Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Warning Signs: How To Tell You Are Becoming A Movie Blogger

Crossposted on and commissioned by Film.com

Things used to be so different. If you wanted to be a journalist, you majored in journalism. Or if you didn’t have that kind of foresight, you’d write a couple samples, submit to small publications or free magazines, building your portfolio so you could one day make it to the big leagues. My dad always tells me about how he started writing music reviews in the ’70s just to get free records and it led to his entire career being possible, but how he had to work really hard to get his pieces published.

These days, a lot of people start their own blogs with a similar idea, thinking, maybe I can get free stuff, maybe I can make a career! But there are almost as many un-updated blogs out there as there are non-working actors. Sure, in theory, anyone can be a blogger, but to really be considered one, you have to crossover into a very specific and sometimes strange area. So we decided to provide you with a guide, a way of figuring out when you’ve finally made the transition from wanna-be-blogger to wanna-be-journalist *actual* blogger. Some snarky, some serious, but all true. And as I consider myself nothing more than a blogger, please take these with a self-deprecating grain of salt. Warning signs, in chronological order, below!

You start carrying a tiny notebook with you at all times, for movies, for events, for post ideas, for future tweets.

You find yourself taking notes in your tiny notebook during movies more than you’re actually watching the movies, much to the chagrin of anyone you ever see movies with ever.

You filled up your tiny notebook. And your next tiny notebook. And your next. You now have A LOT of tiny notebooks.

You download a recording app for your iPhone/iPad because you were buying too many tiny notebooks.

You start turning down hanging out with friends so you can stay home and write recaps. For shows you don’t like. For your own website. That no one is paying you for. Great idea!

Your stomach hurts with jealousy when you read other, snarkier recaps of said TV shows.

Any time you disagree with something, anything, anywhere, you think “This will make a great post!” … It doesn’t always work out so well.

You understand the importance of Twitter and can explain it to someone with zero irony.

You start thinking exclusively in 140-character blocks.

You start getting into tweet wars with Devin Faraci … that he never knows exist.

Your blog has at least 300 posts/year and you consider that to be not good enough.

Your movie rating system quickly dissolves into “the most awesome,” “really awesome,” “awesome,” “pretty awesome,” or “not that awesome, but still awesome enough.”

Your “Real Life Friends” Twitter list is starting to closely resemble your “Favorite Movie Blogger” Twitter list.

You quote movie bloggers to your friends, without explaining who they are, who they write for, or the fact that they are even writers to begin with.

You’ve won at least three Twitter/blog contests.

You’ve held at least three Twitter/blog contests.

You now feel no guilt when you write off movie tickets, DVDs, video games, comic books, your cable bill, and more on your taxes.

You’ve been linked to by Slashfilm‘s Page Two, The Film Experience, or any other number of successful blogs’ link posts.

Your blog now has its own link post each week.

You start beginning conversations at events, screenings, and conventions with “What’s your Twitter handle?” And surprise! More often than not, turns out you know the person already.

You begin getting bizarre, unsolicited packages in the mail that range from flip cams to candy to screeners to books to packets of fake blood. And you accept this as perfectly normal.

You feel a kinship with Scott Weinberg because you both tweet way too much and you both love your cat. Sometimes this turns into both of you tweeting way too much ABOUT your cat. Note: This one could also just apply to me.

You start being called names, belonging to cliques and having haters. It’s like high school all over again, only now you’re the cool kid. VICTORY!

And finally, the true sign that you have become a movie blogger — someone starts paying you to write about movies. That one’s pretty cut and dry.