The SDS Story

I started writing in 2012. Blogger made it relatively simple – and free – to get started. I could share my thoughts and opinions! But what would I call it? The story goes back a few more moons.

At the tender age of fifteen I was at my mate’s house playing video games. That means I was likely playing either a critical darling like Resident Evil or Metal Gear Solid, or something altogether more light like Super Monkey Ball. My friend’s Dad, John, was a little worse for wear. He wandered into the living room, sized me up, and called me “Super Duper Chrissy Cooper”.

It stuck.

The nickname’s amusing simplicity remained with me into my first job, and I was regularly known as Super Duper in the office, as well as at the athletics track. No irony, just a funny thing. So at the age of twenty one, and with the name firmly entrenched…I had it tattooed on my leg! It was here to stay.

Sadly, ‘S.D.C.C’ took on a deeper level of meaning in 2008, when John passed away. Always a mixture of amusingly chiding and supportive, he was like a second father to me. Whenever the tattoo catches my eye I’m reminded of a man gone far too soon. A man that knew, despite our protestations, that we had borrowed a Ford Fiesta he’d purchased and answered the question ‘what happens when a moving car is jammed into reverse gear?’*

So Super Duper is important to me.

So when it came to a name for the site, things came together neatly? I wanted to talk about stuff, and the best of it is Super Duper. Super Duper Stuff.

With the name originating from the Father it was only right that the son would be involved in the origin of the content. Years ago, I’d visit the cinema every Thursday with that same best friend. As we heard the rousing beats of Pearl & Dean, we’d give each other a thumbs up or thumbs down. We’d then discuss the film on the drive home, and then scribble a score out of ten onto the ticket stub. Over time I found myself reading more and more reviews online, mainly to see who our views lined up with ‘the professionals’.

I discovered a complete disregard for spoilers, mixed with padded out word counts and lazy opinions. I could complained or I could have stopped reading. But that’s not me. Instead, I set myself a task – write my first film review.

Through a friend I got in contact with the Editor of an up-and-coming website, Flickering Myth. I nervously awaited any kind of feedback on my first, for The Amazing Spider-Man. Would that B in A/S Level Film Studies pay off?

My thoughts on Andrew Garfield weren’t shared on Flickering Myth. But with plenty of encouragement from the Editor, I’d go on to write more reviews. I loved sharing my thoughts, and those thoughts passing muster with a gatekeeper of sorts gave me confidence. But I wanted my own space; to write about ‘stuff’, on my own timeline. So SDS was born.

That’s the how and why of Super Duper Stuff.

I’m nine years in now, so what is the point of all this? I’ve recently started reading Mark Kermode’s Hatchet Job, and he quickly lays out that whilst it’s easy to lambast a film, there’s far more vulnerability in proclaiming your love for something. Mark goes on to set out his reasons for being as a film critic, while also questioning the validity of the film critic as a profession when the Internet has opened it to all.

While I understand the fear of dilution, as someone who has benefited from being easily provided with a URL to scream my opinion from, I can’t agree. I don’t have 1% of his cinematic knowledge – I don’t even think of myself as a critic – but I enjoy film and I can only hope that passion is present in my writing. I enjoy writing it. Hopefully you can enjoy reading it.

I’ve said before that if something brings you joy, and it isn’t hurting anyone, then crack on. So lets embrace who we are and what we love! If something is bad, I’ll call it out. But if I love it, there’s no holding back.

I call the shots. Agree or disagree, good or bad, it’s on me. The honest opinion of someone who likes to share his.

Welcome and thank you for reading.

*The gearbox falls out of the bottom.

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