In My Backyard: Year 4

Sitting here in the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters, weathering the remainder of a pervasive cold as March makes its frosty debut, I feel like time has stood still. It is quiet … too quiet … as I consider what I want to tell you about the immediate future of C-U Blogfidential, the only Web site dedicated to filmmaking and movie viewing in downstate Illinois. And, maybe, that’s the problem.

Year 3 of CUBlog was solid but unremarkable. We kept the gears a-turnin’ and the creative juices a-flowin’ to produce the quality material you would expect from us, but we gained very little ground when it came to additions and improvements. It’s an unfortunate result since MICRO-FILM activity stalled about one full year ago, when we blamed MF tongue-in-cheek-like for hampering our efforts at this site. Theoretically, more time should have meant more goals met.

By the same token, with MICRO-FILM returning for a limited time starting this fall for its 10th anniversary, the work pipeline will once again become clogged. This may commence as early as the spring once C-U Confidential no. 3 and Roger Ebert’s Film Festival have come and gone, so I want to appeal to all the friends and readers of CUBlog to consider lending a hand whenever possible to smooth out the hiccups we’ll otherwise be forced to navigate.

Several movements simply did not take place during Year 3, including the drafting of Archive Materials, introduction of Design Upgrades apart from the new logo banner, and the publishing of Promotional DVDs. On the plus side, we finally broke through one particular plateau with the posting of Anthony Zoubek‘s take on last year’s “Ebertfest,” making it the first original CUBlog content not written by your humble editor. We certainly need to find other valuable wordsmiths like Mr. Zoubek to help expand the breadth of what we do; contact us immediately if you’re game.

“Mixed bag” is the best terminology to describe our other doings throughout Year 3. We published C-U Confidential no.2 last April on schedule, but it did not receive the push that it deserved. We started issuing our e-newsletter, The CineMicroGraph (formerly the C-U Confidential Telegraph), on a monthly basis in the fall but have not been able to increase the number of subscribers. We also attempted one “promo/zine,” also called The CineMicroGraph, that garnered no response from the public even though we’re going to give it a second go come March 10. We happily sponsored the first IMC Film Festival last month, and would like to involve our support and presence in more events as time goes on.

The list of projected improvements and additions is bound to look rather similar to what I posited 12 months ago:

  • Follwing through on the Design Adjustments to give CUBlog a more distinct flavor and align its look with CUZine;
  • Keeping up with the newsletters sent through the CMG and greatly increasing its membership;
  • Moving forward with the long-planned Archival Postings that will document creative film/video/multi-media made in the area;
  • Hitting the Boneyard Arts Festival and Ebertfest 2009 hard with the third issue of CUZine;
  • Relying on our brand-new Cinema Calendar Page to handle most film-related public events in order to spend increased time covering local productions and their producers;
  • Developing spin-offs to the CUZine concept, including additional CUZine issues per year and a “videozine” that would take the place of the earlier Promotional DVD idea.

Honestly, I’m flabbergasted that C-U Blogfidential has stayed the course through three continuous years, but still maintain that it cannot achieve its true potential without the people of Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond having its back. Expect to be hearing from me about this conundrum often during Year 4 as I will be on a one-man crusade to put the “local” into this local Weblog where it belongs.

In other words, if someone calls action and there’s no one else around to hear, does he ever really make a sound … or a difference?

~ Jason Pankoke


C-U Blogfidential: Year 3
Posts: 98  ~  Comments: N/A  ~  Interviews: 2  ~  Articles: 5
Reviews: 0  ~  Links: +56  ~  Publications: 2

C-U Blogfidential So Far
Posts: 297  ~  Comments: 22  ~  Interviews: 7  ~  Articles: 5
Reviews: 3  ~  Links: 325  ~  Publications: 3


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