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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

GordonandtheWhale.com is shutting down; who’s next?

I’ve been prepping a post for several days about what the current state of film criticism means for the future, and in the meantime, one of the things I was going to predict has already come to pass:

GordonandtheWhale.com, a popular movie blog — more popular than FlickFilosopher.com, as far as I can determine — is shutting down. Here’s why:

[A] large number of people see the cool things we get to do and immediately assume there’s a lot of money involved. Let me be the first to tell you – there’s not. With the exception of two festivals, we paid everything out of pocket. Hotels, plane tickets, and food money all came out of our personal bank accounts. At first it was okay – we had faith that one day GATW would be able to pay for it – but it eventually took a toll on everyone.

We did sign with a large ad revenue company, Gorilla Nation, but that financial success never came. We did make a little bit of money off the site, but not enough to pay the writers, or even the editors. Our money went to our server and that was that. After four years of doing some of the biggest and best things with GATW, James, Kate, and I decided it’s best to leave at its peak and pursue other career opportunities. Kind of like what Jerry Seinfeld did with Seinfeld – quit while we’re on top.

This is what happens when people work for free: they cannot do it forever. It’s exhausting, for one, because it means you have to spend other time doing other work in order to pay the bills. It’s dispiriting, for another, especially to see that you have a significant audience that cares about your work and know that you still can’t make even a meager living at it

Gordon and the Whale opened its virtual doors in only 2007. The site has been around for only four years. And they’ve had to give it up.

I’d like that not to happen with FlickFilosopher.com. Please subscribe at only $1 per month. You won’t even miss it. And you will help this site escape a fate that Gordon and the Whale could not.

Thank you.

UPDATED TO ADD: I didn’t mean to suggest that I was going to predict that Gordon and the Whale specifically would shut down, merely that we are going to see major independent sites shutting down as everyone burns out.

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