I've been a Creator for a little over a year (published my first article on January 1st 2016 at around 2 am) and I've seen Movie Pilot go through a number of changes in the past year. With that in mind, I thought it'd be interesting to share my experience with Creators and Movie Pilot as a reflection of how I've seen the site grow and change.
Before I continue with my story, I want to clarify that this is not me rattling off my achievements and being prideful. I know what it's like to be a reader angered by some kind of article being promoted on Facebook that seems to be misleading. I also know what it's like to have something you spent hours of time drafting get promoted and see a comment section full of hate from people who clearly didn't read a word of what you had to say. With this duality, my hope is to give a different perspective into what it's like to be a reader and writer, to explain what it is we Creators do more explicitly, and at the very least exhibit the opportunities Movie Pilot and Creators had opened for me as a writer. If I'd known in 2014 what I know now, you can bet I would've started writing a lot sooner.
The Good Ol' Days
I've been reading from Movie Pilot since the summer of 2014 if not earlier than that. Back then the site was called Moviepilot, people like me were called "Contributors," and your articles tracked the number of reads as well as the number of shares. Despite being a site focused on superheroes, movies, and TV shows, there was some dabbling in other topics like video games. In fact, what finally prompted me to consider writing for Movie Pilot was a week long challenge centered around video games. At some point I intend to pay homage to that challenge because it got me to where I am today more or less.
Another interesting bit of information about Movie Pilot from once upon a time was that they had a writing program known as Moviepilot University. The basic idea was you got some writing assignments and would get feedback to improve your writing. The program still exists today in the form of Creators Academy and even if you're not a Creator or an author at all, I'd recommend checking out some of those pages. Some of the information can be a practical application for writing in general.
If I'd known when I started the networking I'd create from writing for Movie Pilot, I probably would've started sooner. I could usually find a good article or two within minutes of jumping onto Movie Pilot, but I never really had the courage or motivation to do so. I hope that in writing this, I can get someone out of a similar situation.
As I said, I joined Movie Pilot on December 31, 2015. By February of 2016, there were announcements that Moviepilot was moving to a new platform dubbed "Creators" wherein we creators would have a greater breadth of topics to work with. Obviously, there was a bit of dissonance and confusion as people tried to come to terms with what was happening. That being said, the transition clearly happened and we're now living in a world wherein Movie Pilot is one of several sister sites that live under the Creators Media banner.
It's hard to forget what it was like during those first few months of the transition. First, you get told that the website you're writing for will be given a new format for your writing and open up new opportunities. Then, these new sites launch with plenty of articles going around exhibiting that new range of topics. Finally, you find yourself looking forward to seeing new sites and giving yourself a chance to branch out into other places. This is what it's like to watch a project develop into something greater than you once thought it could be.
If someone had told me back in January 2016 that a year from now, I'd be getting paid for my writing, that thousands of people would pick up a heartfelt article about Rod Serling, or that I'd make friends with staff and other writers who share my love of comics and video games, I don't think I'd have believed them. I want to stress that this site isn't just a place for writing articles about whatever suits your fancy. There's an entire community behind this and a whole world built by that community that goes so much deeper than the articles that pop up in your Facebook feed.
I've been given the opportunity to improve my writing, express my opinions about comics and video games, and meet plenty of people I wouldn't have just by casually scrolling through Movie Pilot articles. With the Verified Creators program, for example, I can get paid for my writing - something that I do as more of a hobby than anything else. There's also opportunities like writing for Fanzines. I have an article in the very first Now Loading Fanzine which launched with that site last year which is an achievement that came simply from joining Movie Pilot and expressing an interest in video games.
The most important thing to take away from this segment: What I'm talking about is just the beginning. That image comes directly from the most recent Fanzine from the Creators platform. The next website to launch from Creators Media will be centered around indie games and indie developers. If that sounds cool to you, sign up to become a Creator so you can contribute to this. Anyone and everyone will be able to join in on this platform just like the other platforms listed above. Just like Now Loading, I look forward to watching this new platform grow and contributing to it to the best of my abilities.
Earlier, I highlighted an article of mine about Rod Serling. I'd also like to highlight this article which can be found at the end of the Fanzine linked above (or here). I want to highlight these articles not because I like seeing my name on things, but because they're important to me. I see Rod Serling as a personal hero and strive to achieve as much as he did with so little. To write an article about his death was almost as jarring as researching his life and learning about the struggles he went through. I poured more of my emotions into that article than I ever have in anything else I've written and the responses I got were beyond humbling. People responded with their surprise, their anguish, their awe and it was an unreal experience. Moments like that make me want to do more articles in that vein.
For the article pictured above, I met an indie developer named John Fiorillo. I got the chance to learn more about his game, Drawing Dead, but I also got to learn more about him. He was not the only developer I met and his story was not the only one to affect me, yet the conversations I had with him left an unexplainable impact on me. What I love about meeting indie developers is stepping into their world and finding ways to help them reach their goals. John got to reach his and I'd like to think that Creators will allow me to continue to help him as he sets more goals for himself in the future.
Closing Thoughts And Reflections
This is a screenshot I took on my phone from the first time I got an article promoted. This was the first article I'd ever written and the very same one that had me up until 2 am or so on January 1, 2016. I don't doubt that this article was not my best and could probably use a bit of proofreading; however, I can't think of a better article to have started my career with Movie Pilot. That article really set the stage for "this is who I am" and it stands as one of my hallmarks for that reason.
This can be you just as easily as it was me. That article was part of a list called "Top 5 Articles From New Creators This Week" and every week brings a list of new articles from new Creators even if it's under a different name. There will always be new chances to write and there will always be someone there to read what you have to say. I honestly didn't think many people would care about a fan theory that spans a decade's worth of films, yet within a week I had thousands of reads on that article. I know I've come a long way from where I started and if you're still on the edge about joining Creators, let me be the first to welcome you and offer my help. I'm by no means a professional, but I know a bit about writing.
To round this article out, I'd like to post a screenshot from the last article I wrote while in Creators Academy. It came with some controversy and for good reason - that was my intention. The note came from my mentor, so I feel that the best way to wrap this up is to thank someone whose guidance has granted me more opportunities than I ever thought possible. Thank you, Paul.