Students frequently focus first on the responsibilities of actors and directors when thinking about possible careers in the film business. However, there are numerous additional professionals that either directly or indirectly work in the film industry, such as movie reviewers or critics. If you have a deep love for all things cinema, you might want to consider how to become a film critic.
What are a Film Critic’s Responsibilities?
Many individuals believe that a film critic’s only responsibility is to watch a film once and offer their assessment of it. But cinema criticism goes further than that. Before beginning the critiquing journey, you must put in a lot of hard effort.
Listed below are a few responsibilities of a film critic:
1. Seeing Movies in All Genres
Do you enjoy watching films? If so, fantastic! You already possess the essential qualities of a great film critic. However, if you prefer to pick the genres of movies you watch, it could provide a challenge for your profession as a film critic. Watching films from many genres is one of a movie critic’s important responsibilities. Additionally, it’s required to view movies more than once in order to extract their most important themes and fully comprehend them.
2. Making Notes on Vital Film Information
Instead than just watching movies, film reviewers make important observations about them. This is to aid them in remembering when they need to later make a thorough note. Even if you might be enjoying the movie so much that you forget to take notes, it’s crucial to make the conscious decision to take note of significant details. After all, the brain is only capable of so much strain.
3. Observing Technical Particulars
You are need to take notes on the technical aspects of the movie in addition to the plot facts. Is the resolution sufficient? Do you like the lighting? Has the editing been done well? To make sure they are appropriate for the film genre, you need also pay attention to the music, shots, color, and camera angles.
4. Analyzing and Reviewing Films
It’s time to write a review of the film after you’ve seen it and taken note of key facts. You can now make use of the background information you’ve learned through study and investigation. You might also take into account current movie trends, how audiences are responding to recent releases, and new concepts that are being developed every day.
5. Going to Film Events
Merging with the film industry is another responsibility of a film critic. The industry can be connected with through participation in film events. At a film festival, for example, you are likely to run into a lot of actresses, producers, and other participants. Additionally, networking with movie producers is made simple by attending smaller events like movie launches, premieres, etc.
6. Interviewing the Cast and Crew of Movies
Every literary work reflects the viewpoint of the creator. Many readers might not notice this viewpoint unless the author explicitly states it. Consequently, it is crucial to hear directly from a literary work’s writers. To gain their viewpoints in this situation, you must speak with the film’s writers. To find out why they skewed the movie in that direction, you can ask the director. Additionally, talking to the actors and other cast and crew members will help you understand their perspectives and the reasons for how they perceived their parts in the film.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that when the general public talks about film criticism, they typically mean popular movie reviews rather than critical studies. Because of this, both sorts of labor are combined into the broad category of “film criticism” in this career guide.
Where Do Film Critics Work?
Critics of movies can work for a variety of publications. They may work for radio or television stations, although newspapers and magazines recruit them most frequently. Numerous cinema critics have their own blogs, some of which they may or may not monetize, in addition to working for online media.
Job competition for full-time positions as film critics is fierce. Many of these professionals also work full-time jobs in relevant fields while moonlighting as film critics. A cinema critic might also work as a journalist, TV host, radio host, or host of a podcast, for instance. They might also work as a scriptwriter or a set assistant in the film industry.
Essential Knowledge and Characteristics for Future Film Critics
It can be difficult for recent grads to find employment in the film industry, so it’s wise to go into this project with an open mind. Consider applying for entry-level jobs like production assistant on a set of a movie or human interest reporter at a neighborhood newspaper. You’ll get one step closer to realizing your dream of working as a professional film critic as you earn practical experience.
The following pointers provide helpful suggestions on how to become a film critic:
1. Never Miss a Deadline
No matter what kind of entry-level work you end up performing or how far you advance in your professional career, there is one guideline that will never change: Always meet your deadlines. Professionals who frequently miss deadlines will struggle to secure stable employment. Develop the habit of doing projects at least a day or two ahead of time while you are still in school to guarantee that you never forget a due date.
2. Read a Lot
The human brain is like a sponge, and the more film reviews you read, the more insightful your own reviews will be. Simply reading can teach you a lot about film analysis and writing strategies.
Pay attention to your professional network. A film critic’s network of industry contacts is essential to their success. Learn more about the locals who work at the art houses and film festivals in your neighborhood.
3. Be Open-minded.
A lot of prospective cinema critics are solely concerned with examining the newest box office sensation that panders to their own tastes. However, familiarity with a variety of genres is important in order to be a successful film critic.
Be persistent and patient above all else. Gaining traction in a field can be difficult. You should keep honing your writing and film analysis skills in the interim so that you may seize any opportunities that may arise.
How to Become a Film Critic
There is no set procedure for how to become a film reviewer, and the industry is not regulated. Many different academic and professional backgrounds might lead to a career as a film critic. However, a bachelor’s degree is typically required of them.
It’s a good idea to discuss your professional goals with your guidance counselor if you’re still in high school and want to start learning how to become a film critic. Given that many film critics publish their reviews on a part-time basis, you may also wish to consider your choices for full-time employment as a journalist, scriptwriter, or other related professional.
Even though your high school might not have a movie studies subject, make an effort to enroll in as many humanities classes as you can.
The following are some humanities course examples that could help you become ready for a profession in film criticism:
- Creative writing
- English language or literature
Additionally, you can think about writing for the high school newspaper and joining (or starting!) a film club.
It’s time to start considering your degree alternatives as the day of your high school graduation draws near. A degree in cinema studies or film is a popular option for aspiring film critics since it can help you gain a thorough understanding of how movies are made, as well as how stories and characters are created.
Depending on your views on alternative jobs, there may be other degree alternatives. You might think about getting a journalism degree because many freelance and part-time film critics are also full-time journalists. On the other hand, you might favor a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film or comparable degree if you want to work exclusively in the film sector.
Getting a Film Degree
It’s a good idea to enroll in a writing-intensive school if you opt to acquire a film degree because it will better prepare you for a future as a professional writer. For example, you might choose to get a film degree with a screenplay concentration. These kinds of degrees frequently cover the following subjects:
- Philosophies, strategies, and abilities of storytelling
- The creation of captivating characters that appeal to audiences as well as the growth of character relationships
- The components, patterns, and forms of genre norms and tropes
- The methods for writing dialogue with emotional impact
- The steps involved in creating a dramatic television show, including idea generation, pilot writing, and pitching
One or more classes on navigating the business side of the film industry may be part of your degree program in film.
You should work on honing your abilities as a film reviewer while you’re in college. Analyze several movies that you watch. You could want to try using your personal blog as an online portfolio by posting your greatest criticisms there.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Film Critics Get Paid?
A movie critic makes over $42,000 on average yearly. The whole range of median income is from more than $10,000 to more than $213,000 annually.
What requirements must I meet to become a film critic?
In journalism, English, creative writing, cinema and television, film studies, or any combination of these, you can pursue a foundation degree, degree, or postgraduate certification. You can gain the analytical and writing abilities necessary to become a film critic by taking courses like these.
What criteria do movie critics use?
The analysis of a movie and its position in cinema history via the lens of film criticism. Film critique often provides an interpretation of a film's meaning, an analysis of its plot and aesthetic, a rating of the film's quality based on how it compares to other films, and an assessment of the spectator impact it is expected to have.
Are movie critics journalists?
A journalist with expertise in the film business is a film critic. Some film critics have a background in film studies, while others have a degree in journalism or communications. You may have an advantage if you study both fields as a major or minor.
Since the time of the first recognized film critic, Frank E. Wood, film criticism has advanced significantly. However, the field is expanding exponentially as a result of technological innovation. You can take advantage of the rising need for professional film critics to increase your income.