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Does Ron have a life?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Stacey_V

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Posted September 11 2002 - 11:53 PM

Now, I do not mean this in a negative way. More out of concern actually.

I am wondering whether or not Ron has interests or hobbies outside of the forum...it seems to me that it is all work and sleep for this man. I believe that he has full time work away from the forum. When that day ends it seems that he is either online, or staying up late writing EXCELLENT reviews like his recent look at Monsters, Inc Posted Image

We all greatly enjoy our Home Theaters and the HTF...but surely you'll all admit that we do need outside interests (family?) beyond these HTF walls....thoughts?

Stacey

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted September 12 2002 - 03:16 AM

Stacey, you may be relieved to know that Ron mentioned in another thread that he's taking a vacation next week. Feel better? Posted Image
"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#3 of 13 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 12 2002 - 08:51 AM

Stacey, I really am flattered that someone cared enough to ask this question. The truth of the matter is, I have no life. You may laugh at this, but anyone that owns their own business will know exactly where I am coming from. I have always had a full-time job. Home Theater Forum started as a hobby back in the early 90s and turned into a profit making business when we came to the Internet in 1997. It had always been my dream (as well as Parker's) to leave our day job and make HTF our full-time job. Back in 1997, we were starting to make some serious advertising revenue and I thought perhaps this could really be my only job. With the economy going bad over the past few years, internet advertising has dropped dramatically. Even the studios (with the exception of Paramount) who I thought would be faithful to websites like ours, have taken their supportive advertising elsewhere. This means that 4 years later, Parker and I continue to work two jobs. I took on the task of reviewing DVD product for this forum because the reviewer we had didn't want to do it anymore. I thought it would be kind of fun to try even though I have no talent for writing. Still, I felt it was my opinion that carried the most weight, and I found myself steadily improving with every new review I wrote. Members of this forum seemed to like what I was writing. The studios went into high-gear and sent me more product each month because of the positive forum feedback on my reviews. Today I receive product from studios I never heard of. I guess everyone is trying to get exposure. I strive to do 4-7 reviews a week. In some weeks I have done as much as 11 reviews. How and why do I do it? The HOW is devoting every moment of my free time to watching DVD product. I spend both my days off from work viewing and reviewing. Why do I do it? Because this business means EVERYTHING to me. I knew when this forum took off that I would have to give up my social life to make this forum the very best there is. I had to choose between success or happiness. Sometimes you can get both, but so far I have continued down a road I feel I need to take in order to keep this forum on top. If that means putting my life on hold for everything else, so be it. This forum means everything to Parker and I, and we have given up many things in our lives to forge ahead. I think one day I'll totally burn out on these reviews. I already get frustrated in finding ways to talk about how good a DVD looks. Most of these reviews take 4 hours to do. Monsters, Inc. took nearly 6 hours. I still have dreams that one day the economy will improve and the studios will return to support this forum instead of taking their advertising elsewhere. If Parker and I can make enough money to make this a full-time job, you can just imagine the things we can do with our time here. I am not blaming the studios. They have supported this forum in much more valuable ways. I am just using them as an example of many advertisers who have put their money outside of forums like ours that have the highest concentration of their supporters. I think the thing that makes it all worthwhile is reading the feedback from our members. When we hear how much all of you enjoy HTF, that becomes our motivation to keep doing what we do. As long as you guys keep reading my reviews, I will keep writing them. Thanks

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Steeve Bergeron

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Posted September 12 2002 - 10:43 AM

[quote] As long as you guys keep reading my reviews, I will keep writing them. [quote] Great! The first thing I do when I go in the Software section is click on all the "HTF REVIEW" threads. Keep up the good work, Ron! It's appreciated. This is, by far, my favorite forum on the net.

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Andrew_Sch

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Posted September 12 2002 - 10:50 AM

[quote] Why do I do it? Because this business means
EVERYTHING to me. I knew when this forum took
off that I would have to give up my social life
to make this forum the very best there is. [quote]
Wow, I guess all I can say to that is THANKS. Your devotion and sacrifice has made my internet experience and my knowledge of this business a lot better.
"Old theatres are irreplaceable. They could never be duplicated at today's costs - but more importantly, their spirit could not be duplicated because they remind us of a day when going to the show was a more glorious and escapist experience. I think a town's old theatres are the sanctuary of...

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted September 12 2002 - 11:19 AM

[quote] This is, by far, my favorite forum on the net. [quote] Well, it's the only one I belong to (well, technically there is one other, but I only posted there once in response to a studio poll). Why go anywhere else when everything I need is right here in one neat little bundle?

Thanks, Ron and Parker, for your dedication to this place. I think I speak for many of us when I say there would be a hole in our lives if there was no HTF.

And, hey, enjoy your vacation.

Remember, when on vacation, none of the food has calories and there is no such thing as too much to drink. Posted Image

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Stacey_V

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Posted September 12 2002 - 11:48 AM

Ron,

Thank you for your well versed reply to my initial post. I, as well as the members of the HTF, truly thank you and Parker for all of your hard work. If your goal was to make this the absolute BEST Internet site for all things Home Theater, you both have succeeded.

I do not have the highest post count here, nor am I in the same class as some of the regular posters. One thing I do know though, is how to read people...you and Parker are in a class containing few others. You have put your own lives on hold to the betterment of others....I applaud you both for it. Well done.

Stacey

PS...If either of you ever get to see the wild north called Canada...look me up. I'd be happy to buy you guys a beer or two.
Posted Image

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Bruce Hedtke

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Posted September 12 2002 - 07:21 PM

I don't think this can be said enough: Thank You to Ron and Parker! It is such devotion to your passion that makes coming to the HTF so mandatory. Time and again, you two have proven that class and intelligence is your forte and you have made the HTF the best home on the net. I've always had great respect for Ron and Parker, but your post here, Ron, has easily tripled it.

[quote] I think one day I'll totally burn out on these reviews [quote]

I hope that day is a LOOONG time off. Despite your doubts about your writing style, I find it truly enjoyable and well thought out. Don't get bogged down with feeling like your writing isn't up to snuff. The best works of literature are those that are the most fun to read. Your reviews are fun to read Posted Image

Bruce
The Mads are calling

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Art Martinez

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Posted September 12 2002 - 09:04 PM

WOW! Ron you are an amazing guy. I only work one job, and finding time to watch my DVD's for a purely entertaining premise eats a lot of my time.

All I can say is thanks soooo much for doing a great job at maintaining a place for all of the members here to have a great place to "cuss and discuss" our passions.

Keep up the great work. I'm already drooling for
ATOC
Spidey
FOTR Extended Version

Posted Image

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Paul_D

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Posted September 12 2002 - 09:42 PM

I really don't read reviews anymore. I don't read DVD reviews because I know which films I want to buy, and they almost always look perfect now. Even the sub-par transfers look great on my TV. I certainly don't read new-release film reviews. I see films based on the talent involved, and the general buzz, NOT the critics opinions.

That said, I will always at least skim Ron's review of a disc I'm interested in, because I feel they sum up the technical merits of the disc perfectly, and although I may be buying it anyway, it either hieghtens my anticipation, or prepares me for marginal disappointment.

As an aside, I'll mention that I've only been persuaded by Ron's reviews to buy 3 films that I wouldn't otherwise have touched... Legally Blonde, Moulin Rouge and From Hell. I disliked every one! Posted Image I guess that's a testament to Ron's powers of persuasion. I suspected I wouldn't like them but I felt compelled to spend the cash anyway. Posted ImagePosted Image
[c][/c]
[c]"Where did you take, this girl Jerry?"[/c]

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted September 13 2002 - 07:36 AM

Paul, you're out! Posted Image

I mean: disliking Moulin Rouge?
Perhaps you should give it another look. That ... film/show/musical is fantastic! In the vein of La Dame aux Camelias and (of course) La Traviata, but highly original nevertheless. Gorgeous piece of art!
Even without Ron saying so.

Cees

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted September 13 2002 - 08:28 AM

I honestly do not know how you review all those DVDs/movies. Reviewing a movie is nothing compared to sitting back and just enjoying a movie. Someday you will burn out, but until then, I will keep reading your reviews.

Thanks RonPosted Image Posted Image

On a beer note. If you can find Moylan's Double IPA in your area, get it. It is simply excellent. If you cannot find it, let me know and I'll have Fed-EX bring one to you.


Peace Out~Posted Image
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted September 13 2002 - 08:48 AM

[quote] I mean: disliking Moulin Rouge? [quote] Well, I didn't care for it either. :b

(Suck up disclaimer: Please don't ban me though, Cees, I still think you're a very cool guy. Posted Image )
________________________

But anyway, thoughts about the movie itself aside, what struck me about that particular review was the fact that the studio actually used it as part of its advertising campaign.

When I saw the TV ad for the DVD with the quote "Best DVD of the Year" attributed to Home Theater Forum, I just about fell out of my chair.

Just goes to show you, we aren't the only ones reading those reviews and your hard work is having a significant impact...keep it up!

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon




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