Having recently overcome a long stretch of writer’s block, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and re-thinking lately of how I go about the task of writing film reviews. The truth of the matter is, ever since beginning this blog it’s been difficult for me to watch classic films “for fun” without feeling guilty if I don’t write about it for the blog. This has become an extreme source of frustration, making it difficult for me to enjoy both viewing and writing about films, and it’s something I’m actively working to correct. Gathering my latest set of materials in preparation for penning Monday’s review, I thought I’d take a photograph of my setup and share a little bit about the tools which I have come to define as “essential” to my process.
1. The Movie. But of course! Here I’ve got a copy of Three Smart Girls on the Deanna Durbin Sweetheart Pack I rented from Casa Video (the best local video store in the world!). It also helps to have something to watch the movie on, like a television or computer (not pictured).
2. A Notebook. When watching a film I’m always sure to note down what I am liking and not liking about the movie, the plot, the characters or the performances. This really helps when I go back to write the final review. The notes are usually fairly casual in nature but I’ve only just recently decided to start formally recording them in this cute little snail notebook.
3. A Pencil. I typically use pens because they’re usually more available, but I have issues with actually writing in cute notebooks (sounds weird but I’m sure some of you can relate) so I thought pencil would make it a less stressful experience. This one in particular is a Halloween pencil, and it’s my favorite because it’s lefty-friendly. (When I’m using it, I can easily read the words “Happy Halloween” without them being upside down. I bet this is something you right-handed people would never notice in a million years, but us lefties appreciate these small victories!)
4. A Pencil-Sharpener. Mine happens to resemble a hedgehog, but this is of course optional.
5. Erasers. I was being super neurotic about “despoiling” the notebook and brought out some extra erasers as a security blanket.
6 BONUS. A Viewing Companion. Of course it’s not entirely necessary to have the cutest dog in the world to watch the movie with you, but from personal experience, I must say, it certainly helps. :)
How do you write your reviews? From memory? From notes? If you take notes, do you do it on a computer or on paper? What are your essentials? How about when viewing a movie in a darkened theater? Share your tips with the class!