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Site of the Week: Film School Rejects

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Neil Miller is living the American dream — or, at least the movie geek’s version of it. As executive editor of Film School Rejects, he gets paid to watch movies and talk about them. While other film fanatics moved to Hollywood or applied to USC (proven ways to break into the industry), Neil’s strategy involved moving to Columbus, Ohio, working at Best Buy and launching a movie review blog to get free films. Now, while they’re stuck in traffic or paying off school debt, he’s “24-years-old, sitting on top of a pretty cool movie website, working with some of the best writers on the face of the planet and meeting famous people all the time.”

In just two years, Film School Rejects has garnered a large fan
following (2 million page views per month), and expanded into movie
news, event coverage and features, all delivered by writers with
attitude. “You didn’t have to get rejected from film school,” explains
Miller about his writers. “It’s more about the sense of being an
outsider.” He likens their commentary to the journalism of Hunter S.
Thompson, but adds that they don’t take themselves too seriously. If
they do, their readers — mostly males ages 18-35 — will make sure to
point it out. “We do anger people,” Miller admits. “We have a little
edge because with the reject persona there is a certain level of

The site’s most popular feature is Kevin Carr’s WTF?
column which, as the title indicates, involves the author responding to
something movie related that made him go, “What the… ?” Other popular
items include the box office-based Reject Report, the grievance-filled Boiling Point and the podcast, Fat Guys at the Movies.
When it comes to competing with other movie sites, Miller says,”We will
outwork people, beat them with volume, because we’re just that
passionate.” And don’t forget their silly side: In a new section,The Biggest Reject Loser,
Miller, the other fat guy from the podcast and another fat guy who
helped start the site, are competing to lose weight. The contest will
finish at Comic-Con (which they’ll be covering in detail), and the
losers will have to act out the final scene from There Will Be Blood on the streets — complete with props, costumes and milkshakes. Neil calls it an “exercise in self-deprecation.”

Recently, Film School Rejects signed on with Crave Online, which
will take care of all the advertising. Now Miller’s job is even more of
a dream come true. The hardest part: “Every time I meet someone big,
the fan inside of me is trying to burst out and you can’t act that
way… you are forced to conduct yourself as if you are a ‘real’
journalist. Its a tough balance, but it gets easier with time.”

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