During the almost four years we have hosted the PEPS website, we have been honored to receive multiple blogger awards from our friends in the classic film blogosphere. On August 17, we were nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award for the first time by J-Dub of Dubsism. Although J-Dub reviews films through sports analogies, while we analyze movies through the Code’s perspective, we have become good friends recently. Thank you very much for nominating us, J-Dub! We’re honored.
This award has simple rules.
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
- Post the award banner on your blog.
- Share the reason you started your blog.
- Share two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
- Nominate a maximum of 15 other bloggers.
- Tell your nominees about your award post, so they can participate.
I have already done the first two things. The next duty is to share why we started our blog. I am always happy to do this, since I like our readers and blogging friends to know what motivated us to start the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society.
It all started with Holiday from 1938. In late winter or early spring of 2016, my mother offered several DVDs and VHS as choices for a film to watch one night. My family has always loved classic films, especially those made in the 1940s and 50s, but we had little knowledge of the Motion Picture Production Code at this point. My sister, Rebekah, and I selected Holiday out of the five or six film choices. We were familiar with leads Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and the premise sounded fascinating. While we watched this movie, I noticed Lew Ayres, who played Katharine’s brother, Ned. I had never seen this actor before, but I was deeply impacted by his performance; he reminded me of our current favorite actor, Jack Lemmon. I researched his career, and we later watched Dr. Kildare’s Strange Case from 1940, furthering our interest in this actor. That summer, Rebekah and I were fascinating with Lew Ayres, whom we had chosen as our new favorite actor. This created a growing curiosity about the 1930s, a decade with which we were less familiar.
That same summer, Rebekah was working on a difficult writing course for her junior year of high school. Since we were both homeschooled, she was only just twelve at the time, so I, fifteen-years-old and having graduated from the same curriculum a little over a year earlier, helped her with this course. All the subjects of her paragraphs and essays in that course were 1930s films, particularly those with Lew Ayres. Eventually, our interest in 1930s cinema created an interest in the Production Code. Since Lew Ayres’s career back in 1929, his early films were pre-Code films. I had heard about the Code vs. Pre-Code for the first time about a year earlier, when I learned about Jack Lemmon’s 1956 film You Can’t Run Away from It, which was a remake of the late pre-Code film It Happened One Night. I read the Wikipedia article on pre-Code films at that time; although the concept fascinated me, I thought little of it for quite some time. However, with our renewed interest in 1930s cinema, we began to study the Code, quickly deciding that the way its enforcement coincided with the Golden Era of film decency was no coincidence.
At the end of the course, in September, Rebekah had to write a full-length research paper. For her topic, we decided to write about the Code’s impact on American films and culture, noting that the decline in American cultural morality coincided with Joseph Breen’s retirement. It was called The Production Code of 1930’s Impact on America. Writing this essay inspired us to start a website for an organization dedicated to reforming arts in America, called the Pure Entertainment Preservation Society (PEPS). This reform, although including live arts such as opera, ballet, and theatre, begins with replacing the Rating System with the Motion Picture Production Code. On October 17, 2016, we published the first article on this website, which was our research paper. Since then, we have published 573 articles on this website.
The next duty is to share two pieces of advice to new bloggers. I am happy to do this, since I want new people starting on this path to achieve as much success as possible.
My first piece of advice is to develop a point of view. This is especially important for film bloggers. If you review movies, you aren’t writing about anything original or groundbreaking. Especially if you write about classic movies, other people have written about the same topic before you. What sets your review apart? Why should people read your blog instead of the dozens or hundreds of others? You can develop a following of appreciative readers if you have a special point of view. Rather than just making your blog “Jane’s Thoughts on Movies,” make it “A Fashion Student’s Exploration of Classic Films Through Costumes” or “Traveling the World Through Film Locales and Foreign Movies.” The aforementioned Dubsism is an excellent example of a blogger with a very strong point of view. Of course, most of my successful blogger friends don’t have that strong a theme. However, they have a definite point of view in their writing, often using the same structure for their posts. If you are a new blogger, try to develop a strong theme which will set your blog apart from the rest.
My second piece of advice is to create engaging posts which will attract likes, comments, and follows. When I started adding pictures to my posts, I suddenly started receiving reactions. Including pictures, videos, and other media make articles so much more interesting, instead of just being blocks of texts. That’s pretty elementary, I know, but it is important. Once you have found your style and developed engaging posts, you need to gain more readers and followers. The best way to do this is by joining a community of like-minded bloggers. I did this by joining blogathons. When I joined my first blogathon, The Great Villain Blogathon 2017, at the end of April 2017, I was very unsure. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was inspired to join at the last minute. I was amazed by how my views and comments increased! Encouraged by this, I joined every blogathon I could find in the coming months. That October, PEPS hosted its own blogathon for the first time, The Great Breening Blogathon. If you want to find out about upcoming blogathons, check the Classic Movie Hubs’ Events page.
Now, it’s time to nominate up to fifteen other bloggers for this award! I will be avoiding people who were nominated for this same award by J-Dub or Rebecca Deniston of Taking Up Room, who nominated J-Dub.
- Ruth of Silver Screenings
- Charity of The Sacred in the Secular
- Megan Chappie of The Pen and the Cross
- MovieCritic of Movies Meet Their Match
- Eva Schon of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness
- Neil “The Musical Man” Powell of Thoughts From The Music(al) Man
- Brittaney of The Story Enthusiast
- Erica D. of Poppity Talks Classic Film
- Keith of Various Ramblings of a Nostalgic Italian
- Toni Ruberto of Watching Forever
- Paul Batters of Silver Screen Classics
- Andrew Wickliffe of The Stop Button
- Eric Binford of Diary of a Movie Maniac
- Rich of Wide Screen World
- Simoa of Champagne for Lunch
In addition to nominating them for this award, I would like to invite J-Dub and my fifteen nominees to join two events we’re hosting here at PEPS. Firstly, I would like to invite you all to join our upcoming Joe Pasternak Blogathon. We could really use your talent!
Also, we would like to invite you to contribute to our guest series, What the Code Means to Me. These monthly articles are written by fellow bloggers about their thoughts on the Code and the films it produced. Everyone who participates in this series gets to suggest a topic for an upcoming Breening Thursday article. I know that some of my nominees have already participated in this series. However, if they would like to write another article about different thoughts on the Code or one particular Code film, we would be honored to feature them again! All articles in this series are republished on PEPS.
Thank you again, J-Dub!
Click here to join our month-long abstinence from American Breen Era (1934-1954) movies to create greater appreciation for the Code, #AMonthWithoutTheCode2020!
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