It started with an email.
DAVE: Wanna start a movie website?
ME: Yeah, all right.
And that was pretty much it. Both Dave and I were working in the City, sometimes together, at this time not, but that email exchange ten years ago changed our lives.
There was no business plan, no investors lined up, no wall chart with World Domination written in huge letters. At the start it was just us, some good like-minded friends, and the inviting expanse of the internet at our feet.
Looking back over ten years of HeyUGuys it is staggering how much has happened, and how much has changed. And yet, the tenets we began the site with have remained. We wanted to be independent, to be a champion of great cinema, to be movie fans first and foremost.
We are, and always have been, about shining our light on the best films out there. Large or small, blockbuster or independent – it’s always been about the experience of discovering something wonderful.
And along with these new films came new voices to talk about them. Over the last ten years we’ve published around 200 writers who have written over 31,000 posts. We’ve covered everything from bodycounts to neurodivergence, the revival of beloved franchises and the toxic fandom that spawned. We’ve sat down with our heroes, traveled the world, and met some amazing people.
When we decided to hit the red carpet we could never have imagined that, 450 premiere and countless junkets later, we would have spoken to almost every major actor and director in popular cinema. It’s an incredible honour.
Though we’d never have doubted it, it tuns out that Ferris Bueller was right. Life DOES move pretty fast. We’ve spent most of the last decade heads down, moving on and sometimes not stopping to look around once in a while. This anniversary gives us the chance to do just that.
Here’s our esteemed editor Dave with a few words of his own.
Where do we start?! Back in 2008, the term ‘ Hey You Guys’ was a line from a movie. Now, a decade later, it’s very much more than that to both Jon and I. As Jon, said, an email asking if he fancied starting a website would lead us to have some of the most amazing opportunities that we could ever have dreamed of, and those still happen to this day.
Some stand out moments for me are our first premiere where Sky invited us into the ‘blogger pen’, followed by attending The Hangover premiere in 2009 with Ben Mortimer where we basically winged it. I’ve swum with sharks, I’ve driven tanks, I’ve been flown all over the world to chat with my movie heroes and I still can’t quite believe it even writing it now.
Seeing our name and a star review on a bus for Goon in Hammersmith is another moment I won’t forget. Watching the words HeyUGuys travel past me on an advert that someone else had paid for to promote their movie was just insane. And since then we’ve been on countless PR campaigns including Jurassic World, Creed and I’ve had my Cloverfield review literally up in lights at the Odeon Leicester Square.
To tell my 10-year-old self who watched The Goonies or Back to the Future that he’d actually get to meet both the people who made them and starred in them would send him over the edge with excitement and we’ll never forget out roots and where we came from.
Hundreds of premieres, junkets, press conferences later, we’re still going strong and I thank Jon for going on this insane ride with me but especially to our wives Laraine and Chris for supporting us to create our dreams come true and the insane number of hours that have come as a part of making it work.
Now on with the next 10 years! HeyUGuyssssssss!!!!
That was Dave with his side of the crazy story so far – you can tell it was his words because of the many exclamation marks…
We also asked some of the writers who have been with us over the years to share some of their highlights for this birthday feature. Before we dive into their recollections Dave and I want to thank each and every one of you who have written for the site. You are as much a part of all this as we are, and we’re so grateful to know you, and to have shared this with you.
Let’s jump in…
When I was invited to join the HUG team I was so excited that I would have a chance to write about films – it’s still every bit as exciting now. I can remember some slightly surreal interviews where I found myself thinking, “how am I interviewing this guy?!” I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Renny Harlin, Lawrence Bender and Julian Glover all in quite quick succession – I just couldn’t believe that I got to do that. When I interviewed Lawrence Bender, I was sat in my car round the corner from my kids’ school, talking to a world-famous producer on the phone and then went and picked my kids up and took them home.
I’m also so grateful to HUG for indulging some of my more expansive ideas, such as my “Best of the Best” series which gave me a chance to dig into the archives a bit.
In short, it has been an absolute blast, years of endless fun. I’ve made new friends, met interesting, talented, creative people, watched some astonishingly obscure films and experienced the joy and creative release of writing about one of the things I love most in the world.
Happy Birthday HUG, thank you so much Jon and Dave for taking a chance on me and here’s to the next amazing 10 years.
From my point of view it has to be The Muppets. That first Miss Piggy interview was bizarre – particularly the moment where I briefly realised I was interviewing a foam pig, in a room filled with professional camera operators and had to stifle a giggle.
Then the set visit to the next Muppet movie was just impossible to put into words (I tried, you published it). No matter how bad the world gets I can think back to that day and smile. Such a strange and beautiful experience.
Oh, and then there was that moment on the Avengers red carpet where I asked whether Fox or Disney owned the movie rights to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, and it seemed to set off a d*(k measuring contest between Joss Whedon and Bryan Singer
One of the things I love about doing interviews for HeyUGuys is that back in the early days actors and filmmakers would say ‘Oh is that from ‘The Goonies’?!’ about our name which was always fun, but now frequently they will say ‘I love HeyUGuys’ like Kumail Nanjiani when I was chatting to him about Lego Ninjago at Legoland in San Diego last year or Doug Jones coming to speak to me in the hallway after an interview for ‘Star Trek Discovery’ to say he’d enjoyed our chat and how much he loves HeyUGuys. It happens frequently now and that’s something everyone who’s contributed to the site over the years can be really proud of.
There have been so many amazing interviews over the years, with opportunities to speak to genuine screen legends, but one my favourite interviews for HeyUGuys has got to be with Russell Brand for ‘Rock of Ages’, he was so much fun and made it a challenge to ask him anything about the film and for me not to completely fall about laughing throughout. He also got sidetracked by my favourite t-shirts which led us to ‘Superman II’ and many other tangents.
Writing the review for Avengers: Infinity War meant the world to me. I’m a huge fan of the Marvel films and I was getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of female writers talking about them (as if only a male audience can be interested in superheroes!).
Once I’d submitted the review, I pitched a separate feature to HeyUGuys detailing the many questions I had having then seen it. They loved the feature but, rather than just post it as a written piece, opted to turn it into video content instead. I recorded the audio for it (a first, for me!) and it was all put together by Dave.
The end result was really cool and I sat back and watched over the next few days as the view counter just went up and up… Wakanda forever.
It’s amazing to think that HeyUGuys are 10-years-old. I’ve been a fan of the site from the very early days and to be a part of team, for nearly two years now, is a dream come true. Jon and Dave have been absolutely amazing and very supportive and I can’t thank them enough for the fantastic opportunities they have put my way.
One in particular that springs to mind is one of my very first interviews for the site with the one and only Ridley Scott. It may have only just been a phoner, but being able to chat movies, with an iconic filmmaker, whilst sitting in my pyjamas, has to be the most surreal moment of my life.
Here’s to another 10 wonderfully fabulous years HeyUGuys – “To Infinity and Beyond”
During my time writing for HeyUGuys.com, I contributed over 3000 posts and regardless of whether it was a news story or list, each and every one was a blast to write.
Dave and Jon have also given me the opportunity to interview superheroes, survivors of the zombie apocalypse, and one of my favourite WWE Superstars: Seth Rollins. Getting to ask him about my favourite WrestleMania moment was a moment I’ll always cherish.
Congratulations on hitting 10, guys!
HeyUGuys was the first movie website that I regularly visited for my film news: a reward to myself for knowing that the title was a Goonies reference. That little hook suggested that these people were of a similar vintage to me and likewise held a deep-seated love and affection for the movies. They have never lost that affection and that’s what I think sets HeyUGuys above so many other entertainment sites.
Haters, as Taylor Swift attests, are gonna hate and they’re welcome to other sites that pander to their teeth-gnashing, Last Jedi-detesting ways. However, in ten years, while the rest of the world has gone a little bit crazy (much like Seal did back in 1991), HeyUGuys never forgot what it was like to fall deeply, irrecoverably in love with films like Ghostbusters, Back To The Future or Batman.
Now that we’re seeing the same look in our children’s eyes when we take them to see The Avengers or Paddington 2 and, yes, The Last Jedi, HeyUGuys knows first-hand that it is serving at least two generations of people whose favourite thrill in life is still to experience the dimming of the cinema lights, and feel the potential to fall in love once again.
It’s been an honour and a pleasure to make the occasional contribution. I’ve written for many websites and magazines in the past four years, but as the first one to write back to my enquiry letter and give me a break, HeyUGuys will always be the special one, so long as they’ll keep putting up with my ramblings. So Happy Birthday to U Guys. Never say die.
Happy 10th Birthday HeyUGuys!
Since an early age I’ve had a passion for film. In the last few years I made the decision to turn my hobby into a career and become a Film Critic. In May 2017, I wanted to find a platform to show the world my unrivaled passion and it was at this point that I approached HeyUGuys and asked to join the team. They welcomed me with open arms and here we are in November 2018 where our relationship is still going strong.
In the past 18 months, HeyUGuys have presented me with countless opportunities to forward my career and meet some amazing people along the way. One of my earliest and fonder memories of working with the team was reviewing the British indie film “Deny Everything” where, with the power of the HeyUGuys brand behind me, my quote was featured on the poster for the film. A first in my short but growing career.
Since then, I would like to think I’ve become the team’s go to guy when it comes to anime. It’s one of my favourite genres and Jon and Dave always give kind words about my reviews.
I’ve enjoyed every second of being associated with the HeyUGuys team and brand and I look forward to the future with the team.
Happy Birthday guys! You rock 🙂
In the last ten years our families have grown, children born and Dave and I know how much we’re indebted to two people in particular, Chris and Laraine, for their unwavering love and support. We couldn’t have done any of this without you.
And so it true of you, all of the HeyUGuys family past and present, we thank and love you all. Also we’re truly grateful to all of the PRs and the studios who have offered us so much, the bloggers and internet friends who have been with us on the journey – you’re all aces.
And to finish in true 2018 fashion we’ve put together this video montage of the last ten years. It shows some of the strangest and most enjoyable memories this site has given us. It’s been quite a ride…