How to Become a Film Critic?

7 minute read
How to Become a Film Critic

Since centuries films have enormously moulded our imagination and our perception of the world at large. Great films like City Lights, Shawshank Redemption, Dead Poets Society, Casablanca, or historical masterpieces like Schindler’s List stirred our minds and left us in perpetual awe. After-effects of such movies are felt to this day. Although the popularity of a movie depends on its cast and storyline, critical acclaim can also increase people’s interest in a movie. Here is where the job of a film critic comes in. A good or bad review can affect the running of a movie, making film critics both revered and feared individuals in the film industry. Want to pursue your career as a film critic? Take a look at this blog for a step by step guide on how to become a film critic.

Who is a Film Critic?

Before going on to the process of how to become a film critic, let’s take a look at what exactly a film critic does. Primarily, they are focused on dissecting a movie in terms of outline subtleties, narrative structure, intended plots as well as subplots and cinematic aspects. They also evaluate characters based on their performance in the film and underscore its importance or contribution to the field of art. Their value judgements as a professional also explore and describe how visually it has left an imprint on the people.

How to Become a Film Critic in India & Abroad?

Not every person who is a movie buff and has watched a spectacular number of films or possesses immense knowledge about them can be considered a film critic. There is a whole procedure involved for a person to be designated with this title. Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to know how to become a film critic:

Step 1: A Professional Degree

To be a recognized film critic it is very important to have a degree in film studies or any of the allied fields like journalism, cinematography or mass communication. Throughout these courses, students can gain a structural and systematic understanding of the history and aesthetics of a film. You also learn how a film is an important form of mass media in contemporary times. In addition, you also go through a meticulously crafted framework enhancing your critical faculties and approaches to film writing. This basically enables you to work your way towards a professional film critic.

Also Read: Film Director Course

Step 2: Build Experience

This is a significant step in understanding how to become a film critic. It will be an added advantage to your degree to work as an intern during your course and write extensive articles and critical essays on films. The internship will also come as handy for your future career opportunities because that will let you make connections with professionals of this field. You can start your own review website, a blog or vlog etc., as a means to build considerable professional expertise in the field. This is very beneficial since you can collaborate with your peers while building on your creative skills at the same time.

Step 3: Add to your Film Knowledge

While you’re busy studying the theoretical and historical aspects of films, you should also work on building your original knowledge of films independently. Learn from the geniuses of the field and incarnate those ideas to engender a whole array of unique possibilities. Study about different directors, like Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, or contemporaries, such as David Fincher and Martin Scorsese, and understand their techniques, how they built plots and how they changed the whole course of cinematography, primarily for comparative purposes so that you can write your own critiques. 

Step 4: Make your Curriculum Vitae

From the day you join this course, keep adding and redesigning your work profile. It is important that as a prospective film critic you enlist your work and projects in an orderly form, highlight major details so that your employer can easily determine your skills and ability as a professional. Today, having a merely traditional style of work profile doesn’t count, you should also have a proactive presence on social media websites, particularly on platforms like Instagram. Such places afford you an option to add to your bio which can be read by your potential employer too.

Step 5: Build Yourself a Name

As a film critic, you should write more and more film reviews for different media publications and magazines on a local scale and then move on to the international level to make your presence known. And, as a maxim, you learn more on the field than in a classroom, therefore connect with and spend more time with those already working in the field and share your ideas with them to develop a professional relationship. Today, you can also use online platforms to maximize your reach and build viewership for yourself. This will give you a major career boost, if not necessarily as an employee for a film company, but surely as an independent film critic. 

Top Universities

Since you have now understood how to become a film critic, you should also keep those universities in mind which offer different courses in film studies. These are some popular universities you should consider applying for:

One of the major steps in the process of how to become a film critic is to choose a relevant course. There are numerous courses offered in this discipline to the students. Let’s look at some of the top undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses offered in different universities around the world in the area of film studies:

Undergraduate Courses

Bachelor of Media (Screen and Sound Production)Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film StudiesBA (Hons) Creative Writing and Film Studies
BA (Hons) Film StudiesBachelor of Journalism (Combined Honours) – Journalism and Communication and Media StudiesBA (Hons) Drama and Film Studies
BA (Hons) Film and Media StudiesBachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Film StudiesBA (Hons) Film and Media and Religion

Also Read: Digital Filmmaking Courses

Postgraduate Courses

Film Studies MAIMACS: International Master in Audiovisual and Cinema Studies (MLitt)Master of Arts in English – Screen Studies
MA Film and Cultural ManagementMaster of Fine Arts – Creative Practice [Film]Master of Humanities – Visual Studies
Film: Theory and Practice MAMA by Research in World Cinemas and Digital CulturesMaster of Arts – Film Studies (African Studies)

Doctorate Courses

Doctor of Philosophy in Film Studies with Audio-VisualPhD in Film StudiesDoctor of Philosophy in English – Screen Studies
Doctor of Philosophy in East Asian Languages and Literature and Film StudiesDoctor of Philosophy in Film and MediaModern Languages and Translation Studies PhD – Film Studies, Photography and Visual Culture
Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre and Film StudiesDoctor of Philosophy in Literature – Film and Visual CulturesStructured PhD in New Media and Film

Eligibility Criteria 

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It is very essential to follow all the quintessential requirements that can streamline your career in the film landscape. If you are aiming to fetch a degree abroad in that will help you in becoming a  film critic,  glance through these general requisites you need to fulfil:

  • Pass your 10+2 level exams in any stream of study with satisfactory marks 
  • If you are aiming to pursue a master’s level degree in film studies or related fields, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism, mass media or film making or related fields of study. 
  • You need to have a vibrant English proficiency score in exams like TOEFL, IELTS etc.
  • Make sure that you have a solid SOP and LOR prepared.  

Film Critic Jobs & Salary

Knowing how to become a film critic and actually morphing into one are two different things and familiarizing yourself with various career opportunities will let you work accordingly for the job. Here are some of the major avenues you can opt for:

Job ProfilesSalary p.a. in INR
Broadcast Presenter₹491318
Film Director₹508682
Film Editor₹442186
Location Manager₹546462
Production Designer₹300000

How to Become a Movie Critic on YouTube?

Credits: Bobby Burns
What is the salary of Film Critic?

The estimated total pay of film critic is $51,928 per year in United States with an average salary of $48,922 per year.

Is 30 too old to start a film career?

No, there is no such thing as starting starting too early or too late as this career.

Who is paid with highest salary in film industry?

Salman Khan is paid with the highest salary in family industry.

Hopefully, this blog has been able to help you know more about how to become a film critic, including the eligibility criteria and different courses you can choose from. Looking forward to being a part of a top-notch educational institution to study a course in film studies or a related subject? Let the experts at Leverage Edu empower your educational journey. Sign up your free 30 minutes of e-counselling with the team now and discover new educational possibilities. 

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