Witney Seibold was taken to see “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when he was three years old. His mother still tells an amusing story about how, when he suddenly saw Alfred Molina with a spear sticking out of his forehead, threw the popcorn he was holding into the air. He dutifully spent the rest of the film on the floor of the theater picking up every single piece he dropped, too scared to watch anymore.
When he was 18, Witney finagled his way into the offices of his college newspaper, The Puget Sound Trail, and convinced the paper’s head ediotr to let him write a long series of snotty, cultish film reviews. He managed to hold onto the gig for two years, and never once paid attention to length requirements, regularly turning in reviews that would take up entire pages. Witney’s first review written for The Puget Sound Trail was a review of “I Know what You Did Last Summer.”
Witney’s first published gig was for local California paper The Santa Monica Mirror. While he wrote, edited, and submittednumerous reviews for this paper, only one was ever published. It was a review for “Lake Placid.”
From 2002 to 2006, Witney wrote long (450-words) and short (under 100 words) reviews for a valley-based newspaper called NoHo>LA (later Metro>LA, later defunct). He was so beloved by the paper’s editors, that he was eventually raised to the level of film-section editor. Many of the pre-2005 reviews you find on this very site were originally published in the film section of NoHo>LA.
Many newspaper film critics have been losing their jobs lately, and the bulk of film reviews are to be found on personal websites, and teenagers’ ‘blogs. Witney, a one-time accredited professional, and snotty esoteric film buff, has felt a need to bring a level of professionalism to the online community of know-it-all amateur film reviewers. Has he been at all successful? Well, I guess that’s for you to decide.