David Ehrlich Out at Film.com

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by Sam Adams
January 30, 2014 3:15 PM
7 Comments
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David Ehrlich announced via Twitter this afternoon that he has been removed as editor of the Viacom-owned website Film.com, effective at the end of the day. Ehrlich emailed this statement to Criticwire:

You could say that I was fired, but I prefer to say that I've been invited into the illustrious company of luminaries such as Jesse Camp, several now-twentysomething moms, and the entire cast of Undressed ...as someone who has been fired by MTV. I guess either way you kinda have to say that I was fired. 

Almost a year to the day since I was hired as Senior Editor of Film.com, I have been the opposite of that. In all sincerity, it's been a rare and terrific pleasure to run the site, even if it was immediately clear to me that Film.com had a somewhat tenuous place in MTV's strategy for the future, though I must stress that I have been told precisely nothing about what that strategy might entail. Also, it must be said that MTV explicitly permitted me to run their corporate entity with almost absolute autonomy. For all of the hurdles that come along with working in a building that made coming to work feel like I was LARPing Tati's Playtime, I was effectively allowed to do whatever I wanted. Perhaps I would have traded a pinch of freedom for some more support, but I never took for granted how special an opportunity this was. 

Of course, the true credit for that belongs to my wonderful team of writers, of whom I am unspeakably proud. Film.com hasn't been a different site because it was permitted to be, it's been different because it had the people capable of making it that way. Truly relying on the quality of the content is not a viable option for many websites, and it may not have been a winning one for me, but I genuinely believe that Film.com was a unique and vital place because of it. This has been the most insanely stressful and rewarding year of my life, and I will always be grateful to my writers for making that possible, and to the job for making it possible for me to know them. 

The same goes to the kind and generous Kevin Polowy, who hired me and now works at Yahoo! Ditto Kase Wickman and Craig Flaster, who made it a pleasure to go into bloody Times Square every day. I also have to thank Joe Hughes, John Lianoglou, Eric Ditzian, Kevin Sullivan, Josh Horowitz, Brooke Tarnoff, and everyone else with whom I worked at Viacom, especially the endlessly patient cafeteria crew, and ESPECIALLY the gentleman at the lobby coffee stand who just this morning anticipated my order for the very first time.

Needless to be said, my writing and / or editorial services (of both the text and video variety) are available, and those interested can reach me at dbe2101@gmail.com. I have non-refundable airfare and accommodations for the entire length of the Berlinale next week, and with it lots of potential coverage that could use a home!  

And like every piece I wrote for Film.com, this is now way too long. 

It's been great. Onwards. - d

Under Ehrlich, FIlm.com reached out to hardcore cinephiles and casual readers alike, running an interview with the Criterion Collection's Michael Koresky on the films of Terence Davies and talking New York Rangers hockey with obsessive fan (and The Wolf of Wall Street actress) Margot Robbie. The site's most successful articles were mainly in list form, but rather than knocked-off listicles, there were extensive considerations of the films of Johnnie To or all 66 winners of Cannes' Palme d'or. (And then there's Eric Snider's hilarious imagining of how The Lone Ranger got greenlit.) In short, it was a site that made cinephilia fun, employing a long list of sharp and lively writers who may now be, like Ehrlich, looking for their next gig.


THE 25 BEST FILMS OF 2013: A VIDEO COUNTDOWN from david Ehrlich on Vimeo.

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7 Comments

  • Sanker From India | January 31, 2014 12:38 PMReply

    I loved David's writing. I loved that amazing 25 greatest video. I love Film.com. This firing thing sucks.

  • Gabe Toro | January 30, 2014 10:34 PMReply

    Ain't this some bullshit.

  • Jamieson | January 30, 2014 5:37 PMReply

    You're one of the top tier writers on film on the internet, David. I am sure you will be swept up swiftly by another site that will be lucky to have you.

  • harrison | January 30, 2014 4:55 PMReply

    David wrote one of my favorite pieces this year. That dude is immensely talented and I hope he gets picked up somewhere soon!

  • Catherine | January 30, 2014 4:52 PMReply

    Very sad day. If it's any consolation David, I'm not St. Vincent, but I'd marry you.

  • Katie | January 30, 2014 4:32 PMReply

    Don't understand why he was let go... he's one of my favorite writers on this subject. He has the ablity to be funny and knowledgable without pretension. Few current film writers have as much skill as he does. Well, at least we still have his twitter account to enjoy.

  • Christopher Campbell | January 30, 2014 4:29 PMReply

    I'm really going to miss Ehrlich at Film.com, even though he never let me write for him there. I can definitely relate to the managing a site for a company that doesn't give any input or feedback or direction or expectations or strategy and then out of the blue decides things aren't going as they want. A couple times, in fact. Maybe this is a sign for David to go make more films or work in the industry, but hopefully we'll see his writing somewhere else regardless.

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