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Five Stars! (Book) Review

 
five stars 2nd edition front cover-300
five stars 2nd edition front cover-300
five stars 2nd edition front cover-300

 
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Page Count: 263
 
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A how to manual that walks you through everything you need to know.

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Final Fiendish Findings?

Five Stars! How to Become a Film Critic, the World’s Greatest Job is, simply put, a must-read for aspiring critics. Author Christopher Null has taken his decades of experience and turned it into an easy to understand how to manual that walks you through virtually everything you need to know. If you have ever seriously considered a career – or even a hobby – in film criticism, you need this book.

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Posted April 27, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Christopher Null, of FilmRacket.com, brings an instruction manual for the masses with Five Stars! How to Become a Film Critic, the World’s Greatest Job.

As many people who have broken into the business of reviewing – be it movies, video games, books, whatever – will tell you, the hardest part is getting started. Many people will think to themselves, “I’d love to do that!” but most of them simply do not know where to begin. Who do you contact about review access, how does one go about getting their works published (and hopefully getting paid for them), and how the heck do you actually write the darn review? These questions and more are a huge hurdle to newcomers, especially if they don’t have any experienced friends to guide them. With Five Stars!, the readers has the equivalent of a personal trainer in film review to guide them.

Being a film critic is not as simple as merely watching a movie and writing up your thoughts (although doing just that is vitally important). For one thing, you have to get your words in front of a reader, and they have to be words worth reading. Set up somewhat like a conversational textbook, Five Stars! walks you through the necessary steps in order, and provides a wealth of real life examples to illustrate each point. Beginning with which movies are a must-watch for aspiring critics as well as discussing the importance of understanding both the history and the processes of filmmaking, the book stresses that becoming a film critic will not be an easy or short task.

Once you have learned a bit about the background of films, the books takes you through the process of writing your first reviews. From the almost unilaterally awful early attempts to advanced techniques, the process of reviewing is covered in great detail. Rather than offering dry instruction, author Christopher Null chooses to let the reviews speak for themselves, discussing different techniques in reviewing and then presenting actual published reviews that illustrate how it is done. It is a technique he uses liberally in Five Stars!, for everything from site names to sample interviews, and it is an invaluable tool for beginners who are serious about breaking in.

While writing reviews is, of course, an integral part of being a film reviewer, there is so much more involved in the process – and Null walks you through pretty much everything you need to know. From getting your first freelance gigs to starting your own website, contacting p.r. companies to screener etiquette, there is very little that is not discussed, in detail, in this book. Null goes as far as to provide websites and phone numbers for major film studios, how to handle being blacklisted, and even a list of three hundred films (good and bad) that are essential to watch to build your knowledge of what makes a quality film.

Five Stars! How to Become a Film Critic, the World’s Greatest Job is, simply put, a must-read for aspiring critics. Author Christopher Null has taken his decades of experience and turned it into an easy to understand how to manual that walks you through virtually everything you need to know. If you have ever seriously considered a career – or even a hobby – in film criticism, you need this book.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)