The Reel Deal: Writing about Movies
Instructor: Betty Jo Tucker
"Hey Betty Jo!!!!
I just took a look at the first assignment! And let me just say WOW! I can tell this course is going to be a lot more incredible than I thought it would be! (and that's saying something!)
The first assignment looks/is amazing. Not only have you given the assignment, but you've given tons of background (yours and others) information to show what you mean by a movie philosophy, to illustrate what you want in the assignment.
I especially loved your review of Vanilla Sky. I didn't like that movie either and almost left the theatre half way through; I would of too, if I hadn't paid full price ($13.50 at the time) to see that lousy flick. LOL
You've given me food for thought. I've never thought of my movie critic philosophy; what I see/think when I watch movies, what draws me. I'm going to have to think about that before I write the assignment and perhaps read the assignment again.
Way to go, Betty Jo! I can't wait to get started!!!!!"
"Now as for my thoughts and feelings on the course. Taking this course was how you say, phenomenal. I honestly expected to just get a new assignment every week along with a due date and a few half-way critiques. Instead I got a teacher who either really cared or is a great actress and should get some kind of award for it. I really felt like you wanted to help make me a better writer/reviewer and not just make my wallet a little smaller. Funny thing too, I was going to ask if I could send my reviews to you to check out as I write them and before I even got the chance to ask, you offered. As for what I am going to do with what I learned here, I'm going to continue to apply it to my writing and turn my hobby of writing reviews into a career."
In the arts, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising. --Pauline Kael
It stinks! -- Jay Sherman
Reviewing movies, of course, is much more difficult than tossing off a cryptic comment like the one from cartoon character Jay Sherman above. And it’s more complicated than Roger Ebert’s “Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down” appraisal. Nevertheless, because of the powerful role movies play in popular culture, good critics are needed to provide honest, independent opinions about the quality of films being released today -- just as the late Pauline Kael pointed out in her famous quotation.
Maybe being a film critic isn’t the best job in the world, but it’s one of the most satisfying if you have a passion for movies and writing. This course is designed for students who want to learn various techniques for writing movie reviews as well as for interviewing actors, directors, screenwriters and other film-related personnel.
Perhaps you’d like to be the next Roger Ebert or Pauline Kael -- a respected critic with influence throughout the world. Or maybe you’re simply interested in writing better reviews for your own Website or Blog. In either case, this course is a good place to start.
First Session: Developing a Reviewing Philosophy.
In this session, we’ll explore the role of the critic and his/her responsibility to readers as well as objectivity vs. subjectivity, film knowledge and ethical concerns related to film criticism.
Second Session: Deciding What Matters about a Film.
The second session examines such important topics as: art vs. business; universal themes; personal and social impact of films; plot and character arc; production values; directing; cinematography; background music; editing; music; and actors’ performances.
Third Session: Organizing and Writing the Review.
This session covers the basic steps involved in writing a cohesive, insightful and entertaining review.
Fourth Session: Dealing with Negative Feedback.
Most critics receive their fair share of “hate mail.” Our fourth session provides tips for appropriate responses to such messages. This is the most fun session – and a prize will be awarded to the student who writes the best reply to a hypothetical “hate mail” message.
Fifth Session: Conducting Celebrity Interviews.
The fifth session offers suggestions for questions to ask actors and other film personnel when interviewing them about their movies. It also includes information about how to obtain such interviews.
Sixth Session: Finding Outlets for Your Articles.
Start date: Every other Wednesday - contact Instructor.
6 week class
Class limit: NA