Rev Up the Engines

Futurecade: The State of Beyond the Balcony and The Movie Breakdown


I have received a few messages with concern about the future of Beyond the Balcony and The Movie Breakdown recently due to the number of reposts that have showed up in the last month. I do think this is a very fair concern, especially those that question how my own stated goal of growing the site and podcast fits with the lack of new articles and episodes.

It doesn't. Rehashing old entertainment is not how to attract an audience, which is one of the reasons back in the day the summer months were TV ratings deaths, because it was a cornucopia of reruns. Sure, it is a way to catch up newcomers and if it is of quality it could attract new fans, which is why I believe a repost is still better than just nothing posted for the day. I could be misguided, but the fact my reader and listener numbers haven't taken a huge plunge this month (it hasn't grown like I would love either) gives me confidence that something is better than nothing.

I wanted to reaffirm that Scott and I remain devoted to making The Movie Breakdown a fun, insightful, and engaging movie review podcast every single week. We want to build it into a healthy, inviting, and encouraging community of movie lovers.

This desire extends to Beyond the Balcony that we're both trying to grow into a movie website with a personal twist. Because art is about all aspects of life and society. 

But there is also a need to once again apologize for dropping the ball in 2022 on my end. Scott did terrific work this year, and really helped keep the site alive. While I did write a few articles that I am proud about this year, it did not match the grand vision that I had at the start of the year.

I am very aware that I have a habit for hyping up numerous exciting things that I will craft that then never arrive. Part of it come from being overwhelmed with work, and also trying to be a good husband and father when I am not trying to keep my business afloat (freelance has crazy ups and downs, and many more downs since the pandemic). But some of it is allowing my self-doubt, insecurity, anxiety, and depression call the shots, even though I know creating articles and stories is the best way to lift my spirit, and writing anything of quality gets me closer to my biggest dreams.

I apologize. I have let my readers down. The lack of new articles and reviews is likely the major reason the site has not grown the audience in the way I had hopes in 2022.

This is where I publicly commit to do better. NaNoWriMo comes to an end on Wednesday. I am refocusing on some positive thinking strategies to manage my emotions. I am refocusing on what are my dreams as a writer which include growing Beyond the Balcony into a positive and welcoming daily movie site along with The Movie Breakdown as a companion podcast, become a critic recognized by the Online Film Critics Society, be a published novelist and author, and push myself as a writer and creator in pop culture. This means taking risks every day with writing things that could turn out to be horrible or not connecting with readers, but also striving to become a better creator that can connect with an audience.

One of the ways to be pushed to be better is make myself accountable. While it can get frustrating reading constant promotion for articles and pieces that never come, my desire is that if I promise to create them then it forces my hand a bit more and I give my readers permission to nag me about their arrival.

The MCU and Disney animated theatrical release movie series will be planned to become a regular piece in 2023. Going forward, I plan to write full reviews for every new release that I see. This also means that my readers are owed The Menu that has been pushed the last two weeks due lack of time (yet I found time for a review to an awful movie that tanked in readership, thus justifying never needing to watch or review that type of tripe again). 2023 will also see the beginning of the weekly serialized fiction that I've promoted for years, but have been scared to do. 

I promise going forward to keep readers posted on my career and especially the progress of my books and novels. Hopefully, this type of honesty will force me to create things that have value and entertainment for my amazing and loyal readers.

The challenge right now is figuring out what will be the regular pieces for the site. The movie reviews should be expected on a weekly basis along with the podcast. I intended to dip into the world of videos in 2023 as I sort out exactly what I want that to be. There will be personal anecdotes of my life along with various pieces about film history and major movie news throughout the months. 

There are a few pieces that you may notice appear and then disappear. I am still trying to figure out if the Positive Movie Preview is a worthwhile monthly piece. I go back and forth on if I should return to doing the weekly media diaries or the wrap-ups of the major pieces from the month. The big thing is that all three are very time consuming, and I don't know if there has been enough views to justify them. I will try to keep a better idea of what seems to spike views and are actually popular on the site. 

Why do views matter? Well, I want to make sure I am writing stuff that entertains and has value for my readers. Also, my desire is for this site to at some point become a major part of my income and career. The only way to do that is increase site visits, so that I can present those numbers to sponsors or try to encourage a portion of those readers to support it through Patreon. 

Money isn't everything, but it will allow me to devote more time to the site and make it a much better and exciting place. There is a need to devote my time to the things that actually attract a substantial audience.

If there are pieces you really like or things you want to see brought back, then please let me know in the comments. I want to make this a site that is rewarding to me, but also something special for my readers.

I apologize for not shining in 2022. But thank you for your support, and I am excited about what the future will bring.

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