Monday, March 26, 2012
Recently my husband and I volunteered to review films for the Breckenridge Film Festival, to help the committee decide what films to show at the June festival. As a fiction author myself, I'm familiar with the structure of story-telling, and as a former Universal Studios guide and techie friend of Pixar programmers, my husband is interested in the technology of special effects. So, we felt like we had something to offer as reviewers.
Last week, we watched and evaluated about a half dozen films, from shorts to feature length, dramas to documentaries. We both rated each one on a 5 point scale, with 1 being "a horrible film" and 5 being "yes, definitely include it in the festival." We also both provided a paragraph of text explaining our rating. I've used all but one of the 5 categories so far. We'll be reviewing films for two more weeks.
It's been an interesting experience to be on the evaluation side of the review equation, rather than having my own books evaluated by reviewers and readers. I often find that looking at other people's stories with a critical eye helps me hone my skills in ferreting out negative aspects of my own writing that need fixing. My experience in judging writing contests and participating in critique groups has proven this to be true. And, I expect the same from my film reviewing experience.
It's also exposed me to some very interesting projects. My horizons have been expanded, and I expect that attending the festival itself will expand them even more. I admire the risks that these filmmakers are taking, even when those risks don't pan out. If you have the opportunity to attend and/or volunteer for a film festival near you, I suggest you do it! You'll get a lot out of it.
(Photo by: http://www.anna-OM-line.com)