This is my story with Moviepilot and how I ultimately went from a nobody, to a blogger, to a pop culture website owner in just a year.....and all of it is true!
I am a blogger......at least that is the technical term I started out with. In reality, I am, a professional writer.
I was given a simple opportunity to share my life, and share it as a blogger. Yes, one of those people. One of those people who everyone thinks just sits at a computer and writes some daily jibber jabber which is supposed to be wittingly and endlessly entertaining enough for drones of people to follow. Well, in total honesty, that is not the kind of "blogger" I wanted to be. I have always been an extremely creative person and I have often compared my life as a nerd to sometimes being the "Forrest Gump of Geeks". The places I have been able to go, the things I've been able to see would make any geek superbly jealous. All this was long before I was even given the opportunity to write about it all. That's what gave me the idea that I could one day be some sort of "Kevin Smith" of blog writing. Instead of being some daily voice that would ultimately get drowned out by the countless other writers of the inter-web who are also vying so hard to be different from the next so called "nerd expert". Then again I was no different from that same kind of mind frame thinking, that I too was the "ultimate geek". But I wanted to make a voice for myself that would be heard and I wanted to do it my way, by teaching people about my geek pop culture world. That was the seed that made me realize - my best assets - are my taste in geek culture and not having any fear!
How I was found:
Funny as it sounds.......It all started from Pinterest. That's right, Pinterest. The food recipes with pictures and clothing picture-sharing site that I used to make fun of. I had been on the picture sharing app site for almost a full year, and decided to do my own thing on the picture swap site. Creating boards of all my favorite passions in life. From comic book artist art, cosplay, comic book covers, movie stills or posters....basically whatever tickled my fancy I shared. In a years time I reached an astounding following of 90,000 + fans. That led to someone from Moviepilot noticing what I had done and reaching out to me. I contacted Moviepilot back, and a fantastic young lady by the name of Hannah who had found me replied. It was an offer to be a blogger and moviepilot basically recruited me. This was an incredible feeling, that a place where thousands of creative people join up yearly to try and become bloggers was wanting me, a simple nobody!
So with that fact that I would have some pretty incredible stories, I took being a blogger for moviepilot way more seriously then probably the average volunteer creator they normally would have. I took some days to prepare myself on this great adventure of mine into blogging. I set up my own rules that I would not break to help me outline a plan to work my way to being taken as a serious journalist when all was said and done. I wanted to bring my crazy geek life to the world and that would include some crazy almost unbelievable interactions with some pretty famous people. Moviepilot finally gave me a way to share all this with an audience of the same peers so I made sure of a few things. Never lie, never exaggerate, and always be professional. So since my very first blog, my world has literally never been the same ever since.
It took me a few weeks till I decided to write my first piece. It was not due to the fact I was not a trained writer. My saving grace though was that I have always actually been a very creative person since youth. I always wanted to be a comic book artist or writer, I even wrote short stories and poetry for fun while in High School and was a very good artist. What did make me hesitant jumping into (for me at the time) the unknown world of blogging and what it could do for me. I knew I had one main certainty, this was not going to be an opportunity wasted. From the very beginning I wanted to take this one simple opportunity I was handed and make something huge out of it. I felt in a way that my whole life has been honing my skills to become a great pop culture blogger. My affinity for being an openly minded care-free geek is such a longtime passion to me that it cannot be faked. The way my life has intertwined with entertainment and the comic worlds have made me feel like the ultimate geek at times with the luck of a Forrest Gump as I've said. In my 38 years of life I have grown to have such a LOVE of comic books, video games, 80/90's movies and TV. The whole pop culture life I've been wrapped in. Since youth I drowned myself with as much knowledge as I could in all these subjects, so to not sound ignorant if I should ever be speaking about them. Since the early 2000's I have been a fixture of local and major comic conventions. From small hotel cons, to major media cons, to Wizard World Cons and even all the way out to the geek grand-mecca of them all, The San Diego Comic Con #SDCC . With all those years of con experience I figured I had the skills to be a good writer. How good am I? So good I timed my 100th blog to my One Year Anniversary! ;)
My tag line that has never changed from the start and that's because it is excatly who I have always been. "I'm funny, I'm cool but mainly I'm just a geek at heart"
Comic Cons Are My Home:
I offered MP my past knowledge of going to comic conventions if they wanted me to cover one for them......they did. Moviepilot hooked me up with my very first media passes ever and I now had my chance to show everyone my true geek and not let the great people at Moviepilot down! The first night I went to pick up my media passes for a Wizard World convention I ended up interviewing my very first celebrities. Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk, Pumping Iron) as well as Jason David Frank (Power Rangers, My Morphin Life). The next day at the convention not only did I gather plenty of article information and coverage, I was able to score some interviews also. I interviewed independent actor now motion picture screenwriter Adam Simon. I did interview articles on comic book greats Leinil Frances Yu, Slavador Larocca, Ben Templsmith, Aurthur Suydam and the legendary Neal Adams. Not bad for a first time untrained writer/reporter at his first convention as media. This proved to me and many people in the entertainment industry that I could do a pretty good job at interviewing and promoting projects. This was four months into being a blogger for Moviepilot. One of the craziest moments and highlights came while covering Walker Stalker Con for Moviepilot. Actor from the hit TV show The Walking Dead, Jose Pablo Castillo actually took my iPad out of my hand and started to roll an impromptu video interview. That's not the only Hollywood star I've had crazy fun interactions with.
By the sixth month of my blogging career I had earned a position with an actual paying website and was even given title of Head of Comics within a week while I was there. I was told to search for a team of writers of my own and run with it and I did. At the same time Moviepilot came to me with another amazing opportunity that is still one of my career highlights. Moviepilot arranged with movie studio Lionsgate to have me screen a brand new movie and also interview a star from that film! The film was named "Spare Parts" and the star I got to interview was the comedic legend George Lopez!! This was truly an honor for me to do and such a joy to be able to talk to such a big movie/TV star. The interview hits kept coming after that with my extremely hard work ethic and the convention media passes that Moviepilot helped me obtain. The amount of celebrities I have been around and talk to is four time as many that I have actually worked with. Such famous talents like Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy), Rob Liefeld, Jose Pablo Castillo, Jeff Kober, Emma Bell, Eugene Clark, Travis Love, Mira Furlan, Melissa Ponzio, Comic Book Men's Ming! - Twice, Brighton Sharbino & Kyla Kenedy (two little girls from TWD, Drea de Matteo, Taryn Manning, David Faustino, Karyn Parsons, Chad L. Coleman, Cinema Sin / Jeremy Scott. Crazy thing is many of these interviews are NOT YET PUBLISHED!! A lot of these future interviews are exclusively only for Moviepilot!
The Big Step:
By the seventh month of my writing career I had decided to make a HUGE decision that could in the end, either leave me in limbo.....or make my dreams. I created my very own Pop Culture Headquarters website.
With a group of fellow geek/nerd enthusiast that also happen to be fellow professional writers from other walks of life and other jobs on the Internet we joined. Like a team of metal lions combining together we created our ultimate nerd writing crew.
It's crazy to think that only 12 months ago I wrote my very first blog! I was given a simple opportunity and with massive amounts of hard work and a true passion for what I love to do. I have made quite a name for myself in the entertainment industry. I did things in such a short amount of time it has made people say I'm lucky because I'm with Moviepilot or be jealous of what I've done. Moviepilot only gave me a fantastic opportunity, a few media passes and setup an amazing interview with George Lopez for me. All the rest I have done all on my own. If you work as hard as I do than you can be as confidant and successful as myself. I have no college training but I WORKED MY ASS OFF and have had many a growing pains in the process!! Twelve months and one day ago I was just a stay at home dad, content to live the rest of my life with not accomplishing much. Today I own my very own media production company, I own a very prospective media web-site. I have some amazing connection in the entertainment industry and I have interviewed some of comic books, TV and films biggest names! In just 12 MONTHS!! If my story is not inspirational....I don't know what is.
I need to thank Moviepilot and all the amazing people there that I have personally had contact with. Big thanks to Wizard World, Walker Stalker Con, Adam G. Simon, Michael Rooker and all the talented people i've worked with, I want to thank you all for your awesome support. To my friends, family and followers you all mean so much to me, it could never have gotten this far without you all. It's only just getting started folks and that is the most exciting part of it all!!!
Thanks for following along with my crazy geek life!!
Manny Popoca - Web Site Owner - Freelance Writer/Blogger for Moviepilot.com
My Resumé: People I've Interviewed this past year!
(With Moviepilot or my site)
Lou Ferrigno - twice - The Incredible Hulk
Jason David Frank - twice - Green Power Ranger, My Morphin Life
Neal Adams - twice - Legendary comic book writer/artist
Arthur Suydam - Comic Book Artist
Ben Templesmith - Comic Book Artist
Lienil Frances Yu - Comic Book Artist
Salvador Larrocca - Comic Book Artist
Adam Simon - Actor / Screenwriter
Buz Hasson - Comic Book Artist
George Lopez - Comedian / Actor
Michael Rooker - The Walking Dead
Rob Liefeld - Comic Book Artist
Michael Golden - Comic Book Artist
Barbara Kaalberg - Comic Book Artist
Jose Pablo Castillo - The Walking Dead actor
Jeff Kober - The Walking Dead actor
Emma Bell - The Walking Dead actor
Eugene Clark - The Walking Dead actor
Travis Love - The Walking Dead actor
Mira Furlan - LOST actor
Melissa Ponzio - The Walking Dead actor
Ming - Comic Book Men - Twice
Brighton Sharbino & Kyla Kenedy - Two little girls from TWD
Drea de Matteo - Supranos / Agents of SHIELD / SoA
Taryn Manning - OITNB / SoA / Hustle and Flow
David Faustino - Married With Children / Korra The Last Avatar
Karyn Parsons - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sgt. Slaughter - WWE wrestling HOF
David / Meredith Finch - Artist / Writer duo
Humberto Ramos - Comic Book Artist
Robbie Rodriguez - Comic Book Artist
Chad L. Coleman - The Walking Dead
Angel Medina - Comic Book Artist
Josh Blaylock - Comic Book Artist/Writer/Comic Publishing House Owner
Ash Maczko - Comic Book Writer
David Michael Beck - Comic Book Artist
Cinema Sin / Jeremy Scott - YouTube Sensation
MannysPlace is just ME! I've always been ahead of the curve when it comes to pop culture and things that are just COOL!! MannysPlace is where I talk about the things I like and if other people like it also, that's just fine by me. NERDS UNITE!!
PopCultHQ.com - Owner/Editor in Chief/Writer
Web-Site - PopcultHQ.com web-site for all hot geek and pop culture news.
Twitter - @CultHq
PopCultHG Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/PopCultHQ?ref=bookmarks
Pinterest handle - Popculthq
Moviepilot.com - Writer/Editor
Web URL - https://moviepilot.com/MannysPlace
Twitter handle: MannysPlace
Facebook Media Page: https://www.facebook.com/MannysPlaceBlogs