Direktlänk till inlägg 21 december 2013

Hur jag kom med i ett paper på ett amerikanskt universitet

Av Ulf - 21 december 2013 19:09

 


Jag fick ett oväntat tillägg på min Skypelista idag. Någon som inte var en thailändsk mail order-brud (som egentligen troligen är en medelålders man i Murmansk) utan en förfrågan om en intervju. Det visade sig vara en mastersstudent vid University of California som läste nordiska språk med kulturinriktning. Nu skulle hon skriva ett paper om nordisk filmpress online och ville ställa lite frågor. Nedan följer den transkriberade intervjun. Jag tyckte den passade bra att publicera då den dessutom svarar på några av de vanligaste frågorna jag får om Skitfinkultur.


How long have you been writing movie reviews? Is this blog your first outlet for reviews online?

 

Haha, God no. I started writing reviews sometime around 2001 and published them in my old Livejournal. They’re still there, somewhere, but I haven’t looked at them for ages. I did write them in English however, so if you’d like I could always find the link for you. I had several plans for a review archive from scratch but discovered I couldn’t be bothered with the whole coding aspect of maintaining such a website. Instead, I chose to focus on the writing part.


So do you make any money of your website? Endorsements?

 

Yes and no. I don’t make any money that I can point to and say: “yeah, I got paid this and that for this review and that article.” Since I’m using a free host I have to allow their endorsements and commercial banners, so I’m not making any money upfront. I do however get invited to festivals, get review copies and use the blog to get other work, such as translating and teaching work. It never fails – if I’m at a job interview, the interviewer wants to talk about the blog. It’s a really good window to showcase talents, thoughts and work ethics.


I understand that the debate, as the one we’ve had in the U.S., about copyright infringement has been rampant in Sweden. Do you use illegally downloaded materials in any way?

 

I find it’s sort of a grey area to be honest. Of course, the downloading of copyrighted materials is in itself a crime according to Swedish law, and as such I don’t use illegally downloaded materials for reviewing matters. I get advance copies from some companies, buy other materials and get some for free from various sources. I also use a lot of streaming video, which is not illegal as of yet. Films are quite easy to get by legal means if you do some research, but books however is another matter altogether. I had some contacts with publishers but all but one has stopped sending me materials right now. This is what is wrong with the business of review-writing in Sweden, and I guess a lot of other places – if you write what you really think about something and you happen to hate it, well, then that’s that. I’ve lost more than one deal by keeping my reviews honest. Some would call it stupidity, I call it integrity. Of course, I could use libraries for my literature reviews, but good luck finding the current “book of the year” for checkout.


Looking through your texts, with my more that somewhat limited Swedish, I see that they are of very different length. Is that a conscious choice or a product of time constraints?

 

Sadly, it’s almost only about time constraints. Since I don’t make any money per se I have to have my day job to be able to pay rent, bills and stuff. That means that I in periods sleep way too little, which really can hamper any texts I write. You can really see a drop in quality around Christmas time, right about now actually, and again during the summer months. This is something I have to work on.

How many visitors do have a typical month?

I started keeping closer track of visitor numbers just last year when I discovered that the counter on the site was not really giving an accurate reading. Thus far during 2013 my best two months were March and April with around 9 500 unique visitors each. Those may not be high numbers compared to various fashion blogs and so on, but for a blog about film and literature it’s at least respectable. You can usually see a drop during the summer months, for obvious reasons. Winter and spring time is the peak of the year thanks to the Oscar season.


Any plans for 2014?

 

Always! Lots of plans, but I would need 12 hours more each day to work with them all. But to give a small preview I have a big science fiction-project coming up, as well as a project concerning superheroes. And of course, with Oscar season looming it’s soon time for the yearly Oscar-project. Also, I will probably be helping out with the production of a short film this summer and a lot of other stuff. Stay tuned, and practice your Swedish!

 
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