If you're reading this, I'm excited for you. I've always enjoyed sharing my passions with people, but this is the only one that has a ticker on the side counting exactly how much sharing really goes on. It's incredibly inspiring, so much so I can feel it in my fingers and I can't wipe the dumb grin off my face no matter how hard I try. As you have hopefully guessed, I'm going to tell you why you should be writing for Moviepilot, but I can't exactly start from there. I'm going to have to go back to the beginning.
So who is Jack Reneau?
Hello, my name is Jack. I'm a 20-year-old from Tennessee with a great deal of pride in my Irish ancestry and a great deal of disappointment in my lack of ability to grow magnificent facial hair. I'm an ADHD Eagle Scout who has spent his years after high school hopping between The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, working Monday through Friday from 10pm to 4am (yes, you read that right) at the Fedex Memphis World Hub, teaching people how NOT to die in the mountains of New Mexico at Philmont Scout Ranch, the largest High Adventure camp in the world, delivering pizzas to socialites and stoners alike, watching more movies and shows than is probably healthy for anyone, and of course, writing.
Now the writing has often taken a backseat to the other activities in my life. I've never really tried to blame it on the whole, "I'm going to sit down, open a word document an- THERE'S A SQUIRREL OUTSIDE" thing because I've always known it's really laziness. Sure, the ADHD isn't entirely innocent, but the lack of passion I typically had for school papers and assignments was often caused by a shiny new book; or even better, an old dog-eared book that I'd waited months to forget all the details of so I could read it again. I grew up either playing outside or reading. I used to get in trouble for reading because I should have been doing something else! Anyway, I ended up with a vivid imagination and a deep desire to create, but not for every aspect in my life. The fuel in my veins, the sparks in my brain have always been reserved for those things I truly care about, and those loves blossomed out of the books I read as a kid to the movies and shows and YouTube channels and books and articles I read and watch today.
How did I find Moviepilot.com?
Interesting question, me. In my early semesters in college I discovered a Facebook page with a simple moniker: Superheroes. I explored the page and discovered it was chock full of links and articles and videos and pictures that I was tremendously entertained by, and I immediately set out to read and watch and scan everything I could. Over time the page changed to "Moviepilot Superheroes" and I began to do more research into the page itself. For months I read what I could, shared what I could, watched what I could, ranted about what I could. I must have driven people around me crazy. Then in May of 2014 I left Tennessee for the second time to spend my summer, 81 days, away from my laptop and tv and movie collection, as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch. One of the few qualities I'll admit I'm proud of about myself is my ability to transition cold turkey from spending day after day glued to screens and in movie theaters and playing video games to living in a tent, battling wind, rain, illness, my own stupidity, other people's stupidity, flash floods, snakes, bears, scorpions, lightning, physical injury, allergies, heatstroke, and what have you.
*SIDEBAR: the outdoors is an incredible way to recharge and heal and take a break from the rush and noise. I challenge every one of you to go camping, and please don't die, I'll be heartbroken.*
My point is that there's no time to utilize an internet connection even if we had one fast enough to allow more than three people to check their emails at the same time. Anyway, that's how I came back from the summer and found myself sitting in the University Center at UT Chatt on the second day of class staring at a link. That link said "Become a Contributor." I explored said link for a while and decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Within a day I was having a multi-email conversation with the lovely Kat Bacon, met the absolute master of all things MP Community Andrew Marco, and saw the work of such excellent creators as Evan Lee, Jim Galizia, and Jon Negroni. I started writing almost immediately, first penning a short article about the announcement of an actor coming to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., then a list of reasons why I love the work of/am obsessed with Sam Rockwell. Things snowballed as I did a piece for The Maze Runner about familiar actors that we just can't seem to remember the names of, I started a series (I promise I'm going to keep writing it, sincerely) about the backgrounds of the men behind our favorite masks in the cinematic superhero genre, and the aforementioned Andrew Marco hooked me up with an interview with comedian Ty Barnett, as well as an advance copy of Drunk History: Seasons One and Two on DVD. I met awesome people, I got awesome cards from Moviepilot saying that I was awesome, I read awesome articles, and I even got to participate in Moviepilot's "Happy New Year" video, thanks to the brilliant and inspired Joshua Etchison.
In December I stopped writing. I'm not exactly sure why and I don't know if I ever will be. To this day I've still read articles and commented and talked to my fellow Creators; I even co-wrote an article with Kyle Watkins. But for some reason that drive, the inspiration just fell flat. There were several times where I saw a trending tag about a newly casted role, or a group of superhero cosplayers visiting a hospital, but the spark kept sputtering. I felt sort of guilty and angry at myself for not writing, but it was as if there was a barrier of laziness around me. I barely felt the guilt, but it lurked like a shark in a cracked tank, menacing and locked away, but with just a shadow of a doubt that I wondered how real the danger actually was.
Once again, I'll clarify: that absence of writing, the lethargy I associated with trying to get writing again, was horrible. I wasn't just mad at myself, I was disappointed in myself. It would go away for a while, and then one of my younger brothers would ask me why I hadn't sent him an article to read in a few weeks, I would spiral back, teetering on the brink between doing my best to be indifferent, and just stop paying attention to Moviepilot altogether.
And then today happened...
Due to an insomnia problem, I often have trouble sleeping. Sometimes it's a bit more serious than just "trouble": I plain and simply won't want to or be able to sleep even though I know I'm probably condemning myself to a woozy afternoon. So after a sleepless night (and the better part of a season of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) I rushed off to school, thankful that I only had two classes. To my surprise when I walked into my language class two minutes before it was to begin, only one person was there. Let's call him Jake (because his name is Jake). He and I had taken the previous section of the language class the semester before, and had discovered that we are both avid fans of Star Wars, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., etc. We started talking about a project that's due soon, and I opened up my laptop to send some emails. As I did so a Moviepilot article popped up on my newsfeed, and I had an idea. I had talked to Jake before about Moviepilot, but only in small doses. So once we finished the emails, I started to talk. Well, "talk" is a bit of an understatement, it was more like gushing. I told him about finding the Facebook page, going to the site, becoming a Contributor and then a Creator, my articles, your articles, the incredible opportunities we receive, the experiences we live. I had scarcely gotten through half of what I wanted to say when I realized I had been talking nonstop for thirty minutes. I was full of adrenaline, my feet were tapping excitedly. I felt far too energized for someone with my amount of sleep.
For a second I was disappointed, but I looked at Jake. I don't understand how, but I know that I had the exact same look on my face when I read the Contributor explanation. He looked intrigued, and excited, and curious. I sent him a link to the Creator page and we walked out. Since we were heading the same way we continued to talk about Moviepilot across campus until we had to part ways, and when we did I felt better than I have in months.
At this point some of the adrenaline has worn off so I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear enough or if I need to explain myself. In the spirit of understanding I'm going to choose the latter, so with what I promise is my last one:
MY POINT IS
that you should find your passion and stick with it. The reason I was teetering on the edge of indifferent and done, and the reason I never decided to be done, was because I wouldn't let myself fall. Deep down I was mentally and emotionally incapable of letting my passion go. I lost it for a while but it found me again. That's the beauty of it: you CAN'T let go of your passion, you can only lose it temporarily. All of you magnificent Creators and Staffers are here because it's a passion of yours, large or small. Without Moviepilot... I still wouldn't know what to do with my passion. I would still be switching majors and taking random classes looking for purpose, but this site has given us opportunities and thank-you gifts and interviews and meetings and what have you. We weren't selected, we didn't compete for this. Moviepilot gives people like me and you that one big chance to grow into what we love. They thank us with contests and gifts, but I doubt if it truly came down to it that I'd care if the writing was all I did. You know why? Because THEY care, and WE care, our READERS care. Moviepilot is one of the most supportive, helpful, humorous, talented, and of course AWESOME groups I know - hands down. I couldn't be happier being in a group with all of you.
IF THIS ISN'T YOUR PASSION
Don't leave. It's important to find that driving force, but just because it isn't here doesn't mean you can't grow and adapt and evolve. YOU are part of this group, like it or not. By all means find your passion, find what inspires you and fills you with that inspiration, but you don't need to abandon this. This is a place for you, because you took the hand that was offered. If you need to find that force, do it. If you feel that Moviepilot is where you're meant to be, that's amazing. And who knows, your passion could be here too, and there's only one way to find out.
I hope this turned out well and that you guys get something out of this. Sharing your passion keeps it ablaze, so don't hesitate to do so. In that vein, and if you're curious/interested, this is a video my friend Tucker Prescott made of Philmont. Philmont has it's own hiring videos, but Tucker is a truly amazing filmmaker, and the glimpse he provides into my home-away-from-home is simply stunning.
Thank you to all the Staffers and Creators who have helped me out so far. I wouldn't be here without you, and I wouldn't be moving forward without you either. Thanks for reading.