As we wind down for 2021, a few words to the wonderful readers of Film Stories ahead of the Christmas and new year break.

To the fine readers of Film Stories,

How can a letter like this start with anything other than thanks? Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Come the end of 2022, this independent movie and publishing venture is nearly three and half years old, and it’s proof – if it’s required – that it’s possible to keep independent ventures going if brilliant people support them. You have done just that, and as such, Film Stories is still here.

I’ve always tried to be pretty honest about it all, and you may have got the impression – correctly – that this has been the most testing year for Film Stories since, well, the last one! But still, you’ve helped me hit some notable milestones.

With thanks to David at Plumeria Pictures, we released our first ever Blu-ray over the summer, and you can still find it here. Really proud of it. Furthermore, the podcast got to episode 200, issue 30 of the magazine is printing over the Christmas period, and Film Stories Junior is now up to issue nine. Live shows got back up and running again, and to the lovely Birmingham crowd who keep coming back: thank you. More of those next year.

Podcast-wise, I think some of you know that launching it helped my head at a time it, well, needed help. It was where all this started. 220 episodes later, I continue to be astonished people put up with my warblings, but I’m very grateful they do. I’m also really appreciative of the growing number of filmmakers who have been joining me on the podcast. The newly-released episode with Sarah Smith is one of the most candid, for instance, and that people are willing to come on and tell their stories is quite something for me. A huge thanks too to the people who have backed the podcast on Patreon, and in turn provided the funds to give new writers breaks on this website.

The magazines have been busy as well. The publishing schedule was disrupted slightly in the last third of the year due to behind the scenes matters: a minor health wobble (that turned out to be 100% okay) and some pretty taxing commercial challenges too. It led to a slightly longer than wished for gap between issues for a little while, but things are on track going forward. In fact, more than that, but can’t go into that just yet.

What I can say is that thus far, Film Stories has given over 220 people their first paid print writing work, and I’m pushing to get that number over 250 this coming year.

Plus: a new subs offer too. If you’ve not tried the magazine before, there’s a new £1 offer here that I hope might tempt you.

Apologies for all the plugs. The battles of independent publishing insist I don’t miss a chance.

More importantly, I can’t thank enough all the people who had my back these past few months, and who helped get the magazine over the line. Rachel, John, Laura and Phil in particular have been godsends. And then when it comes to the hidden heroes: Dan, Irene, Charlotte, SJ, Susie, Em, Mark, Hedda, Brendon, Kevin, and everyone at Webscribe. To the lovely team at Mac in Birmingham for the live events, the overworked PR reps who’s helped so much, the writers who’ve let me run their words, to Clare for all the uploading work, and the people who say hello to my early morning Tweets: thank you. Every time I feel it’s just getting a little bit too uphill, and boy have their been moments, someone pops up with a helpful or encouraging comment. It all helps.

Which is all building up to a Film Stories Christmas break.

It’s a tiny team, you might have gleamed, and twice a year a ‘stop’ is built in. As such, the podcast won’t now return until next year, and the website will be on skeleton service until early January. The next issue of Film Stories magazine is pretty much done, and will be with you in the first half of January too.

But none of that is as important as you. My biggest thanks to you all. Please look after yourselves, and please take care. Stay safe, and I hope your end of the year is a good one. Have a lovely Christmas folks, and we’ll be back in earnest in 2022.

Thank you. A lot.

Editor, coffee consumer
Film Stories

Image: BigStock

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