Ten years ago my friend Free Reyes and I officially launched GeekTyrant.com. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. So much has happened in that time both professionally and personally and I have to say that it's been one hell of a wild ride.
In 2007, Free and I attended San Diego Comic-Con. We easily found a hotel room and bought our tickets to the convention at the door. That was the year that director Jon Favreau showed up to share the very first footage from Marvel's first independently made film Iron Man in Hall H. As you would imagine, we were completely blown away!
That same year I managed to catch an early screening of Frank Darabont's film adaptation of Stephen King's The Mist. At the time, Ain't it Cool News was always taking and posting movie review submissions from fans, and I submitted a review for The Mist, which they ended up posting on the site. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I got a little rush from that and from all the comments from the readers. I also got trashed on so hard by people. That's when I thought, why not just start a geek website of our own to post cool stuff?
Not long after that, Free and I started talking about starting a movie geek website. We loved movies and geeky stuff, we were constantly talking about that stuff, we were always having fun making short films, and we just thought it would be awesome to start our own little website. Free was a web-designer and I enjoyed writing, so we thought... why the hell not!?
As we started developing it, we thought it would be perfect to launch the website with the release of Jon Favreau's Iron Man and this is what that initial page set-up concept looked like. Just imagine it in color.
My very first post was a review for Iron Man and I was so paranoid about it! After I posted it, I kept reading it over and over again. I kept finding mistakes, I kept fixing them, and I was constantly adding new thoughts to the review throughout the day. I was constantly re-saving it, changing the time stamp... ugh, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. If you want to read that review, you can do that here. I remember a little over 50 people read it that day, which I thought was the coolest thing!
It's fun to think that we grew as Marvel Studios grew. We share the same anniversary! Obviously, they are doing a lot better than we are ten years later, but we're still around, so that's a plus! We've seen a lot of other websites come and go over the years. We are also one of a handful of movie geek websites that are still independently owned. We haven't sold out, even though the opportunity has presented itself several times.
In the first few years that we ran the GeekTyrant, we used fake names because some of us had jobs and we didn't want them to know what we were doing in our spare time. Some of you might remember that I went by the name Dr. Venkman. There were also a couple well-known popular movie bloggers that bullied the hell out of me when we launched. They tried so hard to discourage us and even threated to black-ball us with the studios. We just ignored the threats and pressed forward. Those guys are still around. That's something I wasn't expecting! I guess they felt threatened.
I was working for a post-production company at the time that we launched GeekTyrant. Two years into that job, things took a dark turn. They started treating me like shit and I found myself the victim of workplace bullying. Things got really bad and we ended up parting ways.
After that, I spent over a year trying to find work. For the life of me, I couldn't find a damn job. I was married with three kids utterly depressed and stressed out to the max. All the while, I was still writing for GeekTyrant. I found comfort in writing about movies and geeky stuff. It brought some form of happiness and accomplishment into my life during a time where my world was just crashing down around me and I felt like nothing, I felt like a complete failure. GeekTyrant is all I had in terms of some form of job, but the only problem was... I wasn't making any money doing it.
For a little over a year, I spent most of my time looking for a real job, while I continued to treat GeekTyrant as a hobby. After that time of not being able to find any work something in me exploded and I decided to focus all of my attention on GeekTyrant. I just dove in and went for it! I had no idea what was going to happen, but in my mind, it was "make it or break it" time. This had to succeed!
Six months later the site's traffic had grown, we signed up with a great ad agency, and we were actually making some money! We were making enough money where I was able to write for the site full time and make a living out of it! I'm still in awe of how that all played out. I've been writing and running the site ever since. I also have to stress that this wouldn't have been possible without the help of my friend and partner Free, who was there for me during those insanely hard, rock-bottom times that I was going through. If it wasn't for his hard work, his constantly inspiring me, and knowledge of the internet, that wouldn't have happened.
We've had our ups and downs and money problems over the years, but we've managed to stay afloat and keep the website up and running. Now, ten years later... here we are! And I'm still making spelling and grammar mistakes! That's consistency! In my defense, I do write an average of 15 to 20 articles a day so it's hard to catch them all, and unfortunately, I'm not perfect, but I do my best. I don't know any other movie website owner/writer that writes that much, but I do it for our audience.
Speaking of which, thank you! From the top and bottom of my heart, Thank you all for supporting us! Thank you for reading GeekTyrant! Thank you for participating! I love reading what you all have to say in the comments. Also, thank you for all the constructive criticism and letting me know when I screw something up so that I can fix my mistakes. I'm sure there are a few of them in this post regardless of how many times I read through it to make sure there aren't any. We have such an amazing community! Thank you for accepting us for who we are. It means a lot to me.
I never take for granted what we have been able to accomplish over here. I'm never comfortable with what we have. I'm constantly on edge trying to do better and make the site better. I'm up at 6am every morning and I find myself working 12 to 15 hours a day trying to keep this site running and growing.
We've got a lot of big plans for the future. We've had big plans for years! We just hope that one day we will be able to realize those plans. But, as of right now we are doing everything we possibly can with what we have to work with. Hopefully, we will get to make some big announcements soon.
We've had a lot of great writers and other people pass through our doors over the years that helped us. Some of those writers and other individuals that I'd like to thank that have been involved in the business over the years include Free Reyes, Billy Fisher, Mick Joest, Kristian Odland, Ben Pearson, Elijah Reyes, Emily Dunbar, Tommy Williams, Jessica Fisher, Connor Paur, Lucas Lowman, Jake Smith, Conrad Paur, Bryam Dayley, Drew Lawrence, Matthew Mueller, Jim Napier, Jason Williams, Brian Shirley, Jordan Giuliani, Josh Patel, Eddy Edens, and, of course, my wife Keri, who continues to put up with me after fifteen years of marriage! Also, one more special thank you to Jon Favreau for inspiring us.
I'm excited about the future and I can't wait to see what that future holds for GeekTyrant! Again, thank you to all of you! Without you, we wouldn't be here.