We had the good fortune of connecting with The Massie Twins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi The, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
We’re from a small northern Arizona city originally, which made it an easy choice to spend the last two decades moving around the Phoenix metropolitan area. This, of course, is also where there’s a greater opportunity for networking and jobs. It also helps that it’s relatively close to Hollywood. As for our eventual profession, our father had a passion for movies and would watch one almost every night of the week. When we were young, we’d generally only watch the action-packed films – the ones that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, and many others. But the older we got, the more we tended to stick around to see the movies he preferred: black-and-white classics from the ’30s and ’40s. Over time, the blow-’em-up spectacle pictures grew less interesting, until we also favored movies that have stood the test of time – from Westerns to musicals to the Universal Monsters series to silent films. As a result, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of films that few others from our generation have; in many ways, we had a head start over the competition, since our “education” began long before we went to college. We never thought about turning our love of movies into a career, even when we set off on our own, but once we saw an opportunity to pursue that many years later, it was a natural fit.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets us apart from our competition and peers is that vast, underlying knowledge of film from having grown up, quite unconsciously, with a steady intake of what would essentially substitute for film history courses. We were exposed to the industry and its products long before we’d know that that immersion could later be used as expertise. Turning that into a viable business involved a bit of luck and considerable persistence, particularly when it came to becoming members of the press and working with local publicity agencies. We’re proud of our involvement in the former Phoenix Film Critics Society, which transitioned into the formation of the Phoenix Critics Circle, which is a partnership with the Phoenix Film Foundation and its collection of non-profit organizations that promote film appreciation in the valley. We’re also pleased with our archival website (GoneWithTheTwins.com), which houses a sizable database of reviews, interviews, top ten lists, and more, gathering together numerous contributions to IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Yahoo, and the San Diego Comic-Con. Getting involved with these groups and building our site involved countless hours of dedication and outreach. In this particular industry, locating the right people and then pestering them until they relent goes a long way!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one. Now that the pandemic has thoroughly gripped the lives of virtually everyone in the nation, socializing and keeping up with local friends have become uphill battles. Before Covid-19, however, we thoroughly enjoyed Tempe Marketplace, largely because of its movie theater being in close proximity to a wealth of dining and dessert options. First Watch, although a chain, became a staple of breakfasts and brunches, as their menu was simple, healthy, and prepared in such a way that it felt fancier than the prices suggested. There was also this very exclusive pour-over coffee shop in Maricopa (called Crate, which has since closed) that was to die for – but it really needed to be located in Scottsdale to have a chance at greater success and patronage.

What are you inspired by?
One of the most inspirational programs for us arrived in 1998, when CBS aired the American Film Institute’s “100 Years … 100 Movies” special. It was the first time that a list of the greatest American films of all time had been constructed in such a publicized manner, voted upon by more than 1,500 leaders from across the American film community (including screenwriters, directors, actors, producers, cinematographers, editors, executives, film historians, and critics). Although it was hotly contested minutes after the countdown was revealed, it became a spectacular starting point for us to digest what others – specifically worthy judges from the film community – thought were the most important and entertaining movies ever made. We were barely in high school, yet we’d already seen more than half of the selections. But tracking down, watching, and figuring out why the remainder were considered essential viewing became a fun, educational prospect.

Website: GoneWithTheTwins.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/massie.twins/

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