Great stuff, guys, really endearing all around. A shame we weren't able to record a video - in all honesty, I loaned my lenses/tripod/H1 to a friend so he could complete a senior thesis and he neglected to give my stuff back to me for two weeks - so we were camera-less for a while!
On a different note, however, I suppose I can say in this thread what I would've said in the video. So here goes nothing!
FXHome has had an immeasurable effect on who I have become over the past eight years and what I've done with my life. When I first started browsing the site, I was only 12 years old (I'm now 21), and I watched films in the cinema here for a solid two years before joining and writing posts here in the forums. But it was during those two years, give or take, that I became captivated by the users here, the work they were producing, and the nature of the staff and the website itself.
My brother and I both had a shared interest in filmmaking (although we hadn't quite worked out what we wanted to do yet) and FXHome offered a solid foundation of sample work upon which we could gain skills and know-how. We were both very young, all things considered, and didn't know of the forums, but the cinema on here opened up a whole new niche for us to explore - it gave us the ability to observe the efforts of other, exceedingly more talented independent filmmakers and derive production methods from these 'mid-range' productions (in terms of budget). There was, of course, no YouTube or Vimeo, and so FXHome held what was, to us, the Holy Grail of example footage: a sprawling catalog of material from teenage and college filmmakers especially (Twisted Studios, Cobra Productions) that impressed us to no end.
These films were things we studied meticulously and felt excited just to watch on a daily basis. I remember in middle school staying late afterwards in the computer lab just to get a peek at what I could download next from the weekly 'Top 10'. By the time we were 14, we'd gotten more formative into filmmaking and had acquired access to camera equipment and the FXHome software which, to us, was phenomenal. With the software, too, came the unlikely discovery of the forums; which provided yet another goldmine of information. As highschool started up for us in Fall 2004 we'd both posted hundreds of times across the forums and were slowly getting the lay of the land here.
FXHome staff (particularly Simon and Josh) and frequent users came to inspire us as we hit the one- and two-year marks on the forums as 'official members' of the website. Our Splinter Cell project in 2005 was a breakthrough in lighting and cinematography (owed largely to conversations I had over AIM with Geraint (Arktic), Aaron (ssjaaron) and Conor (Serpent)), and in 2006 Cover's Story was yet another breakthrough in acting/direction for us. For the latter effort, we received a ton of support from users all over the place, and started getting emails from people just offering accolades and advice. Rudy Picardo, in particular, was a driving motivator in keeping us on track with our 'dreams' of filmmaking, and we continued to feel very inspired by other users on here. I'm only detailing these things to note how significant an effect they've really had on us, and what paradigm shifts happened in our filmmaking efforts that have caused an instrumental change in what we're pursuing in our lives.
I learned of 24- and 48-hour competitions from postings on this site - and such projects have thoroughly expanded the base of people I work with and my own personal film style. More importantly, however, is that friendships and rivalries on many levels, (and subsequent mutual exchanges of information) were gained. In highschool, I spoke to John (ssjohn) and Aaron (ssjaaron) at length about religion, Christianity and contemporary Mormonism. I learned a lot, and I remember these conversations to this day. My friend Chase and I both received the Book of Mormon in the mail from Aaron, read it through broadly over a weekend, and subsequently discussed the material - both on the forums (in limited words) and over AIM/email with Aaron. It's been a while (4/5 years) since this happened, and I haven't spoken to Aaron in a long time, but this is yet again something that gave me insight into yet another part of my life - religion. Being able to speak to a peer (both in age/spirituality/filmmaking) about different sects of religion was both enlivening and refreshing; it it was undeniably, if not partially contributive to how I shaped my views on the world.
Conversely, the community here let me also speak to agnostics and atheists who spoke to me with candor and respect, even in spite of my young age (I was around 15 or so). This taught me much about those respective disciplines of thought, and gave me credence to better indulge in studying such philosophies at greater length, which I've continued into college with my existential research of.
Then there are the part-time rivals, part time friends on here who I 'grew up in filmmaking' with over several years (Evman and Serpent, to name a few) that helped me to 'keep myself in check' in both my conduct in the forums and in my creative development as a filmmaker. If anything, FXHome has offered a springboard for creativity and ideas upon which I can discuss objectives with both peers and professionals; and perhaps help others out along the way.
Then there's the fact that FXHome happens to be a company, which, in spite of any monetary agenda; is so gregarious in its resources and distribution of information. Something great, truly great has been created here and it is widely and happily handed out to people who are curious enough to take hold of it.
To say that FXHome has affected me positively would be an understatement. It has helped to shape who I am, who I'm going to be, and what I'm doing. I have pursued filmmaking in college and attended the college that I'm at presently partly because of the advice and encouragement given here. Were it not for the support of the people at this website, my brother and I likely would've given up our 'hobby' back in middle school. That's the truth, really. But our ideas and plans have evolved so much since then, and I am proud, damn proud actually to attribute a large part of that to the people here.
I know I got a bit reminiscent beyond users that have signed up here after I have, but those who know what/whom I'm referencing will understand. My accolades are not contained to FXhome as a community, but FXhome as a company as well. Never before have I seen an enterprise so willing to indulge the interests of others - be it through competitions, giveaways, creative work, or the like - there's always something special going on here.
The layout and people may have changed a bit over the years, but the principles of FXHome stay the same: there's an eclectic exchange of information, advice and opinion that manifests itself in written word and captured film, and it serves to positively affect the audience for which it's intended. And that's all I think we all really need.