If there was one shining positive in this year of the pandemic, it is that I got so many opportunities from having the time off from work. I got to attend virtual festivals, dedicate weeks of time to watching films and posting almost daily on this website whilst also being able to branch out to other mediums and publications. Sadly though, the end of awards season has left me burnt out and that has come with a crash of uni work, full-time hours and trying to manage everything by myself.
Something must change in this next year.
I am lucky enough that this year is going to be the biggest yet. Not only am I working more than ever at my job as the pandemic lifts, but this is my final year of university and I plan to end on a bang. I want the grades, but I also want to make impact being the Editor-in-Chief of the university newspaper, something I will be prioritising.
My view on my journey in film journalism is also changing, and I plan to give this post to share what I have learnt, what I plan to improve, and what I hope to achieve in this next year outside of university and work.
Film For Thought
For over three years, this website has been my home. I felt like I have established a close group of readers, particularly on my awards season pieces and I am proud of what I have done here. However, as award season has ended and I simply don’t have the energy to start looking at the next season, it is time to evaluate this website and see what direction I want it to go this year.
In a year of a pandemic, posting almost daily and being obsessed with numbers and festival coverage is fine. However, in a year where I have a lot of important things on my plate, I cannot dedicate every day to writing on this website. Whilst I certainly won’t be abandoning this website (and I definitely plan to continue the podcast every fortnight), I will be posting less often on here.
Over the next few months, I am going to be selective about the films I review. Focusing on one or two films a month on here, I may want to talk about some classics or review an upcoming favourite of mine. I also want to steer away from a traditional review and add elements of essay writing within it, not forcing myself to review from the first watch but allowing myself the chance to play a film several times and focusing on quality on my analysis.
I also want to continue some series of mine, but cut down on how much I do. The Ultimate Choice is one of my favourite parts of this website, and that is staying. I don’t plan to change it because I love interacting with you all and getting you to contribute. I also love Short Film Showcase, and that will be sticking to a monthly format rather than weekly. However, you will certainly not miss me talking about short films.
Freelancing and Staff Writing
Part of the reason why I plan to cut the amount of content going onto this website is because I plan to increase the amount of writing I do for other publications. Over the past year in particular, I have been proud to be a staff writer for four publications: The Gaudie, Magia Medium, Filmotomy, and InSession Film. These publications are giving me a chance to cover film festivals, award season, film reviews and so much more without the pressure of analysing data and focusing on daily numbers.
Not only that, but this year I have written for publications such as Next Best Picture, Scratch Cinema, and JumpCut Online. However, this pieces have been more feature or awards content and I am hoping to contribute my traditional film reviews for freelancing. I am hoping that this next year will give me a chance to express my opinions, talk about my love for film and not feel like I need to look at my website like an unpaid full-time job.
Whether you are looking for a regular staff member that can contribute monthly or someone to write one piece or cover one festival, I am happy to help your site out and to contribute. I want to use this year to explore other writing styles, films that I would never see and being able to work with as many people in the industry as I can.
Over the past year, I have been lucky enough to be allowed to cover numerous major film festivals. London Film Festival, Sundance, and Glasgow Film Festival are only a few of the ones that I have done and I am so excited to continue to do it. However, I do want to set a limit on how much I cover so that I can balance it with everything around me.
Firstly, I pride myself on having a British-focused approach to this website and a look at the film industry. I want that to continue, and I vouch to continue prioritising British (primarily Scottish) film festivals. I have covered London and Glasgow and I certainly hope I get a chance to cover Edinburgh International Film Festival and Inverness Film Festival within the next year.
I also want to continue to try and attend the major film festivals. Sundance was incredible and the atmosphere, even when online, was unreal. I want to continue experiencing that, including writing for other publications. I am so thankful that these publications help get me accreditation and I hope to be able to continue writing in the future with them and covering more festivals.
As for festival coverage on Film For Thought, I like the way that I handle the coverage. Whilst I suffered slight burnout from Glasgow Film Festival, I still think the mini reviews is the way to go forward if I do cover festivals for this website. If this changes, it will only be to review a select amount of films, focusing on the ones that I was positive on. This year, I feel like we need to focus on the positivity in the film industry more than ever.
As I mentioned earlier, I have full intentions to continue my podcast and running it every fortnight. It is something that I love, especially the format and having a guest on every week leading the way and being passionate about film.
However, the one thing I do want to do this year is continuing to guest on podcasts and growing my confidence in speaking. I have been able to guest on numerous podcasts this year and I am proud of them, but I want to continue to learn and be involving in the podcasting community.
To conclude, I am certainly not going to stop being involved in the film community and my writing just because the next year looks to be busy. I am more dedicated than ever to complete my film journey at university and having a degree on the subject I care about the most. I will just be taking the time to collaborate with more publications, writing for the editors I already work with and trust, and expanding my horizons to more viewpoints on the film industry in preparation for a busy award season next year. Quite simply, you might be seeing even more of me.