When 2009 passed into 2010, I didn’t have time to celebrate the new year. I spent those hours focused on a business project I finally was about to launch–a website called SpeedCine.
I had worked from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM six days a week for a year and a half, and finally it was ready for my early January presentation. It was a complete realization of my dream. It worked perfectly. It did everything I had ever hoped it would do.
There was only one problem. Very few people were interested in the service I was providing.
It was a catastrophe. After briefly considering going all out and risking everything, I decided to face reality, cut my losses, and a month later I shut it down.
Since I closed SpeedCine, many wonderful things have come my way. I did a lot of publicity writing, which I love (I’m starting my second Woody Allen film now). I reestablished my friendship with Errol Morris, whom I hadn’t seen in seven years. I reconnected with many other old friends when I went to Toronto to do publicity on Errol’s film Tabloid. I got a $1,500 data bill from AT&T, and even that was great. Being overcharged by AT&T put me in contact with a lot of interesting people, from a guy at the FCC to a nice woman who worked for AT&T’s CEO. And after the heavy traffic that my AT&T posts brought me, twice as many people now read my blog. And I had the honor of working with the brilliant Whit Stillman while he was making his new film Damsels in Distress. I was able to meet its star, Greta Gerwig, one of my favorite actresses.
Writing this blog was another highlight of 2010. I’ve gradually surrendered to the idea of it being more and more autobiographical. That was a big risk for me. I’d previously thought there would be no reason to read my blog unless there was something involving films or filmmaking in there, but oddly enough, I have received a lot more praise than criticism since the change.
When I closed SpeedCine, I moved the clutter away from my desktop Mac and put my synthesizer back up there (it had been sitting on the floor for eighteen months). I could compose music again. I could fool around with making short films for YouTube.
And my wife appreciated my liberation from the computer monitor. We had a lot more time to enjoy life together.
So one door closed at the beginning of 2010 and many other doors opened. It’s a cliché, but clichés are clichés because they are often true. (Note that the previous sentence is an accurate cliché about clichés.)
The last few years have been very tough for me and for many of my friends, but I embark on 2011 with high hopes. I wish them for all of you as well.
Reid Rosefelt is a veteran film publicist based in New York City. He has promoted hundreds of films, for such diverse moviemakers as Jim Jarmusch, Pedro Almodóvar, Errol Morris, Ang Lee and Werner Herzog. His personal clients have included The Sundance Institute, IFC and HBO Films, as well as Harvey Keitel, Ally Sheedy and the late Adrienne Shelly. His production publicity credits include Desperately Seeking Susan, The Godfather: Part III and, most recently, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. His blog can be found at http://my-life-as-a-blog.com/.