Patreon 2017: The Reckoning

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Actual photo.

We’ve just finished the second full year of my Patreon campaign, wherein patrons pay $1 (or more) per month and I review as many films as I can. With gratitude for everyone who has contributed, I offer this accounting of what you got for your money.

Total Patreon funds received (minus Patreon’s fees): $6,507.50
Patreon-funded reviews*: 88
What patrons, as a group, paid per review: $73.95
What individual patrons who paid $1 a month paid per review: 13.6¢

(*I wrote 132 reviews total, but 44 were paid for by Crooked Marquee. I’d have written those reviews without Patreon, so it doesn’t make sense to count them among the reviews that patrons paid for.)

The good news is that $73.95 per review is within the range of what actual big-time professional websites pay.

The bad news is that I only wrote 88 Patreon-funded reviews, compared to 143 in 2016.

Those numbers embarrass me. I knew I’d have around 50 Crooked Marquee reviews for the year (I’m doing one a week-ish), but I thought I’d have at least 100 others, something like 150 total. I didn’t realize the non-CM reviews were diminishing so much until I did the end-of-the-year math.

I’ve been thinking about how to attract more patrons anyway, and about how to give y’all more bang for your buck. The answer is obvious: MORE REVIEWS, DUH.

I wrote 132 reviews this year, but I saw 169 of the movies — 113 wide releases, 56 limited. That’s 37 more reviews I could have written if I’d, you know, written them. I did talk about most of them on Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider, but my voice, though dulcet-toned and euphonious, is not as scintillating as my written words.

Why didn’t I write reviews? In many cases, it’s because I saw the movie at a festival, didn’t have time review it immediately — you have to do a lot of triage when you watch 25 movies in a week — and my notes and memory weren’t sufficient to write it up when it came to theaters, and re-watching it wasn’t feasible.

(For the record, I do end up re-watching four or five festival movies every year so I can write reviews. Do I wish, every time, that I had written the review after the first viewing? Yes.)

In other cases, I went to the screening and reviewed the film on the podcast but didn’t have time that week to write it up. Then it’s the NEXT week, and there are MORE movies, and the backlog piles up, etc.

But I’ve been letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. No time for a full-length, in-depth review doesn’t mean there’s no time for ANY review. I can at least excrete a 200-word capsule telling you what the movie’s about and whether it’s any good. I still want 600-800 words to be the norm, but a handful of shorter reviews would be better than skipping those movies entirely.

And so, be it hereby resolved:

I will write a review (at least 200 words) of every new release I see in 2018.

I’ll adjust my priorities and time-management strategies as necessary. I can’t see everything — there were 155 wide releases in 2017, more than 400 limited releases, and heaven only knows how many that premiered on Video on Demand, Netflix, or Amazon — but everything I do see will get a review.

Thanks again to all my patrons. You are the wind beneath my wings, or at least the funds beneath my rent checks. If you’d like to become a patron, it is very easy and cheap: go here, give Patreon your PayPal or credit card info, and indicate your pledge ($1 a month is plenty, for reals). They’ll charge you on the 1st of each month. You can cancel or change it any time you want.

Even if you’re not a patron and it will be a cold day in hell before you become one, thank you for reading my stuff. I hope you continue to do so for hundreds of years to come.

Happy new year!
Eric D.