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Hello friends and followers,

This week was a milestone for more than a few reasons. A new president was inaugurated in the United States. America rejoined the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accord. And in much smaller news, but close to this writer and critic’s world, THE ESTABLISHING SHOT celebrated its tenth year online.

To all of you who have enjoyed my reviews and essays since I started it over at TheEstablishingShot.blogspot.com back in January of 2011, I thank you for your continued readership. For those of you just discovering my work here at TheEstablishingShot.org, I welcome you and hope you’ll keep visiting.

The first post welcoming folks to The Establishing Shot back in 2011.

In those 10 years, there have been some significant milestones:

  • Over 1000 published pieces.
  • Readership in 27 countries.
  • This blog led to me being hired to write for the Examiner online for five years, Creative Screenwriting magazine for three years, and new gigs at  Scrollstack.com and Pipeline Artists online as well.
  • I was hired to host the film review podcast “Page 2 Screen” for three years. (Craig James Pietrowiak hired me for this and the CS gig.)
  • Additional reviews and essays in those other venues have mounted to almost 1000 contributions outside of this blog as well.

  • I was invited to be a charter member in the Chicago Indie Critics by founding members Don Shanahan, Pam Powell, Michael Smith, and Jim Alexander.
  • My championing of composer John Williams for the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award on this blog led to a call from the AFI president in 2015 which helped bring about the prize being awarded to Williams in 2016. (And they let me know that they were doing so two days before their official announcement.)

Composer John Williams with his AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016.

  • The caricatures I’ve drawn to accompany various stories here have been sought, bought, or republished by all kinds of folks in the industry, including filmmakers Spike Lee, Michael Smith, and Layne Marie Williams; actors Bryan Cranston, Charlize Theron, Richard E. Grant, Alison Brie, Jamie Bernadette, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ron Fassler, Dwayne Hill, and Jennie Oliver; Script Pipeline executive Matt Misetich; publicists and agents like Doug Kesten with Paradigm, and Jill Wheeler and everyone at Allied; fellow film critics Pam Powell, Matt Kubinski, Ryan Jagiello, Matt Fagerholm, Leo Brady, Pat McDonald, Chuck Koplinski, Gregory Buck Bell, and Al and Linda Lerner; and I’m honored that my work hangs in their homes or offices or was shared online vis a vis their social media platforms.

The caricature of BLACKKKLANSMAN I drew in 2018.

  • I was invited to be a certified film critic and member at RottenTomatoes.com

Not bad, considering this is all still a side venture. And while I’m proud to be a film critic, I don’t make a full-time living doing so. (However, if anyone wants to hire me for a full-time or part-time gig, just let me know!)

Finally, I’d like to thank all of those who have helped me along the way: those who’ve hired me, championed the site, the friends I’ve made amongst those in Chicago’s critical community, and the studio publicists, not to mention all the readers who have written me or share their comments online as well. A special call-out to fellow critic and web designer Matt Kubinski, too, for designing my site.

Thank you all for a great 10 years. Hopefully, here’s to 10 more!

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