What’s all this, then?
This is callumpetch.com, my own little corner of the web where you can find almost every article I have ever penned in my years as a writer. They’re largely film-focussed, but you’ll also find the occasional interjection into the realms of television, video games, music, and other assorted topics.
Who are you, anyway?
I am Callum Petch, which you could probably infer from the name of the site.
No, WHO are you?
Oh, I see what you mean. I’m a writer, have been seriously for going on 8 years now which, since I am currently 23 years old, is nearly a third of my life. This site only contains complete archives from 2013 onwards, though, since a lot of that pre-2013 stuff is really not good and you didn’t see Terry Pratchett proudly flaunting the tripe he wrote at age 16 alongside the quality work he made years later, did you?
You’re not really selling me on this particularly well.
Yeah, well I’m not great at self-promotion.
Is that why you’re using this hackneyed Q&A routine for your updated “About” scroll?
Hang on, don’t I recognise you from somewhere?
Maybe you do! I’ve been writing for a while, so I’ve popped up in various places. I was one of the main contributors to main-site content on Screened.com from its transition into a user-driven site in mid-2013 until its eventual closure in March of 2014. After that, I contributed heavily to the movie blog Failed Critics, and still sporadically do to this day, before setting up this particular stall. Recently, you may have also seen my byline popping up every now and again over at independent pop culture website Set the Tape. And those are just my film writing appearances! I’ve also been a regular guest on the successful Failed Critics Podcast since 2014, co-hosted the weekly film review show Screen 1 with Lucy Meer for the university radio station formerly known as Hullfire Radio, and before that was also a full-on regular on The Screened Pupcast. There was also a while where I contributed gaming-related thoughts to Mat Paget’s old blog, GameSparked.
That’s a number of places.
You betcha! And you can find almost everything I ever wrote at any of those places on this here site, as part of its extensive archives, some of them cleaned up and better presented from the days when I would write unassailable blocks of text with little regard for decent paragraphing. You can see a clear evolution in my critical voice, too, as I become somewhat less caustic and formulaic over time, trying to find new and interesting angles to cover films from and letting my passion and love for film better shine through. I’ve also allowed myself more leeway to become personal in my articles without losing my handle on outside contexts and how people other than myself may react to something differently than me. They’re also shorter. Sometimes. I write long articles.
And those podcasts?
Well, I only own the rights, so much as they are, to Screen 1, so they’re the only audio content that you’ll currently find on the site. But it is as complete an archive of the show as we could manage – some episodes were unfortunately not saved, so they’re lost to the winds of time. But you’ll be able go through the extensive Failed Critics Podcast archives here, and you should do because they make good podcasts! As for The Pupcast… that’s one better left to the corners of the net, but you’re welcome to hunt them down and cringe along with me if you so wish.
So you’ve got articles and you’ve got audio on a website bearing your name. Great, but you still haven’t answered my question of what all this here is yet.
Huh, I guess I haven’t. Not to matter! Let’s go down that category sidebar together and break down what each of them corresponds to, even though most are fairly self-explanatory!
- Best/Worst: This is where you’ll find any articles pertaining to a Best of/Worst of list. All of my very extensive Year End articles, which is a giant near-fortnight-long ceremony, take up residence here, and they’re also joined from time to time by other assorted lists about various things.
- Festivals: Sometimes, I am allowed to attend film festivals, like some kind of real journalist! My coverage takes the form of daily dairy-style dispatches that mix reviews (both quick-fire and detailed) of the films I have seen at the festival with personal thoughts and observations about my experiences there. These articles end up here once the festival is done, and also includes my 10-part experiences at the 2013 Eurogamer Expo for GameSparked due to self-decided technicalities.
- Film Editorials: Not exactly a fancy title, I know, but this is where most of my long-form non-review writing goes. Whether they’re focussed on trends and developments in the larger Film world, or are deep-dives into films heavy on the spoilers and analysis (either recent or old), they’re always interesting to read and worth their highly infrequent appearances!
- Lost Cels: A spiritual sequel to The DreamWorks Animation Retrospective (discussed a few entries below this), Lost Cels aims to shine a spotlight on animated features and television shows that have largely been forgotten by the critical community. Initially planned as a regular bi-weekly series, a combination of (at-the-time) university-related workloads and my continuing struggles with depression have turned it into something that appears without forewarning every now and again. I still love writing them, however, and am committed to keeping it going in some capacity. You can find a more detailed explanation of the series and its goals here.
- Other: Anything that doesn’t quite fit the other categories ends up here. Miscellaneous posts about music, politics, my own mental health, the very rare instances where I interview somebody. Things like those.
- Reviews: Don’t think I need to explain this one further. Makes up the bulk of the archives, at time of writing.
- Screen 1: My now-discontinued weekly university radio show, co-hosted with my good friend Lucy Meer, dedicated to film reviews and news. 70-and-a-third of the show’s 75 episodes were successfully archived for posterity and can be listened to via their embedded Mixcloud uploads on here, many with the original music intact!
- The DreamWorks Animation Retrospective: Throughout mid-2014 to early 2015, I set about the task of watching and seriously writing about the films of DreamWorks Animation, in honour of the studio’s 20th anniversary. What resulted were 35 weeks, 31 articles, and over 100,000 words dedicated to one of the most important animation studios of the 21st century. Originally posted to Failed Critics, you can now find them here. A far better and more detailed introduction can be found by following the appropriate link at the site’s mast.
- TV: I write about television sometimes, mostly during my Screened days. Those pieces can be found under this category.
- US Box Office Reports: Originally began during my Screened days and having followed me on and off to various other websites over the years, these articles provide you with prime weekend Box Office analysis washed down with a healthy dosage of snark and terrible puns. At time of writing, this series has been discontinued, but writing them takes about 80 minutes a pop and is a fun little exercise so don’t fully count it out just yet! …unless it’s been a full year on from November 2017 without an update, in which case it’s definitely done.
- Video Games: I write about video games sometimes, mostly during my GameSparked days. Those pieces can be found under this category.
- What I’ve Been Watching: Inspired by my friend Jackson Tyler’s now-discontinued Alt-Games and Introspection series of articles over at Abnormal Mapping (who are cool people you should check out), I mix bitesize commentary on the films I’ve managed to see that week with frank discussions about my constantly fragile mental health – how my depression, anxiety, and Asperger’s has been affecting my life in between postings. This series is very irregular, because it requires me watch enough films in a week to justify penning the article and my depression frequently robs me of my desire to do much of anything, but I’m aiming to be more frequent with it.
That’s a detailed list of content you got there!
Why, thank you.
How can I get some of that content for my own website?
Well, if you’re willing to pay for my time (fees are negotiable), then I will more than happily lend you my services! Your best way of contacting me is via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m never far from my phone, which means I’m never far from my email, and I’ll always make sure to get back to you sharpish!
In the meanwhile, is there any way I can find out when you’ve posted something new?
Yes, I can be somewhat inconsistent in my posting schedule, can’t I? Since I no longer have a Twitter (deleted of my own volition for mental health’s sake), your best bet to keep yourself abreast of any new articles is to click the Follow button at the bottom of each page on the site! I have been assured that doing so notifies you in some way whenever a new article appears on here! What fun!
Anything else I should be made aware of?
Nothing I can think of, at any rate.
Right, well, I’m going to head off to the rest of the site, if that’s fine by you?