Meet the Failcrew – Noel Thingvall

This week, we hunt down the ever ellusive (yet always there) Noel Thingvall, who swims through screenplays, ascends mountains of books, boxes his comics long, watches films in a watching way, and hasn’t seen all that much tv lately since ditching his cable. He writes more about all of it than anyone online has any interest in reading, but we love him for it anyway. Or at least he says you all love him for it, seeing as he’s writing these words right now and has an ego the size of a hottub. A constantly running hottub full of naked expectations and lonely despair. Seriously, he’s naked and lonely right now and thinking of a hottub. Pity him. Respect his massive ego and read his writings, but pity him dearly.

What is your role in Made of Fail Productions?

Constant thorn in the side AKA elevated fanboy who does everything Kevin does.

Way back in the long forgotten days, when the main podcast only had a single episode online, I was apparently the very first random listener – someone Dayna and Kevin didn’t already know – who left a comment on the site and kept coming back episode after episode, leaving increasingly massive comments to the annoyance and amusement of all. First I was dubbed the “Random listener in Minnesota”, then they learned my name, then I downloaded Skype and started talking to Dayna, and it was all downhill from there as I was sucked into the cherry flavored miasma of elevated fan squee that somehow landed me an internal part in these shenanigans.

I started writing Deconstructing Moya with Kevin, Weston, Adam, and Tessa, then they actually had me on the show to debate horror, talk about my past with bullying, and squick Dayna. The podcasting bug bit me hard, and it wasn’t long before I teamed up with Evie to start our own podcast, I Hate/Love Remakes, which debuted under the Made of Fail Productions banner and is about to celebrate its 1 year anniversary.

At C2E2 2011, I finally had the chance to meet Kevin and Dayna, and the web was finally woven as I had my idols within my grasp. But then I got to see and know them as people, which killed my serial stalker thirst, and we instead became what I guess normal people refer to as friends. In the time since, my long-winded comments on the site disappeared since I can actually, y’know, talk to these people and bounce around ideas in conversations that remind me of days where I got out more and had a social life. I’m also currently in the middle of a piece for Straight Guy Reviews of Bad Romance Novels and recently saw The Super Saturday Short-Lived Showcase, a blog I started with my buddy Tony, merge into the Made of Fail Network.

More projects and collaborations are already in the planning stages for future Fail that I hope you will all enjoy.

What fascinates you the most about your fandoms, or fandom as a whole?

I don’t really have any fandoms. Seriously, I’ve enjoyed a great many thing, but never with the passion that settles me into a specific genre or franchise or work or creator to the point where I use the word “fan” in the truest definition of the term. I’m very fluid and keep jumping around, preferring to constantly consume new things instead of reliving the same stuff over and over. I like the perspective this has given me on fandom, where I have a foot in the door of many groups, but am still scoping them out through a window as they focus so much of their lives on something that stirred deep passions within. Maybe I’ll find something that does that to me one day. Maybe I don’t want to. The future is fluid and always changing, so I guess we’ll never know until we get there.

What is your proudest accomplishment or achievement?

I Hate/Love Remakes. It’s hard work maintaining a show, and I’m proud of myself for doing so month after month. Evie has been a fantastic person to meet and get to know, and the show has improved my ability to speak and express myself. And it’s important because the show does tie into a genuine belief I have, that everything deserves a fair chance to prove itself, and that nothing should be quickly dismissed just because of a certain label it bears and the stigma that people have, fairly or unfairly, built around it. “I used to hate remakes for simply being remakes, but then you came along and made me a little more open minded,” is something I’ve heard several times now, and it always makes me soar to know that, in some small way, I’m making a difference in how something is looked at.

What do you do when you’re not online?

I have a full time job as a personal care attendant for my handicapped sister, and otherwise prep for stuff I do online. Online is my life now. I’m into so many projects that I’m almost always working on them, and all the little side things I read and watch still get tiny mentions here and there to start conversations with my friends.

What is your dream job?

Permanent Resident Sperm Donor.

Or Noted Film and Media Critic.

Or “Hey, I know that guy! He’s… you know, he’s that guy, who did the thing!”

What is your greatest pet peeve?

Dismissiveness. People don’t like what they don’t like, but I hate it when people are dismissed because of what they like or things are dismissed because of labels that are thrown on them long before they’ve come out and had a chance to prove themselves. You could be missing out on the greatest friend or experience of your lifetime because you gave it a roll of the eye and a cold shoulder with an attitude of “I don’t care. Fuck off.”

I even see this all the time online among our own community where people start a discussion, someone chimes in with their thoughts, and that argument is tossed away with an “I don’t care” or stone cold silence as the debate is suddenly dropped. If you have no interest, fine. But don’t start the discussion in the first place if you aren’t willing to see it through.

The worst is when I say I like something and people are all “Well of course you do! You’re Noel. LOL XD” in a way that completely dismisses my opinion before I’m given a chance to raise points as to why I liked it. Be fair people. Give me a chance and agree or disagree based on genuine issues.

Also, don’t chew your nails. That’s gross. You’re essentially spitting on everything you touch without any thought for whoever comes into contact with it next.

I also don’t like puppies and kick them at every opportunity.

Noel can be followed on Twitter (@NoelCT) and LiveJournal (noelct)

10 thoughts on “Meet the Failcrew – Noel Thingvall

  1. I’ll admit I may have made the “Of course you do” mistake in the past but it’s not intended as dismissive. I just think it’s funny. I’m still interested to find out why you like it.

    In all seriousness, your “not in too deep” perspective is exactly what makes you such a good critic. I may not always agree with you on certain things, but I always know you’re giving things a fair chance, and that’s a lot better than some critics do.

    • Thank you. For a while, I’ve intentionally maintained that level of distance, even from the things I love because, as a critic, I want to know something well enough to understand it, but not be so swept away that I lose the layers of multiple contextual viewpoints. And that swings both ways as I rarely hate anything with a passion, too. I mean, look at me and Twilight.

      Most people don’t mean anything by the “Of course you do!” line, it’s just caught on as more of a recurring joke than I’m comfortable with.

  2. Noel, This is my first comment I have ever made on this site… But I need to say I have MAJOR respect for you! Why? Because you are a breath of fresh air from the constant cynasism and snark of other online reviewers. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love a good old fashion Nostalgia Critic rant like the next guy. But it’s nice to listen to someone who can have an actual opinion without flying into the ” rageing nerd who yells and swears at everything” mode.

    I love Made of Fail, I love Hate/Love Remakes, and all the people in the fail crew who bring on the funny.

    Thank you!

  3. The tiara is a nice touch, I think…

    I do wanna say I love your podcast because I like hearing what you (and your cohorts) think of various movies and their remakes. It makes one realize what does (and sometimes doesn’t) go into the whole process. And even if there are those who don’t agree, you still respect them about it, and that’s cool.

    Keep on truckin’.

  4. Been a fan more or less since episode 1 of Remakes (be proud you guys have been around long enough for your show to be shorthandedly condensed into a single word!)…I especially dig the way the show can ping pong back and forth from insightful analysis to irreverence to snark, often in the same sentence. Long live the podcast, and hope there’s a Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven episode in the future (Idea!).

  5. Thanks, Benjamin J.

    Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven is definitely on the to do list. We’re waiting to see what happens with the currently in-development remake, which just signed a director.

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