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Erik Cieslewicz – What I Read

by on May 26th, 2011

[Recently I, Dino, have become enamored with a series of articles on The Atlantic Wire entitled What I Read.  The website has sought out people of interest, and asked them to write about how they get information on a daily basis.  Whether it be newspapers, RSS feeds, twitter, etc, the authors describe in great detail how they consumer media in 2011.  I thought it would be interesting to do something similar here on CW.  So last night we sent out some requests, and Erik Cieslewicz, a DC film maker who used to live in Wausau was the first to respond.  We hope to have more soon.  Let us know if you want to write one, we would love to let the readers see how you track down information.]

Erik Cieslewicz is film/television director and former Wausau resident now residing in Washington, D.C. His work has been nominated for an Emmy and won an Edward R. Murrow Award. Most well known for directing the pilot episode of Hard to Be Me, his next projects, comedic web-series Confab and dramatic feature film Inheriting the Mushroom Kingdom, are both in pre-production.

I’m an Internet junkie with an obsession for web 2.0, matched only by my love of energy drinks, when it comes to reading. First thing almost every morning for me is the social news site Reddit on my iPhone via Alien Blue. The site lets you join communities, called subreddits based on your interests and then users submit links relevant to those communities. After that links are voted up and down, those with the most positive attention bubble to the top. Some of my favorite subbreddits are WashingtonDC, MLS, NFL, atheism, pics, politics and filmmaking, but I subscribe to about two-dozen different ones.

Once I get to my desktop, I’m a social media junkie. Facebook is my first stop every time. There’s a great thrill about seeing a double-digit number in that little red flag for notifications and I check to see who’s interacting with me. I won’t look at the news feed until later, after e-mail. Then finally twitter, and then back to Reddit one more time in case I have something to say with my now available full keyboard.

That’s it. I don’t bookmark sites; I don’t have Google Reader or some other RSS operation happening. I rely entirely on my peers to get me the news that’s valuable to me. And I’d suspect that younger someone is, the more they do this. And really, at 29 years old, I’m not that young. This means I roughly read everything from The New York Times to Encyclopedia Dramatica depending on what’s hot. If there’s something interesting out there to one of my friends, so much so that they share it, odds are good that I’ll find it interesting too.

Now, I cheat a little bit. Following twitter accounts like The Washington Post, DCist and Paul Krugman, is practically like having a feed from them or checking their site every day. But all the same, for me web 1.0 with its bookmarks and casual surfing are mostly dead.

Off-line I subscribe to a handful of magazines. The three I’d recommend would be Rolling Stone, Nintendo Power and Game Informer. I almost never read the music articles in RS, I read them for virtually everything else but the music. NP has lots of interviews with game designers, at least one guaranteed a month, while GI is a super pretty magazine that I enjoy almost entirely for the layouts.

I read scripts on occasion. Sometimes because I’m thinking about directing them, sometimes because a friend wants feedback. If I’m attached to direct something, I always print it off so I can have a physical copy in my hand to flip though, leave notes on and curl up with anywhere from the couch to a bench outside.

I’ve been in the mood less and less for novels or non-fiction books since I left college, which I think I’m supposed to feel bad about. So I do. But when I do finally sit down with something, it’s usually dark satire like Kurt Vonnegut or Chuck Palahniuk. Either that or it’s comedic political commentary like Bill Maher or Morgan Spurlock. I always think today will be the day I do more traditional, library fare, reading, but I rarely do.

Because of my eclectic tastes (I like Bright Eyes, but not Mumford and Sons; Mass Effect, but not Halo; The Matrix trilogy, but not Firefly; redheads, but not blondes), web 2.0 has been amazing for me. I can follow only the stuff I like on Twitter and/or Facebook and ignore what I don’t. I don’t have to subscribe to Alternative Press and wade through the Nikelback articles just to get to something about Coheed and Cambria. If Coheed and Cambria has something happening, they just tell me on Facebook.

So that’s one of the big reasons why I’m in love with it.

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