Every person who writes for a movie site can agree on one thing. We all have a undying love for films. We may not all agree on every one, but we all share a common love and joy of watching them. It’s doesn’t matter if you prefer the art-house over the multiplex. Action over drama. As long as you are honest about what you write. You are considered to be a cinephiles in my book. No I don’t have an actual book. It’s just a figure of speech, but I do have ten guidelines that I follow.
1. Thou must watch all genres.
If you will never watch a foreign film(with subtitles, not dubbed), a western, or flat out refuse to watch any one before 1969. It’s hard for me to consider you as a serious cinephile. You are a movie fan, but not a movie buff.
2. Thou must never speak badly of a movie until they actually see it.
It is perfectly acceptable to avoid a movie based on many factors. The trailer did not appeal to you. The story doesn’t interest you, or the cast just looked bad. Those are all valid reasons to skip a movie. But if you claim that it is a bad movie without ever seeing it. It’s hard for me to respect you as a critic. I have no desire in seeing any of the “Twilight” franchise, but I’ll never say they are bad because I have never seen them.
3. Thou must never insult another critic.
It’s important that we continue to express our opinions about movies. It’s also important to express our thoughts on the comment sections of someone’s review. Differences about a particular movie is vital and helps engage in more talks about movies which is always cool. I hate it when I see comments that insult the writer just because he or she happened to disagree with what that person wrote. If you disagree with a review. State why you did then offer your thoughts about the film. Hurling insults and calling someone names is not professional.
Just as it is important for others to show respect to you. You must also show respect to others on your page. They took time out of their day to read your review and post their thoughts about it. It’s unwise to ignore a comment(Especially if it is one that is negative). They are looking for feedback and will be revisiting your site more and more to continue their debate. This will help lead to more page views which is essentially what we all want.
5. Thou must always keep discovering.
One of the main burdens of being a cinephile is that there are tons upon tons of movies released every year. Combine that with movies from previous years and I’ll bet there are a few that you have not seen. To this day I have never seen “The Sound of Music” or “Unforgiven“. I’m also behind on seeing all the nominees for Best Picture this year(I’ve only seen five). Don’t let it discourage you if you happen to miss out on a few features. It’s the discovery of watching more movies that will make you a better cinephile.
6. Thou shalt never give up thy integrity.
No one, and I mean no one should write up a positive review of a movie they didn’t like, just in hopes that they will get a plug from a director or actor. I have been quite fortunate to have received a few screeners from a few film makers. Most of the ones sent have been great, but there were a few that were less then perfect. If there was a movie that I did not fully care for. I would mention very honestly what my problem was with it. I always try and find at least one good thing in a movie, but if I cant. I gotta stay true and write an honest review about it. But I never want to write one where I fully put down the people involved with it. They put a lot of time and effort into that feature and I’m grateful they would want to share it with me.
The movies of today have various ways in which we can enjoy them. As much of a problem
that some may have with 3D. It is a format that is not going away and there may be a time when all movies are done in this format. When TV first came out,Studios had to make their movies bigger. This explains why movies were shown in the widescreen aspect ratio of 2:35 over the standard 1:33 one. As times progressed, movies went from being on reels to being shown digitally. I’m excited for new formats to be discovered, but I never want to forget the past ones that have helped along the way. It’s important to hold on to those old movie reels from the past as a form of security. If those go, then I feel like a piece of human history will go away with it.
8. Thou Must always keep networking.
It’s important to not just respond to people who have commented on your posts, but to visit their site as well. It’s always great to check out some of the sites that they follow and leave a comment on there too. Share someone’s review on Twitter or Facebook and they
will keep in contact with you more. Another added bonus for this strategy is that they may introduce you to a movie you may have missed. Or at the very least give you a new perspective on ones that you have. I am extremely lucky to know a lot of great movie critics. But I’m always discovering more great sites and writers too.
9. Thou must always keep writing.
The only way your site will continue to get read by others is if you are posting more things on it. I do understand that this is quite a task, and I have not been following this rule myself. If you can do at least one every week that would be extremely beneficial to you. I try and write down a few notes after every movie I’ve seen and then go back to try and adapt them into a full review. If I can I will write up a long one I will, but if I don’t I will just use my shortened version for my movie insomniac posts on The Vern’s Videovangaurd.
10. Thou must always remember to haveth fun.
It’s important to watch a movie without the need to critique it. You should have a set list of favorite movies that you watch without the need to write full reviews about it. Relax and have a good time watching the stories and acting that you love. You can even watch something new and not write about it either. Just have fun with it.
I hope that you find this list helpful, and if you have any other suggestions on how to be a better cinephile. Please leave them in the comments below