Rough Notes on My Guardian Master Class – ‘How to Write About Film’
I found this film writing class in London to be very informative and took away a lot of stuff with me that were invaluable and crucial to my learning 🙂
Rough Notes on My Guardian Masterclass – ‘How to Write About Film’
‘How to convert cinephilia into criticism and criticism into cinephelia with Peter Bradshaw’:
· Blog to look at – Ultra Culture – on-line film blog written by a critic turned film-maker
· Must stay focused as a professional film writer – focus on what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how you’re doing it.
· MUST write every day or write every week. Also keep reading other blogs and other film resources.
DON’T STOP WRITING! KEEP BLOGGING ABOUT FILM!!
· Being a film critic can intensify my love for cinema.
· Why am I doing this? Because I want to clarify my relationship with cinema and film.
· If I want to get paid money for film blogging, I NEED to get film writing PUBLISHED!!
· I have to show my blogs to many people to get FEEDBACK!
· Must establish myself as a writer and keep writing!
· ‘KEEP WRITING UNTIL YOUR FINGERS BREAK!’
· Read ‘Love Movies, Hate Critics’ by Mark Kermode.
· Eventually will end up in an angry and head butting confrontation with film-makers after shouting out your opinions, claiming you know more about the film than the film-maker does.
(Film critics have open ended conversations with their readers)
· There are two types of movie reviews to write – the 1 star and the 5 star reviews. (The better a film is, the easier it is to write)
Writing a terrible review on a bad film is difficult as its hard work trashing a film.
· MUST discriminate when writing film.
· When writing and reviewing top ten films of the year – must have nerdiness, clique bate and positivity.
· Being funny or using humour in a film is dangerous.
· If writing about movies is what I really want to do, then I just have to do it! Blog, write, and video thoughts on my YouTube channel. – SELL YOURSELF!
Interviews (Film Journalism)
What makes a good interview?
· Who are you interviewing?
· Why are you interviewing them?
· What’s their story?
· What’s your angle?
· How long have you got?
How to conduct yourself in an interview:
· Be prepared – research is really fundamental to any interview.
· Be professional – golden rule of interviewing is to go in with your journalist hat on. You’re there to get something out of the interview. Know how to handle difficult situations with the person.
· Be personable – just be yourself. Have a relaxed and friendly manner. Be courteous and diligent about how you ask questions. A cardinal sin is to make the interview all about yourself.
· Be cool – there are an unwritten set of rules as a journalist that you can’t break. Don’t upset or antagonise the person you’re interviewing. Don’t ask personal questions.
Ask the right questions:
· Look forward – talk about what they’re currently working on or what they have planned.
· Think on your feet – always react to what the person you are interviewing is saying.
· Ask open-ended questions.
· Mix it up – go off on tangents and take the interview in different ways and ask different questions. Improvise and don’t stick to the script.
· Avoid leading questions
· Don’t avoid obvious questions – if you don’t understand something, it’s okay to ask them to explain.
How to write up an interview:
Things to consider:
· What’s your format?
· What’s your agenda?
· What’s the word count?
· When’s your deadline?
· Transcribe with care
· Context and colour – Great tools as a journalist
· Structuring responses – its acceptable to restructure responses.
· Bringing out soundbites.
**Google ‘David Fincher – 20,000 leagues under the sea’**
· Never misquote – can get you into legal trouble.
· Give the subject’s voice some space – make sure you get a clear sense of who the person is from the interviews.
**Must buy ‘What I love about movies’ by Little White Lies.
*What is a review?
· A written opinion you will find on a newspaper column or online. Can also include photos and embedded videos.
· Check out video reviewing from Guardian Film called ‘The Guardian Film Show’ on YouTube.
**Honest Trailers – A comedy film trailer video series on YouTube that’s engaging, well aware that its on the internet and very unique.**
Sell your uniqueness as a film reviewer!
· Need to be funny! (Not easy)
· Be consistent – keep blogging regularly every day for people to watch, read or listen to.
· Listen to people about feedback on your blog. Reply to comments, communicate etc.
· Express opinions on films over Twitter. Twitter is a powerful social media tool for film news and reviewing movies.
· Write about everything you’re passionate about and mix it up!
· Introduce yourself in a subtle way if you can to your readers, write about what you find interesting and make contact with others on Twitter.
· Find any way into film reviewing you can and enjoy writing.
· You’re not going to get better UNLESS you’re writing all the time. Keep writing, reading and learning.