Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

watch overshare: the story contact me

November 2014 Archives

a conclusion; the end is nigh

Yesterday afternoon my girlfriend Ilyse was running late for a doctor's appointment. She sat with me in the bottom floor of our house, an iPad in her lap, reading over a script for a video. Her mobile phone was strapped on a tripod, pointed at my entire body, along with two other cameras.

I didn't dare believe it at the time, but it looks like yesterday was the final day of formal shooting for my personal documentary project. I'll have a few lines or moments to reshoot, pickups - nothing I can't pull off myself in the days or weeks ahead. Yesterday broke through - I wrapped up the story I've been telling myself for six months. A final filmed conclusion! It was my third or fourth draft of "what is the result of all this web sharing I done?" and after I spliced my takes together last night, I felt a weight lifting. I felt the story entirely in my hands for a moment again - reminding me of the uninformed optimism that convinced me to make a personal documentary in just a few weeks starting in the spring this year.

A few weeks turned into a few months turned into most of a year. My deadline was mid-September for XOXO; now I'm glad to have wrapped principle photography before the deadline for the Iranian-US nuclear negotiations this Monday November 24. My 40th birthday comes in less than a month; how about I finish my edits before then? That would be a nice present Mr. Hall.

Blood kin have requested a screening in Chicago this Thanksgiving holiday next week. So I'll receive some family feedback on whatever draft I deliver in a few days. The time elapsed on this project, and the work I've done revising it after friends viewing thus far, has me feeling like my spine is steel - I won't need much-less-want to change much. Fingers and legs crossed.

Ilyse was a bit late for her doctor's appointment. Her full-body phone footage enables some of the most fun edits in the film: shots where I'm standing in the scene, a part of the illustration for whatever I'm speaking. I've learned an enormous amount working on this project; soon I look forward to sharing it with you.

OMG I just remembered that I still don't have a title. Ahahahahaha

Columbia journalism reviewed

I'm honored to have been written up by journalist Lene Bech Sillesen in the Columbia Journalism Review, "Is this the Web's first blog?" Justin Hall's 20-year-old website shows how opportunities in online journalism slowly developed.

not only does Justin's Links map Hall's personal coming-of-age-story, it also illustrates the internet's rapid expansion, and the development of online journalism. Here are some thoughts from Hall, now 40, on what it was like to be an early blogger.

It was a fun conversation - understanding how a new writer today might glean something from my various experiments as they approach the internet. Lene is @LeneBechS on Twitter if you want to keep up with her ongoing explorations.


Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

Twitter: jah
Facebook: Justinreach

eBooks by Justin Hall

I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

"A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.