ALL HAIL WOLFMARCH! That’s not, like, a march you do that’s similar to a wolf, but it’s like, a play on words? Because I’m Wolfman and March also starts with “ma” so it’s a mash-up I guess. MASH-UP! I realized earlier today that my blog turned five last week (thanks for saying happy birthday, no one) and everyone’s going to South by Southwest this week and I started thinking about how important the month of March is for Wolfman. Here, let’s take a look at back:
2010 – Sitting around and wanting to vent about some horror movies I had just watch but not having anyone to bounce my ideas off of, I registered a blog on WordPress. I wasn’t sure what I thought about the name, and honestly, I still don’t. What a stupid name. I do still like wolves, though!
2011 – Although I’d been to horror conventions before, my first comic book convention was the inaugural year of the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo. I attended all three days, live tweeted panels (like anyone cared about my opinion), and I almost cried when I had to go home. I never attended summer camp as a kid, and this experience is the closest thing to that experience that I could imagine. Seeing so many people from so many different walks of life come together to celebrate a common interest and support each other was a new experience to me, but was an experience I’ve chased ever since.
2013 – On a whim, I applied for press credentials for South by Southwest. It didn’t cost money to apply, so I figured, why not? Within hours, I was accepted. I was going to my first film festival, not to mention it being a festival I’d only ever heard about and never though I’d possibly attend. I tossed my bike in my car and drove the 22 hours from Chicago to Austin by myself. Everything else that happened over the next seven days is a blur of happy memories. Up to this point, I was just some guy who lived in Chicago and talked about movies on the internet. This was the first time I got to see movies having their world premiere and I got to be one of the first people to review them. Seeing Evil Dead gave me a chance to interview Bruce Campbell and interview “Hollywood” filmmakers, meaning people who would have movies open in thousands of theaters. I saw Lords of Salem, which gave me faith in Rob Zombie after not enjoying his previous films and reminded me it’s okay to really like movies that others didn’t. I saw You’re Next, a film I’d only heard rumors about for over a year and couldn’t believe I’d finally get to watch. I was blown away by Cheap Thrills, a movie I hadn’t even heard of before traveling to the festival and ended up becoming one of my favorites of the year. More importantly, I made friends. I had used the internet and social networking to converse and discuss films with people all across the country, but nobody knew I was a real person. I had to introduce myself as “The Wolfman” so anyone would know who I was. The first person I recognized, who I introduced myself to, was on the phone at the time and rather than directly addressing me, said into their phone, “You’re not going to believe this, but I’m standing in front of Wolfman.” As silly as something like that sounds, I met at least a dozen people that week, if not more, who I continue to be good friends with to this day, and it never would’ve happened if not for going to the festival. Oh yeah, I also saw Spring Breakers for the first time which is an all-time great movie viewing experience.
2014 – Another year of SXSW, another year of taking a week off from work to drive down to Austin. After the previous year, and after attending Fantastic Fest, I had more friends and almost felt like I knew what I was doing. I got to see more great movies and conduct more great interviews and spent the week eating BBQ. Someone who I only knew online mentioned that they were attending and it was their first year, so I spoke up and mentioned I’d gladly show them around. They took me up on the offer and we met up a few times, and that was that. A month later, they were in town and mentioned a job opening that, had we not spent time together at SXSW, they probably wouldn’t have felt confident about me mentioning. I went through the process, got the job, and felt comfortable picking up and leaving Chicago because of the comfort of having so many friends who lived in Los Angeles, a good amount of those I had met in March in Austin.
2015 – I wrote this big dumb blog post!
What’s next?! WHO KNOWS! I hope you enjoyed reading this trip down memory lane, and as time goes by, I really have no idea what’s in store for good ol’ Wolfman next. I’m sure that, through some dumb luck, I’ll find really cool opportunities to do really cool things I never thought I’d have the chance to do, and I’ll appreciate every moment of it. THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!