An Open Letter To JJ Abrams, Re: Cloverfield

How to start? Felicity was winding down when I was first introduced to it by my soon to be wife. She was a long time fan. I tolerated it. She (my wife) also introduced me to the guilty pleasure that was Buffy. Again, I was late to the party, but do tell Drew that I liked Buffy in spite of myself, and it was because of the writing. Of course I watched all of Angle. Then came Alias, which I watched from the start. I especially liked the early Rambaldi stuff. But I have to say, you lost me there toward the end. I'm rounding up or down (not sure), but I passed on the last two seasons. I suppose if I was more into Jennifer I might have stuck it out a bit longer, but she's not my type. On to LOST--and yes--I've watched it from the start and I'm still hanging in there. I guess you could say I'm into Hawaii.

So that's the concise me to you. Moving on to the subject, Cloverfield, there are a few things I want to share. They are somewhat precipitated by the grotesque paring of Fox and The Huffington Post, but only in passing, and certainly not in response. Rather, if the value of an opinion about Cloverfield has risen to the point that the MSN is cashing in on it, then I think this is as good a time as any to have one, and mine is 6 months in the making.

When the Teaser came out in July, I saw it in theaters. I thought it was bitchin. But I didn't google 1-18-08 the second I got home. In fact, I didn't bother looking it up until about a week later when an opportunity to express my disappointment with Transformers presented itself. My recollection was that the Teaser was the highlight of that particular movie going experience, and of course I turned to Google to refresh my memory before making the point. What I found when I googled 1-18-08 some six months ago, what started me down this curious path, wasn't what I'd expected. For this, however, I need to digress a bit.

Blogging, web design, herding cats, online stuff is a hobby of mine. I'd like it to be more some day, but "hobby" is what it is right now. Approximately a year and a half, two years ago, I happened upon a curiously successful blogger. His was a LOST blog. I won't link to him (because he's since become a real tool from the looks of it), but you can google "themisfitishere" if you're curious. Anyway, the guy was funny like Grizzly Man was funny. I was entertained. He also obviously spent a lot of time on his topic of choice and his blog. But what was most interesting to me was he was getting thousands upon thousands of visitors a day. Curious about the "how" as it relates to blogging, I took to lurking in the LOST universe since this seamed a potential confluence of interests for me (LOST/blogging). It wasn't difficult to figure out the how, but it was also obvious that it was too late for me to try and take advantage of the LOST phenomena, and quite frankly, I couldn't afford to match the time investment some of the established LOST bloggers and site owners were putting in.

Googling Cloverfield reminded me of those LOST bloggers and sites, but this time I was on the cusp. I knew, with JJ Abrams involved, that here was an opportunity. But there was still the problem of time investment. I didn't have it, or at least, not enough of it to compete. It was about 24 hours after passing on starting a Cloverfield blog that a way to take advantage of the buzz without having to bust my ass to do it occurred to me. I would fake a 1-18-08 site (or set up a Game Jack as I've come to know them). So I started scrounging around of available blogspots and that is how I landed 11808.blogspot. I proceeded to strip the template as best I could and create a blank/black page and made my first cryptic post. It read, "like a canary, the tide." I followed that up with this image. There were a few more after that, but as a Game Jack, it was weak. I now know it wouldn't have fooled anyone. But what it did succeed in doing was keep me involved in, attuned to, the blossoming Cloverfield universe. I'm not sure how long it took (less than a week) but based on what I was seeing (I'd been unimpressed with or uninitiated by the Cloverfield blogs I'd found), I quickly concluded that a legitimate Cloverfield blog was worth a try. And so I started The Untitled JJ Abrams Project.

From there it's blog history so to speak. It has been one long (and fun) learning experience for me. I ended up not competing, but winning that race stopped being a motivation long ago. I've learned more about my hobby blogging about Cloverfield than I'd learned in all my previous years of tooling around. I've made the acquaintance of some really good folks I would have never have known otherwise. I feel like I've played a role, albeit minor, in all of this--and there's a certain secrete satisfaction in that (don't tell anyone). I'll even say that as fun and personally rewarding as it has been, I'm ready for the movie to come out. But before this all ends, before I go back to just loving movies and Hawaii, I'd like to pretend you are listening for just a minute. If I had your ear, I'd tell you that Dennis and Unfiction make Cloverfield on the web look good. This is especially true in light of what else you can find about Cloverfield on the web. Hopefully you know that. But just in case you didn't.

Lastly, the above also happens to be my review of Cloverfield. The movie I haven't seen. But Cloverfield isn't just a movie. So 5 stars, or thumbs up, or see it.

Anyway, thanks for the ride brother. I was that dog in the back seat with his head out the window, tail wagging and tongue flapping in the wind.