Or, How does one become a movie critic?
Sometimes I wonder what else I can do with a film degree besides make movies. If I can't write movies, maybe I can write about movies. I know it's not that easy, of course. And to be truthful, I'm really bad at discerning what makes a good movie. I spent a semester in a class that just read scripts. Good scripts, produced scripts, some award winning scripts. And it was sometimes very difficult for me to understand what it was about the script that got it greenlit. And when I watch movies, I often do it from a pure enjoyment perspective (should one really mix work and fun?). And it definitely takes me more than one viewing to formulate some sort of critical stance on a film.
Then I was perusing Bill Martell's blog and came across Mark Twain's Rules for Writing. Basically, Twain was using his rules to completely ream another writer, but it got me thinking. If there are rules for good writing, there should be (and are, though I think they're a secret) rules for great movie making. I'm big on theory as it is, that writers and filmmakers should have an understanding of why they're making movies and what they believe to be the purpose of film. And an extension of that is understanding what makes a great film, to them. So, it may take some research, but I'd like to compile rules for great filmmaking and fantastic storytelling. Think about my favourite movies, what makes them great. Write it down, 'cause otherwise I'll forget.
Figuring out what makes the movies I love great will only make the stories I write better.