Mind the Dust: Changes Coming

mind the dust

I know when people typically say “mind the dust”, it means that things are getting messy, typically due to construction or other efforts for improvement. In my case, “dust” is the dust that has gathered since the last time I posted anything in November 2018. If I’m being completely honest with myself, the dust was only stirred up a bit back in November, because I’ve only posted 3 things in the past 12 months.

I want to change that, and I’m planning on changing that.

I do love movies, and I do love helping recommend things for people to watch. I love the discussion about movies and personal preferences – even when I don’t share those preferences. That’s the main reason I started Half Popped Reviews – which has also stagnated quite a bit.

I’m still seeing more movies than just about everyone I interact with on a monthly basis. I still track what I watch on this site, and I still make goals for myself, but I just haven’t been writing reviews.

Honestly? The way I was doing reviews was just taking too much time and that was weighing me down, creating a backlog I wasn’t prepared to tackle. And part of my reason for not trying harder to chip away at the backlog was a lack of motivation. My application to join my city’s film critic’s association got denied, which was really disappointing. It wasn’t completely unexpected, though, because I can absolutely acknowledge that I’m not as good at writing movie reviews as many of the movie reviewers whose work I read on a somewhat regular basis.

So I’m changing up how I’m writing reviews, in hopes of making the task easier for me to express my thoughts in a sufficient and efficient way, even if it doesn’t end up hitting some “400 word minimum” that the aforementioned film critic’s association looks for in a review. Here’s what I’ll be writing about in the new format.

Why Did I Watch It? This might end up not being the first item in each review, but it factors into the experience. My reasons might encourage or dissuade my “audience” from watching it themselves. Maybe it’s an actor or director I really enjoy, or a subject matter.

What’s It About (two sentences or less)?  This is the part I often struggle with when writing a review, because I don’t feel like I can talk about my thoughts on a movie without providing context about the film’s plot with the reader, who might not be aware of the film at all. Many of the reviewers I currently read will devote a large paragraph or two to explain the film’s plot, and often I feel like they give away too much in the way of spoilers, which I try to avoid at all cost. It’s a balance, to be sure, and I’ll probably err on giving too few details, but with only two sentences to work with, I’ll have to be creative in how I explain things, such that the reader is clued in appropriately.

Thoughts? This is where I’ll explain what I liked and didn’t. Simple enough, right? Fairly standard. I’m not a film school graduate, so at times I’m sure I’ll speak to aspects of the film incorrectly, attributing things to the director or actors which actually had more to do with editing or cinematography or whatever other aspect I don’t adequately understand. But my hope is to give the reader enough information in a clear enough way to allow them to understand what I thought of the film as a whole, and the factors involved.

Recommend It? Just because I think a movie is great (or terrible, or mediocre) doesn’t mean that everyone is going to see it that way. There are plenty of movies (and shows) that other people enjoy which I don’t. There are movies that I love which I’ve shared with people… only to have it not be their specific “cup of tea”. Preferences being what they are, I know that potentially not everyone is going to feel the same way about something, and that’s part of what I really enjoy about movie recommendations. I really like trying to figure out what someone’s “taste” is, and thinking about what they might enjoy or what they should avoid. So that’s what I’m going to mention in this part. If someone doesn’t like supernatural elements, there are certain movies I would recommend they avoid. Violence and/or gore? Same thing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this aspect of my reviews works out.

Score: This is where I will simply give the film a score on a scale from 1 to 100, from my point of view. Easy enough.

So if anyone has recommendations on how I might improve my reviews – maybe adding something to this list, or changing the way I’m doing things – I’m open to suggestions. I might not take the advice, but I will absolutely listen to it and give it consideration.

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One response to “Mind the Dust: Changes Coming

  1. We all have struggles to find something we are comfortable with as far as writing is concerned. We all have lives that interfere, which doesn’t HAVE to be a bad thing. My reviews are CONSISTENTLY 1,500 words, no joke, but I feel like I can’t help it because I literally review 100 things to interpret that 1-100 scale rating. My reviews are long. I don’t even think people want to read them anymore because of it, but…I also had complaints when they were shorter for not being specific enough. Haha. You do you, man.

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