Writer's Guides

1.  Please contact me before writing anything.  While FAFR is open to many ideas, there's no need to put a lot of effort into something I can't use.

2.  No payment, which as a freelancer myself is something that I'm not too happy about but since this site generates no revenue there's no way around it.  However all writers keep the copyright for their pieces and this will be a permanent place for people to read your articles.

3.  Though I'm aiming more for a journalistic slant rather than analytic that doesn't mean you have to be dry or ignore personal feelings.  Too many reviewers think that the only purpose of a review is to determine whether a film is bad or good; real criticism engages the work in some way.  You may end up deciding something isn't good or even not having any strong opinion at all but don't force the issue.  Some touch points might be found in film critics like J. Hoberman, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Stuart Klawans, David Thomson and Amy Taubin; as well as other writers like Greil Marcus, G.K. Chesterton, Edmund Wilson, C.S. Lewis (his critical pieces), George Orwell, Andrew Porter, Angela Carter, Kyle Gann, Gary Giddins, Alfred Kazin, etc.

4.  Check other reviews for an idea of the format.  All reviews should have some kind of description, not necessarily long plot synopses (in fact it'd be better if that ran only a paragraph or so).  The original language title (or at least the romanized version) should be included but for the body of the review use whatever version of the title you're comfortable with.  Though there's always argument about this, I consider the title as it appears on the actual film to be the correct title no matter what press material or advertising might otherwise say (the only exception is checking outside sources for some matters of punctuation or whether a personal name is considered part of the title).  The year is the first year that the film was publically shown.  The country is a problematic issue but try to indicate as best as possible.  Running times are so hard to pin down that I'd rather avoid the issue, though definitely mention if a film is unusually long, a short or somehow of importance.  And if you know of differing edits of a film, please mention that even if only in a sentence at the end.  Reviews should not have star ratings or letter grades.  Though I'd like to avoid giving away any major plot twists or surprises, if that's necessary please give a spoiler warning.

5.  Lengths can be anywhere from a couple of hundred words up, but please check with me if it gets to be really long.

6.  Please source any quotations or specific information where appropriate, using in-text sources rather than footnotes.  If you've used any outside information, I'd really like to have a list of references at the end; after all, the point of FAFR is to make finding information easier.

7.  Please avoid Hollywood-bashing.  We all know Hollywood has never made anything remotely worthwhile and that The Media conspires to force this down our throats.

8.  Also please avoid any gratuitous obscenities or related discussions.  Naturally this may be unavoidable in some cases, but I'd just as soon not have somebody decide WCR is inappropriate for interested students.


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