Skip to content

Interview with #SeanEvans of Back to the Movies – A TOP 5 UK Film Blog

January 22, 2020

For years, we have been exhibiting movies and hosting movie festivals as Cellar Door Film Society. We love films and love to connect with influential people within the industry. This time, we are honoured to interview the founder and creator of the Top 5 UK Film blogger: Back to The Movies–Sean Evans.

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 13.42.55

1. When did you start Back to The Movies? What was the motivation behind this business?

When I was 21, my girlfriend, at the time suggested I do something special for my 21st birthday. Something to remember it by. We had this idea of collecting video messages from celebrities to celebrate it. I was always under the impression celebrities were impossible to reach but I sent a few emails out to agents and some even directly through their personal website etc. Within days I not only had video replies from celebrities who didn’t even know me but actual correspondence with them via email. It was through this that I thought I should set up a film website and interview some of the people who were kind enough to reply. I had messages from such people as Jeremy Bulloch from Star Wars,  Thomas Nicholas from American Pie and even signed items from Russell Brand and Daniel Craig through their agents. Back to the Movies as an idea was born in 2011 but I didn’t really give it much attention until 2013. It was in 2013 where I quit my 9-5 job and worked on a horror movie called Fear Clinic doing their social media work for a crowdfunding campaign. I raised enough capital that the producers invited me over to Los Angeles to work on the movie in person literally two weeks after I went self employed. One minute I’m in Stoke on Trent the next i’m in Los Angeles in Robert Englund’s (Freddy Krueger himself) house as he’s making me a sandwich and talking to me about Hollywood. Crazy.

2. What is the most exciting thing that you have found in running this film platform so far? Which movie is your favorite?

As far as my favourite film goes, there’s no question there. Back to the Future. The whole inspiration for the websites name was Back to the Future and meeting Christopher Lloyd, Michael J Fox and Tom Wilson was on my bucket list the second the site went live. Back in 2015 I met all three and no matter what the future holds for the site, I’ll always have that first goal ticked off, done and dusted!

I think the opportunities the site has given me is above and beyond anything I could have ever anticipated. Every year I get to walk the red carpet at the BAFTA awards, I’ve been a judge at various film festivals and I’ve become friends with some of my childhood heroes. Going to film premieres is always an experience and getting to interview some of the biggest names on the planet is something I’m so honoured to be a part of even now six years later. Getting invites to theme park ride openings, being an extra on set of a movie or even just being accepted to cover certain events up and down the country is a privilege. One of my proudest achievements is being asked to feature in the Amazon book A Million Dollar Blog which was the icing on the cake. The book is an Amazon bestseller highlighting some of the most financially successful blogs in the country and I still feel I don’t deserve to be in there as I’m surrounded by such industry greats! The movie work has even expanded to the music world as Fear Clinic the Movie starred Corey Taylor from the band Slipknot, we chat frequently and we spent some time in LA together around the film’s release. Things like which blow my mind. To think I started this website in an office at my parent’s house. It’s been a whirlwind since then!

3. How do you find your entrepreneur life in the film/entertainment industry?

It’s like living a fairytale. I get many friends who constantly tell me they hate me as they’re working their 9-5 jobs, a little fed up, a little bored and i’m there snapping pictures at concerts, events, theme parks or next to a familiar face. I can’t blame them for hating me I think I’d be the same in their position but I give up my 9-5 for a reason. We only live once and I want to look back and say I made the most with the time I had and as far as making memories go I’ve made enough of them to last a lifetime and I’ve only just started.

Every week you meet a new actor or filmmaker looking to promote their project. I absolutely love the independent film community, they’re like one huge family. I much prefer the independent scene over the Hollywood scene, fewer politics and more passion in my opinion. It’s nice to see people who are out there working hard to achieve their goals, we all follow the same mindset and that’s a positive mindset that I love to surround myself with. I’ve always been very ambitious, maybe too ambitious most of the time but if you dream it you can achieve it (my cheesy motto, many apologies). 

Back to the Movies was set up to talk about movies the way you’d talk to your friends about them. Not critics, just fans. Around 99% of the time the site is run by me and me alone so that’s tough. Posting 5-6 posts a day, working around 16 hours a day late into the night is always hard. But the results pay off and when they don’t, you just keep at it. With me talking about movies like a fan and not a critic you’re naturally open to more criticism as people are used to reading film reviews a certain way. I speak to people like people, not consumers and as a result, my personality (sometimes brutally honest at times) comes through in my content. I wouldn’t say it was a negative of my work as I love hearing other peoples’ opinions, it’s just when those opinions go past debate and into trolling things become more interesting. I’m thick-skinned, I’m in this business for a reason and for anyone who knows me I don’t back down too easily. I’m all for a healthy debate and a good old-fashioned slanging match. Bring it on!

4. What is the biggest challenge you have found on this journey?

The biggest challenge for me was finding a way in with the studios. It took over 3 of the 6 years that I’ve been doing this job to get a studio interview and i’m STILL not on the full-time list yet. It was thanks to a good friend of mine who is a well-known news correspondent in San Francisco who was coming to London for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies premiere. We went to the junket the next day in a fancy hotel where he asked if I wanted to interview someone on his behalf. I chose the actor Luke Evans and just like that I had my first studio interview on camera. Now, most of these interview junkets go to the huge mainstream media but I took my interview and ran with it on my little site and it blew up!

Still, to this day I’m not on the full-time studio list but that’s no doubt because I’m Midlands based and not London based so things can get pretty expensive travel-wise especially with the frequency of junkets. But as a result of that interview, I now work closely with Universal, Warner Brothers and Lionsgate on many film releases and have featured on some of their Home Entertainment release covers. Seeing your little one-man-band website on the front cover of a movie in a high-street store is one of the craziest but incredible feelings in the world.

5. What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

I always feel as though I have to work harder. With film being an industry that is constantly evolving and changing I just feel I need to be on top of everything. Running the site on my own makes that task a mountain. I love a challenge but I would certainly have help in the near future if the site keeps growing and evolving as it does. Would you believe that I found a grey hair the other day! That’s certainly a result of running this site for the last six years that’s for sure!

6. On your website, there are a lot of film reviews. Which category or which film review would you recommend the most?

I’m a sucker for a good horror movie. I absolutely love them. When I was over in LA I attended the Screamfest Horror Festival and my love of horror was blown into the stratosphere. There was a film showing every 90 minutes or so and for ten whole days, I don’t think I saw even 20 minutes of daylight. I was literally camped out in the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood being there for all these horror movie premieres and binge-watching everything from shorts, to documentaries to feature films. The horror community is full of some of the most incredible and passionate people I’ve ever met in my life. Just one big family who I love and adore to bits!

7. Which film are you looking to review next?

I’ve not long just posted a Bad Boys for Life review now that we’re doing some work with the guys behind 4DX and Screen-X cinema technology. Funnily enough, I’m going to see Bad Boys for Life AGAIN tonight with my two brothers Gary and Wayne and our friend Paul (told you I’d get you guys a shoutout). I’m also trying my hand at vlogging so some of my reviews and VLOGS are things I’m working on currently. This week alone I’ve joined the Circus of Horrors, reviewed a movie projector and have been shooting at an airsoft range. The next physical film I have to watch is right in front of me as I’m typing this review, it’s an upcoming western movie called Hell on the Border starring Ron Pearlman. I’ve been asked to provide quotes for consideration on the front cover of the DVD release so hopefully, I enjoy it and I’m chosen to feature on the front cover!

8. Do you have any advice to give to anyone who also would like to start their journey on film review?

Perseverance. That’s the key. When I started you can’t even imagine how many people told me “You’ll never get many views” or “So many people do that you won’t achieve anything from it” or “why should people care what you have to say”. Just bear in mind that many of these comments come from a place of jealousy or insecurity as they don’t have the confidence to go out and achieve something independently for themselves. Stick to your motivations, your goals and speak passionately about the things you love. 

When Back to the Movies started I was on 100 views a week. That was so disheartening but it didn’t stop me. I kept going, I kept building and just didn’t give up. Fast forward six years later and I’m still not giving up and still not happy with the views I’m getting now. The goalposts may change but you have to keep believing and working hard. If you follow a passion and write about things you love it’ll never feel like work anyway.

Build your site, make connections and don’t focus on the money straight away. Content is key, deliver your message in your voice and when it takes off (which if you work hard it will) then focus on making it financially viable.

Screen Shot 2020-01-22 at 13.57.40

(Sean Evans, Owner and Creator of Back to The Movies)

Website – https://www.backtothemovies.com

B2TM Instagram – BackToTheMovies (@backtothemoviespage) • Instagram photos and videos

B2TM Twitter – Back To The Movies (@Bck2TheMovies) on Twitter

B2TM FB – https://www.facebook.com/BackToTheMoviesPage/

B2TM YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsxiOJiGR_KogPs5W6ldp5g?view_as=subscriber

 

Images & Content Courtesy of Sean Evans

Interview Notes Courtesy of ‘The Designer

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: