Monday, July 31, 2000

July 31, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

Well, here we are. Roughly one year ago today, I launched the Cigarettes & Coffee site. As the site introduction states, I was extremely frustrated searching the net for information on PTA & his films, so armed with a little change in pocket, I decided to change that. I purchased the domain name (I wanted or, but to no avail), MS Front Page & found an Internet provider to host the site. I knew nothing about html & web design, but figured I would learn along the way.
The site has exceeded all my goals in such a short time. I couldn't believe it when I got my 1,000th hit (I don't use a hit counter anymore, but get roughly 50,000 hits a month). I receive hundreds of emails a month from readers in places like Thailand, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Australia & Hungary (to name a few) sharing their appreciation for the site. As I said, this was the idea. A single source to learn about Paul Thomas Anderson. I decided early on to largely leave my opinions to myself & stick to the news. Obviously, I'm a huge admirer so I don't need to shine his shoes every chance I get. That would be extremely boring & self serving. 
In December 1999, I took a chance & flew down to Los Angeles to catch an early screening of Magnolia at the Egyptian Theater. There was going to be a Q & A session with PTA after the film & thought it would be great opportunity to at least say hello to Paul. I approached him after the session & explained who I was. He was extremely appreciative & I told him I wasn't leaving L.A. without an interview. He was very accommodating, genuinely interested & great to talk with. There's always the chance that when you meeting someone, they turn out to be a horse's ass, but the meeting just energized me to do better with the site.
I'm not your typical film geek fan boy (OK, maybe a little...), I had a great job, a family, outside interests, etc. The site began devouring more of my time & energy. When Magnolia went into wide release, I was getting nearly 100 emails a day. I was also trying to add all the press interviews as fast I could. It was an overwhelming time in my life (for many reasons), but I've learned to prioritize better & not let the site take control of my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I just never expected the site to get this much attention. I guess I underestimated the impact that PTA's films have on people & their thirst to learn what's on the horizon for Paul.
I've had the opportunity to meet tons of great people though the site over the past year. Too many to mention them all, but here's just a few that I would like to thank: Jen Barrons, Peter Bracke, Delahunty Crisp, Eric Daigh, Michael Dequina, Bob Ellis, Bill Hader, Bill Hunt, Jared Irmas, Dominic Marceau, Jocco Phillips, Anne Rech, Karine Tanguy, Aaron Tichenor, Bumble Ward, Damon Wise & Matthew Wilder.
Of course, I can't forget PTA, who has continued to support the site & for this, I'm very grateful. 
Lastly, I can't forget aspiring filmmakers Ryan Worley & CJ Wallis who have helped me tremendously with the site. I couldn't do it without you! I'm sure I forgot a few names, so please forgive me. - Greg Mariotti

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