By The Foote and Friends Team
If 2020 had been just a little kinder, this week we would probably have been reading another insightful piece by Nick Maylor on one of the many film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Nick loved the Dickens’ tale and he loved writing about it. But we aren’t getting that this year because Nick chose to leave this world in September. We lost an excellent writer with a unique voice and passion for film, we lost the guy who was integral in helping get this site launched, and in giving us a presence on social media. The many people in his sphere lost a friend, a confidante, and a son.
John H. Foote, founder of the site, first met Nick when he was a student of John’s at the Toronto Film School: “Nick was a frequent visitor to my office, not for any other reason than to talk about movies. I liked him, he was opinionated, engaging, funny, often totally wrong, and thirsty for knowledge. A friendship was formed, one that lasted 15 years.”
Nick’s enthusiasm was definitely evident when the Toronto International Film Festival rolled around. John says that “Nick was like a kid settling into his seat at TIFF, his excitement impossible to contain. The film was A Star is Born (2018), and he watched with great intensity, as did I, beside him. I spent a lot of time with Nick during TIFF, and his hunger for film, great film, reminded me of myself in my early days as a critic. How he loved superhero films! His eyes shone when he spoke about them, and he wrote about them with a deep love. Nick accomplished much in his short life, but his greatest achievement was as a film critic. He would have soared.”
Nick’s mom Angela Coyne said that working for Foote and Friends on Film was “his greatest passion. Time after time he would run an article by me. Knowing, of course, there really would be no need to change it, as his writing skills were so good. He just wanted me to hear it out loud, in his own voice, with his own inflection – enjoying it more and more every time he did it. He would be giddy by the time he was finished. He often finished off with ‘I think the guys are gonna love this’ as he was racing back to his desk.”
Nick was the driving force behind the launch of our podcast series, and it’s been difficult to think about resurrecting that project in his absence. We’ll get there, but it’s going to take some time. Angela said the podcasts were “the icing on the cake for him. He just loved the interaction and again, dare I say it, he loved the sound of his own voice. He was so jazzed at having ‘guest’ speakers. The old saying that you’ll never work a day in your life if you so something you love could not have been truer for Nick.”
Although the Foote and Friends team have only met in person once since the launch of the site, owing to the fact we are scattered all over the country, we stay connected through our bi-weekly virtual team meetings. Nick loved the interaction of those meetings, loved sharing his latest ideas – he would get so excited with the “new” and then run off and work to make it happen. Getting him to stay focused was sometimes a challenge, but his unbridled enthusiasm was contagious. I think those closest to him would agree that it wasn’t always easy when his demons got the better of him, but when Nick was Nick, he was a dynamic life force.
Our prime exposure to Nick was through his writing, but he was also an accomplished musician – his guitar never far from his grip. He loved sharing his new compositions with us. And they were always good.
So, Nick: thank you for your enthusiasm, your tenacity in helping us get up and running, your precise and beautifully written articles, and for your friendship. You are missed.
You can get to know Nick a bit through his writing. Here are two links – one to his entire catalogue on Foote and Friends on Film and, in keeping with the time of year, a second to his fascination with “A Christmas Carol”. All the best of the season to our readers!
Hooked from a first viewing of Mary Poppins at four and after school reruns of I Love Lucy, Alan has been a movie and TV enthusiast ever since. A particular aficionado of films from the late thirties through the seventies, he enjoys helping others discover the joys of those films, directors and stars. His career has careened from journalism to public relations to marketing, always with one foot in the arts and with a unique ability to relate all work and life experiences back to a movie. Alan’s top five desert island films are Bonnie and Clyde, Sunset Boulevard, Cabaret, Mildred Pierce and, with no apologies, Mary Poppins. Alan’s focus will be on films from Hollywood’s first golden era (and a little beyond) as well as TV.