Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Classified Ads for Critics

What outlet do you write for?
And you work at...?
I've been asked the above questions often when meeting with other NOLA area reviewers. Of course, I'm proud to plug MovieBoozer and my own blog, but when they drop the names of their home outlets, I admit a little jealousy on my part.

Why? Because they are local outlets.

With a family deeply rooted in the area, and an industry that I want to help flourish, working at a local publication would fill me with great pride. Now, don't misunderstand me - I love MovieBoozer and will be contributing for them well into the future (such an awesome format and concept), but I really want to make what I do into a career that I can live off of without having to move out of state.

Unfortunately, classified ads for film critics are hard to find. Previously, on this blog, I wrote two pieces that helped me in advancing towards my goal a bit. So, maybe third time's a charm?

Here are some ideas for how my movie blogging can be incorporated into the content of two local outlets:

Off Beat Magazine

This publication is mostly known for providing news and reviews about the music industry, from Louisiana and beyond. They also cover culture, which the booming Hollywood South is part of. However, there is zip to none film coverage to be found on their site.

I'd like to help change that.

I understand that print space might be limited, so how about a blog to kick things off? OffBeat.com is a pretty user friendly domain that's easy to navigate and read. They also use social networking pretty well, so I get that writing for the digital audience is something they're cool with.

Here's what I propose:

  • We set up a film blog on the site, perhaps called Off Beat Film, along with a facebook page and twitter account. 
  • The blog will cover reviews of independent/obscure (or "off beat") movies, as well as the ones opening theatrically in the area. It can also feature editorial pieces on the NOLA moviegoing scene, as well as special screening recaps (Timecode:NOLA and NOFS events, or backyard/community showings).
  • If interested, a youtube account can be created, where video conversations on movies would be hosted. This would provide more content and engage the audience beyond the webpage, should they choose to participate.
  • Live tweet-a-thons (where I watch a movie or awards show, and use a hashtag to link all of the tweets together) can be posted on the blog, using Storify.

WWNO.org

Last year, the New Orleans Reporter initiative - a digital news coalition between WWNO, NOLAvie and The Lens - was announced. It has since morphed from a website to a content partnership. Changes are still being implemented, but what about film criticism?

WWNO is the only one of the three that I know has hosted reviews. While written very well, they were not done by NOLA critics, and some were about movies not coming to the area. Even an interview with Quvenzhan√© Wallis was not conducted by an area writer.

Here's what I propose:

  • Reviews of movies coming to the local area, by a local critic. Specialty pieces (interviews, event recaps) can also be provided.
  • WWNO.org is chock full of excellent audio podcasts. Currently, I take part in a podcast called #TeamNOLAFilm, where I and other industry members discuss the current Hollywood South happenings. It's mostly been an independent production, but we'd be more than happy to have an official home for the show, and be able to reach more listeners. 
More than likely, I'll be moving closer to the city soon. Also soon will be the official launch of the New Orleans Film Critics Association. Could I soon be sitting in a press screening as an official local critic?

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