When you are involved in digital journalism, you cover a lot of territory: all kinds of subjects and themes. You hope for interesting assignments, and as they grow, you become more and more identified with your trade. I like the variety from political commentary to movie reviews. I am into action films so am specializing in this genre for the moment. Now, who wouldn’t want to be a film critic, preferably one with a strong following. You need to build your audience so the more I do these assignments, the better. It is all about establishing your reputation. You have to make it fun, interesting, insightful, and sometimes profound.
As a digital journalism, I don’t have many tools of the trade apart from my mobile phone and tablet. I have to jot down notes for my movie reviews as I watch. Sometimes it is so dark that I need a good LED flashlight, so I went looking and found a web site called Flashlight Pro. Beware if you go this route however. In one theater, I was setting up to assume my critic’s role when someone approached me and chastised me for trying to pirate the film on my tablet. He got pretty irate and it started to spread to other viewers. Things got heated until I explained what I was doing. “Prove it,” they scoffed. I had to pull up some of my older reviews on line. Who knew there were hazards associated with my profession. And who knew that people cared so much about copyright laws.
I am a little more careful now when I take my gear with me. I tell the theater manager ahead of time and I also try to sit in the back where no one can see me. If I can get a hold of a private preview critic’s copy, so much the better. I can watch and make notes in the privacy of my own home. I won’t need a big blasting flashlight for any purpose. But frankly, seeing a movie in a real theater is so much more authentic as an experience. I like the full screen viewing, and in action films, it is the only way to make it all come alive. The nature of movies is that they are greater than life and they are not meant to be seen on your laptop with other people nearby. There is a protocol about watching movies and the suspending the aura of disbelief that first permeates the theater house until the lights go out. You need to enter another realm in time and space and this happens shortly after the opening scenes and movie title.
Someday I will write a digital piece on movie courtesy and ideal viewing requirements. Most people know not to talk, kick your seat, get up and down too often, or otherwise mar others’ experience. Let’s add no flashlights, even if you are taking notes for a future review. In keeping with my own personal rules, I will keep the light to a minimum. I will have to rely more on my memory.