It's been almost 6 months since our little project started. I'll be the first to admit that it wasn't an original idea. But, it was an idea that had not been explored.
Having just started being active on twitter, soon enough I came to know about these weekly chats that would take place. Mostly, due to my interest, I started participating in travel chats like #TTOT (Travel Talk On Tuesday) or #TNI (Traveler's Night In). Surprisingly, there was no such chat on Twitter that catered to the cinephiles.
Once I had Rachel onboard (after asking a few people to help, she was the only one who came forward), I feel we made a somewhat selfish yet encouraging idea of involving the very cinephiles who were our target to also help us with the event. It took a little bit of consideration and eventually we had a structure, a time (20:00 GMT) and a day (Sunday) when we would hold #MTOS each week.
The different aspect of #MTOS, one that differentiates it from other such talks across the other lifestyle (Travel, Photography, Food) talks, is that we decided to have a different host each week along with a different topic. To encourage the participants to take part, we decided to ask the hosts to make the questions and post them on their blogs so that in return they also got some traffic and free advertisement for their blogs. Not only did this make it easier for us and less stressful, but it proved to be a great way to give back to the film blogging community.
I still remember the very first #MTOS. While I fiddled with the questions, Rachel was busy calling people in and getting them to participate. Add to that the extensive work we had to do to explain the whole method to each new participant. But, eventually it paid of and we might not be hugely successful today, but I like to think we make a difference once a week and bring about some fun in people's lives.
#MTOS has not been without its problems. The time has always been an issue. It's obvious we cannot cater to the whole world and thus we decided on a time when it would be day in USA, evening in Europe, what I call "owl hour" in Asia, and morning in Australia. Asia definitely got the wrong end of the stick, but in all honestly, most cinephiles on Twitter, in my opinion, are in the western world, so it seemed okay to give them the benefit.
#MTOS has also had some very passionate supporters, and I thank them for that. But this passion in some cases also led to negative feedbacks. I believe in life one should take criticism and praise on equal levels. I've personally never spoken about the questions that were raised about #MTOS till now, but I would like to address something today.
#MTOS has never been about looking at film in deep details. I find it absurd to even imagine that we can discuss the nuances of cinema in 140 characters of less. So #MTOS is shallow. I actually take pride in that. When I started blogging, it was because I wanted to write reviews that were in common everyday language. I did not want to use big words. I did not know big words. I did not want to talk about different aspects of a film in detail. I never had and never will have a journalistic approach to writing reviews, but then that is the whole point. Film for me should always be experienced by each individual and each one should take a different, personal story from the film they watch. If I don't understand a film, and I am curious, I look up or ask someone. The same holds true for #MTOS.
#MTOS has always been about fun. That is the baseline. It's about discovering new films. Not talking about them in detail, although you can if you want to. We do have topics that cover all aspects of films, so as to make the event more interesting. It is about finding like minded people. It's about having a laugh and even a rant without getting heated up. It's about learning what others, around the world, think about a film and respecting their opinions. In short, just like any film, #MTOS is what you, the participants, make of it individually.
#MTOS has also had its success stories. Recently I found out about a couple who actually found out about each other during #MTOS and are dating now. How wonderful is that! We have new people joining in each week curious about that hashtag that pops up on their timelines every Sunday. We have had blogs that came into limelight and have increased their traffic ever since they hosted a #MTOS.
And that's the story of #MTOS so far. Rachel, my partner-in-crime, has been a tremendous driving force ever since we started, and has been the one to keep me and things in place every time frustration sets in with last minute host dropout and what not!
We are halfway through our second "semester" which ends in April and hope to start opening the "bookings" for hosts sometime in March. My request to everyone participating would be that we do #MTOS for no financial gain. We spend our time and energy on it, along with that of the hosts, so please if you love films, if you love to talk about them, if you like people who like films, then try and make it to the next #MTOS and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that...