Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Process of Writing a Review - Scenes and Names

The process for how a critic writes a review varies from person to person.  I have spoken with other fellow critics and I am usually fascinated by their methods in writing.  Most of them take notepads to the movies so they can make notes about certain scenes, dialog, and other stuff that they don't want to forget when it comes time to writing their review later on.  I don't do this.  Several of these friends look at me with disbelief, as if this was am impossible feat.  I'm different from most critics in that I have Asperger's Syndrome, which presents a unique skill and a unique handicap.  The handicap is that I can't take notes and pay attention to something at the same time.  My brain will only allow me to focus on one thing at a time.  If I stopped to take a note I would have to hope that nothing too important happened during the next minute or else I would miss some vital information.  Not an ideal situation to be in when watching something like "Michael Clayton."

The unique skill this presents though is that since Asperger's is a mild form of Autism I have a much more detailed memory than most people.  That means if I make it a point to remember something I usually do.  If I forget something then as far as I'm concerned the detail probably wasn't worth remembering in the first place.  One thing that I do have trouble with though is names.  Boy oh boy do names throw me off.  It's not just movies either; I have a huge problem remembering names in real life and when someone usually says "hi Kevin" it's not uncommon for me to respond "oh...hi there" and true to avoid using the persons name until I can get a clue as to what it is.  For this I always have the IMDB movie page in the corner to reference when I need to look someones name up.

Does this mean I would have been lousy film critic before the Internet?  Not likely.  I think people use whatever tools they have at their disposal to do their job effectively regardless what time period they were born into.  If I was a film critic before the Internet I would be none-the-wiser of what I would be missing and just find other tools to use.  Besides, one thing that has been around since film criticism became a business are press releases, and those are still used today.  Chances are that's where I'd get my names.  Despite having a process that works I do wish I could take notes sometimes.  There have been a few times I have forgotten something important, wrote the review, and then have woken up later in the night realizing my mistake.  Well, no one ever claimed movie critics were movie God's when it came to information.


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