With Film Stories now funded into 2021, here’s an overview of where the project is and what we want to do next.
Hello! And welcome to one of my occasional letters to you, the awesome readers/listeners/tolerators of Film Stories and/or Film Stories Junior.
As you may know, this was a bit of a week for the Film Stories project. That at the end of September, our Kickstarter appeal hit its target, with some on top. I can’t thank you all enough for the support. It means that I can now plan for the next year and a bit of the project, and thus I wanted to let you know what I’m up to.
The Kickstarter first. It finished on £35,097. I’m so, so grateful for that.
My guess is that the sum which will ultimately appear in our bank account – it takes a couple of weeks – will be around £32000. I’m a huge believer in transparency, and so I want to tell you what it’ll be spent on. Basically, this will cover the physical printing costs of at least 12 more issues of Film Stories magazine, and six more issues of Film Stories Junior. I use a terrific, small printing company for the magazine, and so it supports them too. The printing will eat up 95% of that money, I’m anticipating.
Everything else I’ll continue to fund from magazine sales, advertising and subscriptions. Apologies in advance that I’ll be continuing to bang the drum for all of those.
Separately, I fund writing on the website via a mix of Patreon and Google Ads (the Patreon link is here).
The assorted Amazon links pay for research materials for our work, meanwhile. The Patreon covers the podcast hosting too. And it leaves me with around £175 a month to buy in material for the website. Those are the genuine numbers I’m working with. I don’t take any money out of Film Stories. I hope one day I will, but for the minute, it’d be wrong for me to do so. The project needs to break even, and my pay rates for writers need to be better.
But I’ve got something to build on here. And I’m determined to do so.
Here’s what I’m planning:
- Film Stories magazine will publish every five weeks (with a longer gap at the end of the year to give us a Christmas break), which is pretty much where we’ve been for the last year. It’s a tiny difference on our first year, but it means your subscriptions will last a little longer, and it gives me extra time too. Also, it gives me a few more days with each issue to sell the magazine, which remains crucial. I’ll be writing to subscribers once the schedule is locked down too. I can’t thank you all enough for backing the publication.
- Film Stories Junior will publish four times a year, around school holidays. If sales increase, and more sponsors come on board (is that you? I’m at simon at filmstories co uk), I’d love to get this up to at least six times a year, but for the minute, I have to firmly work within my means to keep everything going long term.
- I’m introducing into Film Stories magazine a letters page. Send your missives to letters at filmstories co uk!
- The website is growing quickly. Thank you again. I’m determined to use it to help others too. We’ll be adding regular reviews of children’s books shortly, to counteract the fact that so many newspapers have had to cut back on them. I also want to shine even more light on UK independent films and websites. More on that shortly.
- I’m also looking to experiment with a little more television coverage on the website, but that has to be something that I add (it would be at the expense of any movie coverage, and that’s not a dig at other outlets either).
- The podcast will continue on a weekly basis, with two breaks per year. I’m actively seeking regular sponsors for that too – do feel free to get in touch if that’s you!
- I’m also toying with Film Stories books and have a few options there. Realistically, crowdfunding may be the way to get those going again, but I’m wary of asking the same people to support me. I need to wrap my head around that a little.
One thing I’d be daft not to say: I’m a self-employed magazine, writer, contractor, consultant, podcaster and nerd. I’ve been hit pretty hard by losing work in the midst of all of this, as many of you have. If anyone reading nonetheless is interested in myself and/or my team, then do get in touch. Writing work, production work, publishing work, we’re interested. I’m at simon at filmstories co uk.
I also want to thank the tiny team of people who work with me getting Film Stories in its various guises made. It’s been quite a journey, and I’m very thankful for you all.
But: the most important thing here is you. None of this would be here if it wasn’t for you.
Film Stories exists with independence of voice, nerdiness about films and opportunity for others at its heart. I want it to be a site/magazine/podcast that treats people right, doesn’t resort to clickbait, and never punches down.
I also want you to know that there are opportunities here for you. I’ve written fresh guidelines for those considering pitching to us, and you’ll find those here. If you’ve got an independent film you’re looking to get light shone on, get in touch. And if you have questions, please drop them in the comments below – I’ll answer them as quickly as I can.
I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve all done for me and this project. I intend to pay it forward. And I’m starting that work right now.
Be excellent to each other, and thanks again. You people are the best.
Editor and founder
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