Writing a Film Review
If you love films and fancied trying your hand at writing a film review then here are a few tried and tested guidelines to get you started.
When writing a film review it’s important to both inform and engage your readers. This means keeping the article concise while supplying sufficient plot information and expressing your opinion in an entertaining manner.
Before watching the film, do your homework. Find out who’s directing, who the leading actors are, what the genre and the title are and a brief plot overview. If possible watch the film more than once and don’t take notes during the first sitting.
When you do come to take notes, write short comments about the elements of the film that stand out for you while you’re watching. Make notes on the direction, the acting, the writing and the technical elements of the film, particularly if they make an impact. When the film is finished note how it left you feeling. Confused? Satisfied?
When you come to sit down and write the review, first consult your notes and compare what you wrote during the film with what you feel now it’s over. Consider for example, how well the director portrayed the important elements of the story. Was there anything missing? Was the setting appropriate?
Then consider the actors. Were they believable in their roles? Did any performance stand out for good or bad? Were you drawn to their characters? Next, evaluate the writing. Were the characters realistic? Was the dialogue plausible? How well was the story told? Does it make sense? If you can appreciate the technical elements of the film and you felt, for example, that the film flowed seamlessly from one scene to another then certainly mention the editing. Same goes for costume and set design and don’t forget the music.
Start writing your article with a short overview of the plot avoiding spoilers. Be aware of who your target audience is and adapt your style accordingly. Referring to your notes, rate the direction, acting, writing and the various technical elements. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion but refrain from being abusive or overly harsh. Try to be open-minded and even-handed particularly when reviewing, for example, a genre or an actor you normally avoid.
Finish your review with a well-rounded conclusion. Then edit and proof read, double-checking any facts and figures. And if you have time and space add a flourish such as a brilliantly witty final comment. Remember your opinion will not be shared by everyone so be prepared for some conflict.
Now go and write a review.