It was 10 long years ago that I launched a little movie and TV website just for fun, and at the time I never thought in my wildest dreams that ScreenRant.com would reach as many people as we do today. When I started the site I knew next to nothing about web design, evidenced by the hideous look of version 1.0:
Screen Rant was born back in November 2003 – and I had no experience with web design or anything else internet-related… I was just a movie as well as sci-fi fan and interested in this whole internet thing that seemed to be up and coming, and I thought it might be cool to set up one of those new websites called a “weblog.” Figured it might be fun to establish a place where I could talk about movies and TV, both the good and the bad, but I never thought anyone would read it beyond a couple of friends. It was more of a sandbox to play around with web design while writing about something I love.
Some of the earliest articles on the site were about Sci-Fi’s (that’s right, NOT “SyFy”) Battlestar Galactica, and the (at the time) brand new Lord of the Rings films. You probably don’t even remember that at one point both McG and Michael Bay were rumored to direct what became Bryan Singer’s version of Superman.
Back then the site was heavy on the “Rant” side of things and it was just me and my friend Brian Rentschler venting a couple of times a week. Things puttered along for a while as a personal blog just for fun, but over time people started leaving comments on the site and conversations began to blossom around whatever article we’d written. So in summer 2008 I thought maybe Screen Rant could “be somebody.”
Kofi Outlaw came on board as a part time writer (he’s now Screen Rant Editor-in-Chief) and then a few months later I noticed a very well-spoken commenter on the site who I thought might be a good contributor. Turns out I was right, and his name is Rob Keyes (now also a Senior Editor and in charge of PR for the site).
One of the early things that served as a “boost” for the site was when someone happened to email me photos of the desert set in the first Iron Man film – no one else had those and it not only brought us some early notoriety, it also put us on Paramount’s radar screen. 😛 We’ve had a number of articles written that have become the go-to source for movie info over the years (articles like our Inception Ending Explained), which has been read by over 3 million people.
As time went on we brought more and more writers on board, including our current heavy-hitters, Contributing Editor Sandy Schaefer, one of our two token girl writers (I kid, I kid – she is an amazing contributor) Hannah Shaw-Williams, our wacky TV Editor Anthony Ocasio, Managing Editor and SR Underground Podcast Producer Ben Kendrick, and Editor Ben Moore, who keeps the night and weekend fires burning. We left behind the personal blog vibe for more of a magazine format, and it’s worked out well.
Many writers have come and gone, and I no longer personally write for the site, but we continue to do our best to bring readers news about the sorts of movies we love – with a dose of editorial opinion. It’s been a LOT of work, along with some luck, and I want to thank our intrepid crew for the great job they do day in and day out.
There have been some ups and downs, stresses and craziness. There have been growing pains, both behind the scenes, and in our very lively comment section. Some of you have been with us for a VERY long time, and wish for “the old days,” but with popularity comes all the crazy people, and we now have about 1,000 new comments per day. Still, we do what we can to keep the conversation from getting mean and nasty (which isn’t easy, let me tell you!).
Overall it’s been a great ride and has given me the chance to meet and become friends with other really cool movie bloggers and industry people, work with what I consider to be the greatest team in the movie blogosphere, and to connect with movie fans like yourselves.
So today we’re visited almost 10 million times every month – and we’re still working hard at trying to bring you the latest and best information on the movies and TV you enjoy – along with a bit of fun here and there.
We are all very grateful to you, our readers.
I have far, far too many people to thank, and I don’t want this to come across like a Oscar acceptance speech – outside of the folks I’ve already mentioned above I have to thank my wife Kathleen, for letting me keep this crazy thing going and believing it would amount to something some day, my sister Isabel, with whom I forged a love of all things sci-fi, my developer, Michael, who squeezes in design time wherever he can, and my fellow movie bloggers who’ve been there for support over the years – you know who you are.
If you’re a regular visitor I want to thank you for coming back again and again. If you’re a first time reader, kick off your shoes, relax, and have a look around… join in on the conversation and hang out.
I consider a lot of you folks friends, so again, thanks for sticking with us.