Monday, February 18, 2008

6 Days (and a Plea for help)

UPDATE: Thank you for the donations that have come in. You're a great and loyal audience and I appreciate you tremendously. I have received enough to cover the new expenses and felt it important to share that since you've been kind enough to rally. I do have some things to do on my end to lower the expenses --I've been talking to other site owners and my plan / hosting service appears to be very unreasonable. Working on that. I'll keep you updated.

For those who are confused about this, blogger is a free service but I own the film experience domain and I do have to pay monthly charges at (just as any of the other big site does) and the blog, which started as an experiment, has become successful enough on its own that I always intended to merge it with the site. Just haven't done so yet. The monthly expenses of running a popular site have been coming out of my own pocket for all the years I've been doing it. It's been a labor of love and it's nice to see the love returned.

the original post
6 days until the Oscars hit. The excitement is mounting but here @ The Film Experience things aren't going well.

Just as I was concocting some last minute plans for Oscar articles as well as another contest and spring & summer projects for your entertainment ... I was hit by a rather massive bill of overages for the site and I'll be blunt about it: I can't afford to do it anymore. I will be doing some extensive analyzing on my end to see where things are going wrong (or right I guess --I'm at the awkward stage of too popular for hobbyist and too small for self-employment). Once the Oscars are over I can do some hard core planning but if there is to be a future at all I have to have an immediate blood transfusion of the green sort --so whatever you can do to keep the site running and buy me time in this existential / financial dilemma for TFE, please help out.

Remember how Tilda Swinton collapses so completely at the end of Michael Clayton when she realizes how untenable her situation really is? That was me about four hours ago. Only without the glorious red hair, translucent skin and the burden of guilt from helping some massive corporation destroy children's lives. Yes thankfully without that last bit.
  • If you're an international reader, the US dollar is worth nothing so you can really help me ;) and you know I'm the Oscar site that loves you most.
  • If you're a poor college student, you can at least pretend you've bought me a beer or two. beer is cheap right. Throw me a $10 ;)
  • If you're doing fine, lend me a hand. Think of the karma.
  • If you're rich, you can consider me a really talented slighty looney charity case: be a generous patron of the arts.
  • If you're filthy rich or a movie star or industry type, make my year and consider it a site donation, a birthday present, and a Christmas gift all rolled into one.
I try to provide a high quality creative year round service of entertainment about entertainment but as the site has grown in popularity the expenses are eating your host / editor / writer / creative director alive. Nathaniel (c'est moi) foots the bill himself and he's hurting. So be kind. And he'll also work on solutions himself (TBD, I'll fill you in) so that the pleas for help don't become smelly daily begging. I know you'd prefer daily blogging. I'd prefer that too. I have so many ideas --it's time and money that are the struggle.


Amy said...
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Anonymous said...

I'd be glad to donate, but unfortunately, paypal has been hating me recently. I'm going to try and get things fixed. If I do, I'll be sure to help out; I love this site.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nathaniel,

As an avid reader of your blog, I have become aware of your desperate need for donations. However, perhaps because of my lack of Pfeiffer-esque coolness, or perhaps because of my insolence towards pretentious film buffs who fail to recognize the genius of my work (and who obviously fail to appreciate their fan base), I have decided that you are unworthy of it. I have a lot of money; about as many millions as there are locusts in my horrifically scary film The Reaping. I also have two Oscars. Two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild award. Anyway my point is karma's a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Oh, never mind, you don't even need to use paypal.

$10 better buy a There Will Be Blood Film Bitch Best Picture victory ;)

Anonymous said...

I would donate, but I fit into the poor college student category. I noticed that you don't have many Google Adwords on your site (besides the one tiny one on the blog). They're not the most attractive, but they do come in handy when money is tight. Also, maybe look into a web host that doesn't kill you with bandwidth overage charges.

I really don't want to see this site close, so I hope all goes well!


Dear Hilary,
I didn't grow up in a trailer park but I also have a dream! To make the site work for you (well, maybe not you specifically) and for me.

so there.

love... as much as I can muster,

Anonymous said...

I told you to get American Express.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Nathaniel,

As much as your Film Bitch awards have absolutely soiled my reputation among the elite has-beens (Julianne Moore- a favorite of yours, etc), I can't help but admire the genuine balls to beg for money. The point is, Nathaniel, that I have an Oscar. Hilary Swank has 2. Your little site just isn't that influential, thank fuck. But, there there... I'm sure the idiots who preferred Natalie Portman to me in Cold Mountain will flood you with checks while I get more cheek implants to make myself virtually unrecognizable. I'll send you the bill, cretin.

Anonymous said...

And tell Winslut to stop plugging her beloved credit card company.

Anonymous said...

Eat me, Nathaniel. No acting nods for Atonement?

(Maybe, when I get my checks cleared)


Dearest Renée

I'm saying your name again? Does that count for nothing? Anyway... I have just the thing to stuff in your cheek implants next time we meet.

There will be a next time, right? Remember how kind I was when Oscar ignored you for Nurse Betty?

Maybe you can't forgive me for what I said about your work in Miss Potter. But you should reconsider: Look at all the things I'm trying to forgive you for!

love and olive branches,


Middle-P said...

payday is wednesday. i am the poor college student but i will muster as much as possible as your site has kept me from doing homework for years!


dearest Kate
American Express won't have me. I'm too f***ing poor!

yours forever "don't let go!"

Anonymous said...

Cinematic shame... That is all I have to say.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Renee,

Back off, it is clear I am the most hated Oscar-award winning actress on this site.

Stop trying to out-do me. Your weight might be able to fluctuate rapidly between roles but I clearly am the more masculine (see my first Oscar-winning role in Boys Don't Cry you big wimp, we all know the rape will turn you on) and the more chiseled (see my second Oscar winning performance in Million Dollar Baby) of the two of us.



J.D. said...

I'd gladly help, Nat, but, well, I'm 14. So... you'll be in my prayers.

And an argument could be made that you've destroyed my life, ya know. I mean, I was just 12 when I started coming here... :D

Anonymous said...

Aha! I was right. I knew that Hilary and Renee secretly trolled this site ;) Anyway emergency funding headed your way.

Anonymous said...

Money's tight this mounth but I sent a donation.

I promise more too come soon.

A world without "The Film Experience" is a dark one.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nat,

I am from South Africa, how do I donate?

African movieFan

Anonymous said...


I am of the poor variety...not really a college student, but a just-out-of-grad-school-actor so pretty much in the same boat as a college student. But I love this site and really can't imagine it not being around. When I get paid in a week I'll pass on some cash. Probably won't be any more than $10 or $15 unfortunately. Just know that your work is definitely appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nat

Nicole Kidman has been busy choosing her maternity wear for Oscar, she has asked me to send small love for one and only Nat... hope it helps.


Anonymous said...

I too can order the donations sir! I have a hurricane in me that will strip Film Experience bare when you dare to try me!

Glenn Dunks said...

Well, if the blog itself wasn't reason enough to donate then this entry was!

I'll see what I can do.

John T said...

I'll be donating later today Nat!

adam k. said...

I literally have no money right now and couldn't donate if I tried, as I just lost my wallet and have to replace a bunch of stuff (including the wallet) but literally CAN'T because I'm broke and my credit card was maxed out when it got lost (I have a very low limit) and in any case, it is lost and the new one's not here yet, so I can't use it. Luckily I live with my parents right now (snark), so I'm not completely up a creek.

Anyway, now that I have thoroughly embarrassed myself, know that I will donate when I can. I hope I've bought myself some time of guilt-free TFE patronage after my gift(s) in that other donation cycle ; ) But that was a long time ago; if I had a job and some cash flow and a wallet, I'd totally open it.

And if this is not too stupid a thing to ask, what exactly are these website "overage" charges? Do you pay a lot to keep this website up? Do big sites cost lots of $? Like, in addition to the money you don't make when you choose to blog instead of doing something that pays? I didn't realize that. I'm ignorant of the ways of the internet beyond my tiny blog.

Anonymous said...

Hilary, Renee, Kate, & Cate, where have you been all my life? That was fantabulous. That alone should be worth something to keep this site running.

(Were these gag commenters a joke? Are these money pleas for real?)

Anonymous said...

I have just made a donation.

If we donate a little and on a regular basis we can keep reading this excellent website.

So, help. A little + a little + a little becomes a lot enough.

Marcelo - Brazil.

ryan said...
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The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

Gawd, yet another reason for me to figure out how this paypal system-thing works.

Calum Reed said...


Just gave ya a lil helping hand. I'm an international college student so I can probably afford a bit more than American students atm. Haha.

Have enjoyed coming to the site/blog for years. $25 hardly makes up for the amount I've got from it -- although I was going to use this money to buy A Mighty Heart, so I hope you feel guilty!



overages is when you exceed your bandwidth --it's how large your site is plus its traffic roughly. I'm looking at a bill of what is looking like it's going to be about a $1000 extra for the past three months --i've only received the bill for the first third but they've warned me it's increasing even more for jan and feb of the site -i'm contacting my hosting company to see why things have gone so awry and why they're charging me so much more than last year... but the first call wasn't helpful. obviously i will have to switch servers or make some changes on my end but with Oscar season ending and the sneaky bills arriving only after the fact i'm in some trouble.

Cengiz said...

Well I don't know about 1 beer, How about 5 of those $10 Beer's? Or 10 of those $10 Beers (it's 2-4-1 and Bennigans). Hope it helps you out.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, are you at the same address as last year?

Anonymous said...

Those overages sound RIDICULOUS!! That should be illegal, this is the web for god's sake! Why and who charges these things? Is it the internet provider?

Anyway I don't understand paypal at all. But can send you some dollars (not much seeing as I just graduated last year and I'm scraps of jobs at the moment, but hopefully it will all amount to something - plus exchange rate would work in your favour this time). Would it be ok just to send it to an address?

russtifer said...

Yikes, Nat. Sent along $10(I fall into the poor college student category, unfortunately). Hope it helps. You do such an excellent job, and I would hate for it to be curbed because of this. Best of luck.

John T said...

Also, Nathaniel, I'm sure you're aware, but I Could Never Be Your Woman is on DVD?

Anonymous said...

I've donated. Hope it helps. I love this site.

adam k. said...

You are being charged more because you're more popular??? That makes no sense. If you have a big audience, you should be earning money, not being charged. I guess that's where we the readers come in.

I suggest you just go all NPR on us and hold regular "pledge drives" with explicit goals. Please try that for a while before even considering closing down the site. It's, like, an institution. In terms of the film blogosphere. There's no shame in guilting people a little bit on, say, a monthy or bimonthly basis, if you're actually in the red from this. I think if people understand the situation, they'll be more than willing to pay their dues. You should at least be able to break even. And of course you can try different things with ads, different servers, etc. but I'm sure you're doing that already.

I think part of the problem is that your readership (I'd bet) consists mainly of teenagers, poor college students, poor grad students, struggling creative types, and the like... unlike, say, NPR, whose audience is mostly fairly wealthy professionals. But I think we can all chip in a little to keep you afloat.

I also listen to a lot of NPR, which is why I keep belaboring the analogy. But there are a lot of similarities in that your site seems so refreshingly personal and anti-corporate, but also very accessible to so many.

To me, you are in a totally different league from, say, In Contention or OscarWatch, to which I'd never consider donating money. So much of the stuff here feels like it's made JUST FOR ME, even though it's essentially made for you, and the comments and interactivity make me really feel like part of a community. I just don't get that at other sites. Even with certain features here that I don't appreciate or respond to as much, the site always feels organic and like a labor of love, with actual conversations in the comments between readers who actually seem to appreciate not just you, but each other. It means so much that you seem to actually read the comment threads and appreciate the back-and-forth. That's why I always keep coming back.

And there's just nowhere else that's such a good fit for gay film lovers, particularly, and for the awardage-obsessed. Film Bitch Awards > Oscars.

Anyway, that's all a long way of saying "LOVE the site, please find a way to keep it going."


Anonymous said...

I just took you out for a few beers. You owe me a new installment of the Moulin Rouge! epic.

In all seriousness, there would be a huge hole in my blog life if TFE were to disappear. Have you thought about taking up with a rich Southern gent a la Auntie Mame?

Anonymous said...

I'm currently unemployed, when I start working in a few weeks , I'll help you out (If it's not too late).



adam and others thanks for the kind words. it means a lot.

i'll udpate y'all when i figure out how to fix the current problems as to what my plans are...

i have never ever wanted to shut down the site but i may try an interim off line restructure/revamp for a month to figure out where the bandwidth problems are most aggressively killing me. and i will definitely be looking at a different hosting company if they won't work with the suddenly exorbitant pricing.

billy d if i was young and pretty enough to have a sugar daddy, i would've gone that route already ;)

Anonymous said...

Please do not give any undeserved buzz to that bald cunt, Abigail Breslin. She is a disgrace to my people. I should've been the youngest nominee this decade, NOT HER. DAMN YOU, TOM CRUISE. I will rape you like I was raped in Hounddog. I KNOW THE TECHNIQUE NOW. I AM SO ADULT.

So, um, yes Nathaniel. If you do this, I will send you my 2% of my next paycheck. That's about $4,000,000 my daddy tells me. I believe that should cover everything...IF YOU OBEY ME.

the REAL child acting prodigy,
Dame Dakota Fanning

ePastor James said...

Hey Nate,

Just donated a little bit to ya. Hope it's helpful in ensuring you remain at the top!

And now this seems stupid, 'cause you just e-mailed me.


Anonymous said...

hey nat,

i'm poor and in college too. a longtime reader.

i'm gonna sell out this summer since i managed to get an internship in corporate finance, so i promise to write you a check then.

it really is my favorite film site/blog on the web.


Anonymous said...

This might sound a little cold hearted, but if you have to had to stop doing the site, does that mean everything would disappear? Like all the old stuff from 2000 to now?


yes. i have to pay to keep the website up. if i don't pay every year comes down.

again: i'm looking at solutions. there is always a solution (like asking for help :) ) I just have to find it.

at the very least i will have to take everything down for renovation to figure out what pieces are causing so much bandwidth usage (maybe people are hotlinking? maybe the photos are too big?) maybe there are just too many years ... it does accumulate. i accept that some of it is my fault --not business savvy and i have the creative person plague of some disorganization ;) which is why i'm looking into a bunch of options right now.

I figure ask for help like NPR

but i'll update soon with my plans.

JKDarby said...

I just zipped 25 bucks to ya. It's about all I can afford at the moment, but if you still need help in a couple of weeks I'll see where I stand then.

Anonymous said...

hey much are you talkin' here? thousands / hundreds???....what would it take from every person. that would be helpful to know. this is my fave site, so i don't know if $25 would really do any good or not. At my church....the priest always says sh*t like....if everyone gave just $10 more a week. so, it would be helpful to know what is helpful to you.


trust me if everyone who read gave even $10 a year i could do this full time and not work at all ;) but obviously everyone is not gonna pay for a free service ;)

like i said i'm having about $1000 to $1200 immediate problem. Donations have reached $700 so I'll figure this out. THANK YOU ALL FOR THE HELP SO FAR. I will update you all on what the plans are. I need to renovate the site obviously but we'll get to that after the Oscars.

Anonymous said...


That's all.

Andrew Metcalf said...

Poor college student here. But I love your site, so how about this. I'll pick up an extra 2hr shift tomorrow and donate the proceeds to you. Thats $15, hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

Um... you never talk about me, despite the fact that I'm far more attractive than any of the other little starlet-bitches you love to harp on about. Seriously, who cares about kiki? I got to seduce GEORGE CLOONEY and ANTONIO BANDERES in mediocre movies, and outperform Renee in an amazing one, and to prove to you that I'm not shallow, I even married Michael Douglas! Suck on that!

I veto.

Anonymous said...

I'll donate when I get a chance. I just overdrafted my checking out, but once I bounce back from that little slip up, I'm on it.

Anonymous said...

Money is tight. I blame Bush. And, more realistically, the new job. Donated what I could. Wish it were several times larger, though even that would fall short of what your work deserves. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nate,

It's not much, but I sent $30 your way.

I've been following your site for years and I don't know what I'd do without it.

Good luck. I hope everything works out.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nathaniel,

Le sigh.


-- Marion

Anonymous said...

Wow. We're all broke!

Anonymous said...

This site makes me so happy. I visit a lot of film sites and few are this creative or well written. Plus, I feel like I get to have the conversation I always want to have with my friends who just don't have quite the same level of film-naticism that I do.

I'll also add my encouragement that you upgrade from hobbyist into someone who makes some income, or at least doesn't go broke, from the site. I certainly wouldn't care if there were a few ads. Seems like you could have the thing pay for itself just with awards season FYC ads.

I'll send a little $$ along in a couple days when the funds clear my PayPal account.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, if you are really getting 1,200$ in overages charges (I'm not saying I don't believe you, I do), this site is worth a ton of money to advertisers. I'm not saying take out an obnoxious amount of ADs, but if you put a good amount in you could probably cover at least three quarters of the monthly bill.

adam k. said...

Julianne and Michelle are not hurting for $$$. Imagine the glory if they were to happen upon the site and have some compassion for your fandom-induced situation.

Perhaps Julianne could make The Forgotten 2: It Never Even Happened and donate some of her exorbitant paycheck to you.

Or perhaps, Next 2: Next 2 U.

adam k. said...

Financial survival requires sacrifice, after all.


anonymous clearly I am being overcharged so you're right to be like 'WHAT?' because that's exactly what I'm doing.

but again, the first 3rd of the bill was nearly $400 (just for overages)

I'm on the wrong plan. I have a shitty host. I'm clearly not a businessman --just a one man show. There are several things in play here. And as soon as the Oscars end, I will figure it out.

Any moneys earned go back into the site. I'm just depressed that I was hit with such a large unexpected expense because what I was going to do was hold a fundraiser in the summer to send me festivals in the fall.

more to come...

Anonymous said...

count me in for 25 big ones. If Julie Christie wins - expect a little something extra monday morning.


er...and by "more to come" i didn't mean 'more begging' so much as more info!

Anonymous said...

Nathanial, what expenses exactly are you talking about? Blogger is free. You use Blogger. What's the problem here? Maybe if you weren't so stingy with your "Link Love" section, other writers and critics might come to your defense. But you are, Blanche, you are stingy, in spite of help offered by some in others way. Too bad. We all can't be fooled by you.


blogger is free yes. THE FILM EXPERIENCE is not. I have monthly charges to pay and, for oscar season especially, overages...

plus there's the matter of time's basically full time work that i don't get paid for unless readers contribute or advertisers sign up. Nobody is forced to contribute. I ask for help when I need it. No shame in that since people are enjoying the work.

i have no idea what you're talking about in terms of link love stinginess... I do REGULAR linking on here (readers can attest) and many smaller sites have benefited. but then you are anonymous so therefore you can take potshots and nobody can call you on it.

send me an email if i've offended you in some way and we'll talk.

otherwise... why stink up the comments?

Brian Darr said...
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Poli said...

Sent you $45, glad to help in any way, shape, or form.