus will be on movies, but do you still want those occasional personal posts where I reveal bits of my family life and share things about my family? To be honest, some of my deeply personal pieces have been the most poplar on here, but as we grow, I also realize that type of writing may not be interesting to those readers who have no personal connection with me. Keep it as a sometime peering into my soul and life?

Also, do you want us to just review movies or do you have an interest in us reviewing TV series? Would you want them to be current series or tackle something older like LOST or Friends?

I have mentioned the idea of reviewing some of the major classic adventure games, so is looking at video games a thing you'd occasionally like to see on here?

Anyone who knows me, is aware I was once a huge wrestling fan, and I have mountains of tapes of old wrestling shows. Would you be interested in me reviewing those over the months?

Don't worry, the plan is mostly movies, but I want to see if the regular readers are interested in the variety that the above reviews would offer. Also, I promised Scott that I'd write a piece of some of the biggest main event flops in wrestling, and I feel like that is something that I need to fulfill.

But this is a movie site, so what is it you want out of a movie site?

Do you prefer older movie reviews? I plan to do a series where I review every MCU movies and every Disney theatrical animated release. Is that the type of stuff you want to see dominate the site?

Or do you prefer we focus on new releases both theatrical and streaming? Is it important that the reviews come out close to the release date or does that not matter?

Do you want a nice balance of classic movies and new release reviews? 

Should the focus be on movie reviews? Or do you want us to comment on movie news and review trailers more? To be honest, I don't want this to be a movie marketing site, but if movie news discussion is a thing you love, then we can make it a bigger part of the site with reviews still a major focus.

Do you want more episodes of The Movie Breakdown? If things go well, we have plans to do a weekly multi review episode, a midweek freeform news talk style episode and a possible deep-dive spoiler episode. Does the idea of more episodes that may average around 3.5 hours combined a week (sometimes more and sometimes less????) excite you?

We have talked for years about a YouTube show. We still haven't figured out what that will be. Maybe something where we discuss historic trends or fads in cinema or delve into the history of a major movie or franchise. Do people want to see videos as a part of this site?

We sort of see the podcast, YouTube and the articles on here as all part of one pop culture network known as Beyond the Balcony. What other things would you really like to see us try?

Scott used to write a weekly box office prediction and analysis piece. Do you want him to bring that back?

We used to write a piece where we both discussed the week's movie trailers, is that a thing you enjoy?

I also teased putting up more fiction, and more specifically, doing a weekly serial. Is this a thing that excites you? Do you want me to do occasional silly stuff like interviewing my Teddy Bear or listing failed fictional books again?

To be honest, there will likely be stuff that we write because we love to do it rather than just things we think will draw in more reader or fits with what you've requested. If we love it and we are passionate about it, then I trust it will be something a lot of you will enjoy. You've stuck with me for this many years, so even when I haven't been consistently posting stuff, I've still created articles that have brought back readers. I need to trust that what I want to write about is going to appeal to some readers. 

But this is when you get to send out your requests and steer the direction of the site.

We want to grow Beyond the Balcony. We want 2022 to be the best year ever. We want to entertain and inspire and motivate and enrich our readers. Please help us, by letting us know what you want to read in 2022.

We do plan to post some more things for the remainder of the year. Our hope is to really kick off the year of 2022 with our best stuff ever. Please help us out by sharing what you want to read, watch and listen to in 2022!

I really do want to thank my amazing readers and listeners for the awesome support through the years. I am really excited to continue to create fun and entertaining articles, podcasts, stories, videos and more for you going forward.

Thank you!