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Everyone has opinions about movies. Whenever you see a movie with a group of friends, your night invariably ends with your group discussing the various merits of the movie, the plot holes and any cool visual and sound effects. The next day, when asked at work about the movie, you give a review and let your co-worker know what you thought about the movie. Wouldn't it be great if you could get paid to give your opinion to a wide audience of people? It may not be as hard as you think to get paid to be a movie critic; follow these suggestions and get paid to review movies.
Read movie reviews written by other reviewers. Take notes as to what the reviewers discuss. Notice how the movie reviews open with a general statement about he movie and then begin to discuss and rate various aspects of the movie like the plot, the script, the acting, the effects, the costumes, etc. At the end of the review, there's usually an overall rating, or assessment, of the general quality of the movie.
Practice writing reviews. Watch all kinds of different movies, even those genres you don't like, and write reviews for them. Try to emulate some of the approaches from the established writer's reviews. Make sure that you write about all the different aspects of the movie that a reader might be interested in (acting, plot, set design, effects, costumes, etc.). Develop your own rating system (like the "thumbs" from Siskel and Ebert).
Take a writing class or join a writers' group. A writing class will help you learn how to stay focused on your subject and can help you learn good grammar skills. Writing groups allow you to get critiques from other writers and learn from their experiences (see Resources below).
Before you get paid to be a movie critic, be wiling to do it for free. Approach senior centres and youth centres, libraries, churches or any group that publishes a free newsletter, and volunteer to write movie reviews for their newsletters. You will not get paid for this, but it is important for the experience and the publishing credit on your resume. Don't limit yourself to just one free newsletter. Try to write for as many as you can, reviewing different types of movies for each. This will give you a broad range of samples for your resume.
Ask for feedback and use it. Once you are published in a free newsletter, you will probably begin getting feedback from your readers. Don't be afraid to take the criticisms and apply anything useful to your future movie reviews.
Approach local papers. Choose the best reviews you've written to include as a sample with your resume. Invest in a good editing service to clean up any errors you may have.
When you have established yourself as a paid movie critic, continue to market yourself. Approach local radio stations and ask them to give you airtime to read your reviews on the air.
- Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images