Wednesday, August 31, 2016

CMBA Blog Profile: A Trip Down Memory Lane



The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and the 15th of the month. Today we're featuring David from A Trip Down Memory Lane.

David’s experience with blogging likely sounds familiar to a lot of people. You might start a blog with a specific goal, only to have it morph into something else.

“I started my blog in March of 2010,” says David. “I started it so I could put all the information and tidbits of classic Hollywood in one place, but then it evolved into a blog showcasing memories of great entertainment and stars that I enjoyed. My blog was originally called The Great Entertainers Archive, but a year later I changed it to A Trip Down Memory Lane.”

A Trip Down Memory Lane is a valuable resource for those looking for information on celebrities of classic Hollywood. David chronicles lesser-known personalities, too, such as Nedra Sanders Broccoli.

“She was the widow of singer Buddy Clark as well as the wife of James Bond producer Albert Broccoli,” explains David. “Nedra had a lifetime of heartache and disaster. There were no other stories on her anywhere, so I researched what I could find on her for months. I was proud of the reaction I got, and it was used on other websites and publications. I also got emails from her two children who were toddlers when she died thanking me for writing the article on her. Even though her story was a sad one, I felt happy that I had the opportunity to tell it.”

You can read David’s post on Nedra HERE.



CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: Growing up I was very close to my Grandfather, and he instilled in me a love of old music and movies. He has been gone for 13 years now, but the memories of my Grandfather and I crying as we watched the drama Penny Serenade (1940), or singing along to the musical Good News (1947), remains with me to this day as I raise my young children.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: I used to say that a classic film was one that was made before I was born (pre-1974). However, to me a classic film is a film that generations can enjoy and a film that is timeless.


CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: It has taken me 11 years of marriage to convince my wife that not all old movies are truly “old”. I started off by showing my wife movies that did not really age such as Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) and White Heat (1949). Then I moved on to more obscure movies like The Face Behind The Mask (1941). I have watched every genre of movies with her now – except for silent movies. I need a few more years of marriage for that!


CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: I think people should care about classic films, because each film – whether a good movie or a bad movie – tell a person of what life was like in that time. Each film is a time capsule to a bygone era.

CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: The most rewarding aspect about blogging is sharing a love of classic movies and entertainment with like-minded individuals. It is great to meet people who think Gigot (1962) is a great movie or who always wondered what happened to singer Dick Todd.


CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: It gets discouraging sometimes when you put your whole heart into writing an article and no one comments or you have only a few views. To overcome it, I remind myself that I am writing this blog because I love talking about old movies, and I also remind myself that sometimes I can publish a story on my blog years ago and it just gets discovered. Whatever you publish on the internet never is truly forgotten or lost!

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
A Trip Down Memory Lane: What advice I would have for a new blogger is to not get discouraged. Publish a blog for the right reasons, and also be patient. It takes awhile for your blog to be discovered and to build up a fan base.


Thank you for joining us, David! You can visit his blog by clicking HERE.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

CMBA Blog Profile: Journeys in Classic Film





The CMBA profiles two classic movie blogs per month, on the 1st and the 15th of the month. Today we're toasting Kristen from Journeys in Classic Film.

If you're looking for all-out zeal for classic movies, you'll find it at Journeys in Classic Film.

Kristen, a prolific blogger, podcaster and CMBA Board Member, infuses her website with a fresh, energetic vibe. She offers film and book reviews, news updates, and interviews with classic film biographers and actors – such as actress Jane Withers.

"I still get readers who ask me about getting in touch with [Jane] and mentioning how she shaped their lives or other personal anecdotes," says Kristen. "This was the second interview I ever did and the first with someone directly connected to what I was writing about. Jane was so sweet and funny (and actually wanted a picture of me!). I could have talked to her for hours."

You can read Kristen's interview HERE.

  
CMBA: What sparked your interest in classic film?
Journeys in Classic Film: I've been asked this several times before and I'm not sure if it was a spark or a slow culmination. I'd always had classic movies on in my house in some form - predominately Disney animated features or The Wizard of Oz. When I was in sixth grade, we did a Tudor history unit where I was the only one who adored the 1969 film Anne of the Thousand Days. If any film could be the catalyst it was that one. For the first time I saw a sumptuousness that I didn't see in current cinema. When I was a senior I took a film class and after watching Singin' in the Rain and Splendor in the Grass I was hooked on classic cinema completely.

CMBA: What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?
Journeys in Classic Film: There are two ways to approach the classic conundrum - time and content. The simplest answer would be, when reviewing films for my site, I limit to the "classic" era of pre-1980. Yes, I know most people only consider studio-era as the true classic, but the 1970s was a landmark decade and an ocean of time separates those films from today. From a content standpoint a classic is a movie that's timeless - that, regardless of changing fashions or technology, you can still appreciate what it sets out to do. 

CMBA: What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?
Journeys in Classic Film: Horror is the easiest way to get people into classics since everyone loves a good scare and there's little that time can do to change fear, so I always recommend Bride of Frankenstein or Psycho. Other titles that are good beginner tales are Singin' in the Rain - gives you a nice historic overview of cinema - or The Wizard of Oz.



CMBA: Why should people care about classic film?
Journeys in Classic Film: You can only appreciate the cinema of today by looking at the past. So much regarding changing content, ratings, genres, directorial influences all have their roots in classic cinema. There's a reason Quentin Tarantino fills his movies with references to old Hollywood and knowing those references makes you a more informed viewer, better able to appreciate film in its totality. On the other side of the coin, classic cinema can really help you from a personal standpoint. I know I've measured surgeries, sickness, and family issues through the classic films that helped me get through them.



CMBA: What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Journeys in Classic Film: The people I've met, and I'm not saying the stars who have graciously agreed to talk to me, I'm talking about the readers. My site started out as experiment just to see if I could maintain it. I never assumed I'd still be running it nearly four years later and that's because people keep stopping by to read it! I've had people stop me at TCM Film Festivals and say they love my work or bring up my weird quirks that I've mentioned on the site (like my undying love for Cliff Robertson). It never ceases to humble me because these people don't have to read my site - I think there are writers far better than me - but they do and that will always be the best reward.



CMBA: What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?
Journeys in Classic Film: I'm a perfectionist so I'm always trying to better my writing. I review a lot so there comes a point where saying a movie is good or bad in words that sound coherent and eloquent just doesn't happen and, I'll admit, some of my reviews are written out of a need to just finish and move on. I always feel that I'm not verbose in my thoughts enough. When I'm hitting that wall I try to watch movies I don't have to write on and just let the thoughts go. Or I'll read film books and look at their word choices and hopefully that'll inspire me. Of course the other challenge is finding the time to write and/or getting all the content out in a timely manner. In those instances all I can do is try to pre-plan as best I can.

CMBA: What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Journeys in Classic Film: Other than the tired adage of "If you think you'll make buckets of money you're wrong?" Really I'd say write because you want to and develop a voice that's your own. Readers come back to me because they know what to expect. They feel comfortable agreeing or disagreeing with me because I've clearly stated my opinions. Also, make sure whatever your writing on gives you variety. It's easy to say you'll just be a reviewer but that can cause you to burn-out quickly. Depending on your focus try to include top 10 lists, articles, and other forms of media that'll give your mind a break while engaging readers.


Thank you for joining us, Kristen! You can visit her blog by clicking HERE.