Know in advance that this somewhat self-indulgent signoff was intended to be a part of our Blue Christmas livecast, but in an entirely appropriate turn of events, I indulged too much in a different fashion and heroically…passed out early. Somehow, I feel like I am now going out with an embarrassing bang which effectively curbs the inherent egoism of the goodbye letter.
That is, sadly, what this is. After 2.5 years, I will be departing One Of Us after the first of the year.
I am extremely proud of the work Chris Cox and I have put in and the creative geek network that we have created. I am so grateful to all the content creators, listeners, and supporters we have garnered in that time period. I’ve worked for a lot of outlets, but actually building something from the ground up is an entirely different, supremely thrilling experience. It has been one of the most creatively fulfilling aspects of my career.
That career, that chapter of my life, is also largely closing. And yes, we’ve arrived back in the land of indulgence, so kindly permit me to share or discretely scroll to the bottom; the fairer fields of TL:DR as it were. Being a film critic, writing (and later podcasting) about my greatest passion (movies, duh) was a dreamed that snuck into my brain shortly after moving to Austin in 2008, but one that took a firmer foothold than any other aspiration I’d ever previously had. I am extremely fortunate in that, for three years, I actually got to live my dream, working as a freelance writer/podcaster full time. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked–writing until sunrise to meet deadlines–and the most I’ve ever loved a job.
But life, uh uh uh, found a way to alter that course for me. Major changes, both catastrophic and joyfully fortuitous, have caused a major shift in my priorities and my direction in life. Much as I love film, and much as I relish the chance to gather with friends to crack wise (in addition to cracking numerous brews) around a microphone, the sad truth is that the landscape of our business has become nigh impossible to traverse. I have watched some of the very best critics on the web pack up their laptops and depart for more conventional (read: far more stable) employment. I count myself among this group—the alternate employment group, not at all the “best critics” group—as I now have a full time job with a non-profit cancer-fighting organization; perhaps my penance for some of the more terminal ailments I may have jestingly wished upon the likes of Friedberg and Seltzer.
I very much enjoy my new job, and I am happier in my personal life than I ever knew was possible for me, but these commitments have limited the amount of time left over for writing and podcasting. Truly adhering to the mantra that one should never half-ass anything, I now leave this site in the more-than-capable hands of Mr. Chris Cox and our phenomenal OOU team. I know they will continue to entertain you and cater to your every fandom.
Though life changes far more than finances are the inspiration for my departure, let me offer this encouragement/call to action on behalf of those brave creatives still in the trenches. If there is a website/podcast/YouTube channel/Etsy creator that you love, that gives you countless hours of enjoyment, please support those content producers. I know many of you already do this, and your patronage could not be more appreciated. Just know that you are endowed with great power here, as it is you who allows us (not just One Of Us, but all of us) to survive and do what we love, which hopefully then translates into content that you love.
A few notes of thanks before I head out the door (I know, I know, but I promise this will wrap up in a far more timely fashion than those Hobbit movies). I want to thank Neil Miller of FilmSchoolRejects, Peter Hall and Erik Davis of Movies.com, Korey Coleman and Martin Thomas of DoubleToasted.com, and our own Chris Cox for being the ones who opened the most doors for me and supported me as I took those first clumsy steps through them. I also want to thank Grant Davis and Jeff from Rageselect for their advice and support through the years. I want to thank the Alamo Drafthouse for being the nexus of the biggest decisions I’ve made in my life and for bringing me to the city that (in an admittedly roundabout way, but one nevertheless cherished) lead me to the place I didn’t know I always wanted to be.
And last, but never least, I want to thank the listeners who have been overwhelmingly supportive and kind to me. You will never know the extent to which your support, generosity, and words of encouragement have motivated me through some of the toughest moments of my life.
With that, I hand over my badge and my gun (not sure why I was issued either of those) and hit the red button.
I’ll see you all at that magical place where the screens are bright, the popcorn is hot, and the floors are upsettingly sticky.
Brian “Steak Plissken” Salisbury