I won’t say that I feel exactly like Captain James T Kirk today, but clearly I am taking a look back at what’s been our 5-year mission since launching Beyond the Marquee and I can’t help but feel a bit of a fun connection to a journey filled with mystery, exploration, laughter, tears, growth, change and Romulans. Ok, maybe not Romulans, but certainly a loyal, hard-working, creative, and colorful crew who took a chance and had a thirst for adventure into the vast unknown.
Today marks Beyond the Marquee’s 5th Anniversary on the Internet. And, although the intentions of what we envisioned the site to be when we created it have changed over the years, the site proudly still remains a growing presence in the world of Entertainment media. As we enter our quinquennial year (that means the 5 year mark, I had to look it up), we invite our Beyond the Marquee readers to take a step back over the past 1/2 decade with us, as we humbly call-out some of our favorite highlights and accomplishments from our time on the web. We look forward to what the next 5 years may bring to Beyond the Marquee and its loyal fans. – Steve Czarnecki
Read below to see some of our top picks from over the last 5 years!
On October 11th, 2011, what started as an idea to build an outlet for friends with common interests, talents, passions, and connections in Los Angeles grew into something far greater than we could have ever imagined. With so many deeply rooted & established entertainment media websites on the web (some run by good friends of ours), we never set out with goals to compete with anyone. The site was originally created to be the home of our Beyond The Marquee: The Web-Series that would spotlight unique individuals, places, and stories in Hollywood that failed to get the attention it deserved (but should).
As the site was close to launching, something wonderful happened, friends approached and offered to provide weekly written articles, features, and thought-provoking reviews. This family-friendly mix of well produced storytelling and well-written content helped Beyond the Marquee carve a niche for ourselves that set us apart from the crowd, and allowed our team to truly do what they loved in every topic that was covered.
Soon after the site launched in late 2011, with Google being ranked the (#1) website, we were pretty far down the totem pole at 428,657, but we didn’t care about numbers, we cared about content. Just before we entered our 2nd year, we were invited to join forces with Chris Hardwick’s Nerdist Alliance, which helped boost not only our notoriety, but also our site’s credibility. We were picking up steam and before long we had nearly a dozen freelance writers and talent on-staff and we were fully invested in every topic we covered, producing more written pieces and more web-series content during that time then ever. By the end of our 3rd year, to our surprise, our ranking jumped up nearly half from where we started a few years prior, to 179,255!
As BTM rounded the corner into Year 4, we encountered a slight hiccup as we slowly started losing our staff. Some of our writers got married, started having children or had to commit more time back to their families. Others took on full-time teaching jobs, one of our beloved colleagues passed away due to health issues, and some changed careers or had distractions that detoured them from committing to their normal contributions to the site. For the skeleton crew that remained, we were forced to scale back the daily posts, narrowing down our content to our strenthgs – the ongoing web-series and the occasional special written feature or review, which has been our standard format for the past 2 years. As 2015 came to an end, we were quite pleased to see that even through the reduction of staff and shift in frequent deliverable content, we had still continued to move up the ranks on the Internet to 42,781. What bolstered that rise? Loyal fans for one and word of mouth that this niche entertainment website called, Beyond the Marquee, produced some pretty good exclusive stuff!
Beyond the Marquee: The Web-Series
To date, we’ve produced over 270 pieces of video content for our BTM YouTube channel and of those, 86 are the signature Beyond The Marquee: The Web-Series segments. Over the years we’ve covered various subjects pertaining to film, television, and special Hollywood media events. Everything from world premieres, sci-fi conventions, studio lots, movie sets, filming locations, fan events, prop/costume exhibitions, filmmaker & actor’s homes, award shows and more! Our cast and crews have journeyed from Los Angeles to New York, Utah and Chicago and even to locations outside the USA, like Germany, Morocco, Malta, and London.
We’ve been very fortunate to have a talent pool of on-camera personalities who have volunteered their time and talents to BTM when not doing their day jobs of being professional TV & Film actors, voice-over artists, Motion Picture creative content Producers or part-time indie-film Directors.
We certainly have also enjoyed our long-time partnership with BacktotheFuture.com, serving not only as the West Coast Correspondents for the site, but also the official on-line outlet for the content produced for/with them. Our coverage during 2015 of the Anniversary events of the film trilogy were some of our most viewed and re-posted segments!
Here’s our Top 20 favorite BTM web-series segments (in no particular order);
- Interviewing the late Stephen Dane, designer of the original Ghostbusters Ecto-1
- Our 5-day coverage of the “We’re Going Back” the 30th Anniversary Back to the Future event
- Our sit down interview with legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan
- Hoverboards and more Hoverboards. We unveil the Mattel Hoverboard to the world with Bob Gale
- Our 3 day coverage of “Ferris Fest” the 30th Anniversary of Ferris Bueller in Chicago
- Covering the 30th Anniversary Knight Rider Reunion fan-event (this one still gets tons of hits)
- Feeling the Force at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim
- Spending time with Bob Gale and all his amazing ‘Back to the Future’ props.
- Experiencing the insane horror maze of Jason Blum’s “The Purge: Fear the Night”
- Meeting the Mad Hatter of Hollywood at Baron Hats
- Numerous interviews on the floor of Comic-Con in San Diego
- Exploring the Indiana Jones & the Adventure of Archaeology Exhibit
- Unveiling of the ‘Back tothe Future’ “A” car DeLorean at the Petersen Automotive Museum
- Celebrating Aileen “Annie” Quinn’s 30th Annie’versary
- Scaring up some fun interviews at MONSTERPALOOZA
- A visit to Popeye village on the island of Malta
- Chatting with Bruce Boxleitner “TRON” at the 30th Anniversary event of TRON
- Experiencing the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff
- Going one on one with legendary animation voice actress June Foray
- Venturing into the Warner Bros’ Museum Bat Cave to celebrate 75 years of the Dark Knight
- Checking out the incredible work at the 30th Anniversary Back to the Future art-show
- Dave Nimitz’s amazing FLINTSTONES collection
…and so many more. If you’ve missed any of those above, click on the links on the names of the above episodes and check them out! Plus click THIS LINK to visit the Playlist of all 86 Beyond the Marquee episodes we’ve done.
Articles, Interviews and Encounters
Beyond the Marquee has continually brought some amazing reads to our entertainment fans over the years. From thought provoking and professionally written weekly recaps covering everything from TV’s “Once Upon a Time”, “Agents of SHIELD” and “Breaking Bad” to the newest and most-talked about television and cable shows. Some staples in our 5-year run were weekly film and DVD reviews from veteran publicist and writer John Delia, funny and insightful views on Hollywood from Steve D’arcangelo in THE PROJECTION BOOTH, a hint of films to come in TRAILER TUESDAYS and Kim Rose’s MARQUEE MAMA reviews, which gave a honest look into family movies being released, from a real mom’s perspective. Those and many other guest posts and reviews from other members of our Beyond the Marquee team have certainly kept us busy.
Hands down, a BTM fan favorite was Kevin Stern’s meticulously researched and exhaustively accurate TV & Movie location articles in LOCATION, LOCATION, Location? This feature brought about the discovery of at least three never-before-identified filming locations – the actual (and much contested) location of the Peabody Farm & Homestead from Back to the Future, the Scary German Guy’s house from Monster Squad and the location of the secret government base from Spies Like Us. If you ever wanted to see the THEN & NOW of some movie locations like the LA River scene from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Pee Wee Herman’s house from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, all the filming locations from Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, Tony Stark’s weapons testing grounds in Iron Man, or the neighborhood of Elliot from E.T. then LOCATION, LOCATION, Location? is a MUST for you to check out!
Not long after it’s inception, Beyond the Marquee made a name for itself in the Doctor Who universe as we introduced the world to Lindalee Rose, the world’s youngest Doctor Who reviewer and our resident Whovian. Since her debut review in Sept 2012, she has recorded dozens of episode review segments, covered numerous Doctor Who conventions, and interviewed past and current cast/crew members from the show. Her energetic and unique personality have taken her to London to cover the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and even to New York for the Season 8 World Premiere of Doctor Who where she got to meet the newest Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi.
Here’s our Top 10 adorable and memorable moments from our resident Junior Journalist;
- Disney’s FROZEN World Premiere
- ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s interview with Lindalee about “Milo Murphy’s Law”
- The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration in London
- GHOSTBUSTERS Red-Carpet World Premiere
- Gallifrey One Doctor Who Convention Recap
- Lindalee’s first Star Wars Celebration event
- Disney’s CINDERELLA World Premiere
- Interviewing Actress Anna Camp
- Convincing Chris Hardwick to create a spin-off show to @Midnight
- Singing with Alvin at the World Premiere for Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Lindalee now has her own YouTube channel and has gained quite the global following on the internet. She continues her Doctor Who reviews, as well as her red-carpet recaps, sci-fi convention coverage, DVD/Toy reviews, celebrity interviews, behind the scenes pieces, kid-kitchen cooking segments, and much more. Head on over to her channel and subscribe!
So What’s Next?
So, what’s beyond the horizon for possibly the next 5 years of Beyond the Marquee? Well, we definitely have more in store as we enter our 5th year, with a strong focus on our BTM web-series and taking our brand ‘beyond’ just being a popular web destination. Over the years, our relationships with studios, networks, agencies, and industry insiders have continued to grow and open doors to new partnerships and opportunities. With these connections, as a team, we will continue to work hard producing quality content for the Beyond the Marquee fans and ourselves.
By the end of the year we’ll also be rolling out a new look to the BTM page and are tinkering with a fresh update to our logo in order to re-shape our evolving image moving forward into the next 5 years.
A big “Thank You” goes out to all the wonderful and amazing guests who have offered their time, experience, intelligence, and interesting stories to the staff of Beyond the Marquee and allowing us to share those great moments with the fans.
Thanks again to our BTM team (aka “Marquee’ologists”) both old and new, for sticking with it and going Beyond what we ever could have imagined at the start. I think we can all agree that the countless number of late nights, hard deadlines, re-writes, car-pooling, technical glitches, paperwork, editing, re-shoots have all been worth it while doing what we love to do.
If you have a little time, please pay the site a visit, check out our recent and past posts, and please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for all the latest videos.
Thanks to all of you for coming along on this incredible ride with us and buckle up, because this train’s not-stopping! again!
– Steve Czarnecki
Founder & Creative Director / Beyond the Marquee
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Some Highlights from our BTM Photo Album