Hollywood is Calling!!! Enter for a Chance
To Become A KIDS FIRST! 2012 Film Critic
How to Enter
First off, thanks for entering our 2011 Film Critics Search. We have had such fun with our 2010 winners throughout this year. When you look at their video reviews and interviews, you will see they have enjoyed it equally.
We know that most of you are not going to wind up as a career film critic but, we do know that the skills you will learn when you are part of this program will be invaluable and truly will last a lifetime. In today's media-saturated world, having the confidence to speak before a group, particularly on camera or on the radio, position you for leadership!
TIPS FOR SUBMITTING THE BEST REVIEW POSSIBLE
1. Select a film that is suitable for your age range. It's not essential but most likely you will enjoy it more than something that is "too young" or "too old" for you.
2. Before you start writing your review, do a little homework. Visit the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com) to get the list of key talent (actors, directors, writers, composers) who contribute to the film. It is so much better to say, "the role of Jose, portrayed by George Lopez..." than to not know the name of the actor or the role he or she played. This will be essential if you are selected as a winner so why not start now?!
3. When you write your review, keep it in the present tense. Say "is" rather than "was". It keeps your review sounding fresh and current.
4. Keep your written review short, no more than 1000 words. Less is more. In today's fast paced world, being able to make your point quickly is important.
5.Be sure to tell us, right from the start, what you feel about the film. Don't wait until the third paragraph to say, "this is absolutely one of the funniest films I have ever seen!" Say it at the start. Then, follow up by telling us why you feel that way.
When videotaping your review, pay attention to these
- Do not start videotaping when people are talking or there is other noise in the room. Have your camera person say, "Quiet on the set" before you start. And, don't start talking until it is completely quiet. Believe me, we can hear everything going on in the background!
- Do not read your review. Make cue cards to help you remember the key points you want to make in your review but do not read your review word by word. We can tell when you are reading. Your review should look and sound as if you are talking to your friend about a film you just saw. Reading is distracting.
- Look into the camera. Pretend that the person you are speaking to has eyes inside the lens of the camera and look into his or her eyes. When you look off to the side, it makes us think you are not looking directly at us.
- Keep your background simple and uncluttered. Before you start to shoot, select a location that is clean and free of clutter. You don't want a bright white wall behind you or a window and you don't want a dark wall. Choose something in between.
- Keep your clothes simple. As the on camera talent, you need to select something to wear that looks good on camera. Stay away from plaids, small prints and white or red colors. Look at what the news anchors wear and pay attention to the type of clothing that looks good on them. That's a good guideline.
- Head and shoulders. We need a nice, tight shot of your head and shoulders. We don't need to see your entire body, A close up is much better. Then be sure not to wiggle around too much or you will go out of the shot. Practice before you shoot.
- Lighting. This is one of the most difficult things for most people to get right. You want to have light on your face, not the wall behind you. That doesn't mean you have to go out and buy fancy lighting equipment. You can generally find a location in your house that works and you may need to move a lighting fixture so that it throws light onto your face. Again, practice before you shoot.
- Sound. If you don't have background noise, your camera's microphone should be good enough for your submission tape. If you have a microphone, hand-held or lavaliere that is separate from the camera that you can use, so much the better.
- Keep it short, no more than 2 minutes and really, 60 seconds is perfect. As in your written review, say right up front how much you liked or didn't like the film and why. You don't need to spend a lot of time telling what the film is about because, in general, people already know that. More important is your reaction to the film, the actors, and to the production. And, would you recommend it to others and if so, why.
KIDS FIRST! Film Criticss Search is a project of the Coalition for Quality Children's Media, a national, 20-year-old, nonprofit (501-c-3) organization that is a voluntary collaboration between the media industry, educators and child advocacy organizations. The mission of the Coalition is: 1) To teach children to become critical media users and; 2) To increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media.
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact our office at 505-989-8076 or send an email.