Movie writing and the EIFF

I’m excited today as my writing takes another step forward. There have been a number of big leaps for me so far, firstly there’s been writing for The Movie Blog and watching the monthly visits grow from 300,000 to 800,000. Then there was getting approved as Press in the Edinburgh cinemas and getting sent screeners for review from real life Directors.

In my mind these have been huge moves in my life, and have filled me with drive and excitement. Now, the next big leap is that just yesterday my EIFF Press Accreditation came through. I’m officially accepted as Press for the Edinburgh International Film Festival. For me this is amazing, and I just can’t believe what’s happening in my life.

It’s that kind of feeling that when I talk about it to friends, or think about what I’m doing I get so amazed at how far removed it all is from my average day to day life. Movies have always been like another world which you get to look at from afar, but now I’m actually getting involved in a fringe of it, to me it all seems so unreal.

So here I am looking at what movies I’m going to be taking in at the Edinburgh Film Festival (EIFF), and the press pack arrives. I now have the opportunity to go and see all the press screeners, go to press conferences, photocalls and even red carpet events. I can even, if I could muster up the courage, ask for one to one interviews with some of the talent here this year. To me, that’s just mind blowing. It’s also very, very scary!

Mørke (Murk), 36 Quai des Orfèvres,

A Bittersweet Life (Dal Kom Han In Saeng), The Magician,

Thumbsucker, Battle in Heaven (Batalla en el Cielo),

Voices of Iraq, The Aristocrats,

Radiant, The Moustache (La Moustache),

Serenity, Low Life (Ha-Ryu-In-Saeng),

Antibodies (Antikörper), Snuff-Movie,

One Nite in Mongkok (Mongkok Hayke), P,

Gunner Palace, Green Street,

The Dark, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

EIFF Press Screenings to see

I’ve had a few moments in my life of late when I’ve suddenly stopped and wondered what’s going on. Most of my spare time is being taken over by the writing and research I’m doing, not to mention the work on the Movie Blog system as well, soon I’m going to find I’ll have no time left. It’s already been said to me that I’m working two jobs, and at some point one of them is going to have to come face to face with the other. The writing may well herald a change of career, a huge decision in life, and this is now the third time that it’s really struck me.

At the moment this is all for the love of it. I’m not getting paid for it at all. So far I’ve been doing it for experience and to build up a portfolio of writing, however it’s just been for one site. That’s about to change. The Movie Blog is more mainstream cinema, and the EIFF is focused very much at the foreign, independent and art house sides of cinema, so not all the movies I’ll be seeing will be apt for review and posting there. With that in mind I talked with a site that does represent those sides of cinema day after day and luckily for me they have no one coming to the Festival this year, and so I’ve offered my services and shall be doing some writing for them over the EIFF period. What could be classed as my first commission!

If only! However it’s close and means I’ll be writing for two different sites. Still it won’t pay me money, but it will provide me with more experience, exposure and material.

Everytime things calm down, something else starts up and events move a little further forward. Before long that decision could be staring me in the face and I’ll be trying to decide between my job or my hobby for the next career move.

Land of the Dead Press Conference

Land of the Dead Romero Photocall

Battle in Heaven Press Conference

Thumbsucker Photocall

Serenity Press Conference

Serenity Photocall

Serenity Red Carpet Interviews

Green Street Photocall

Green Street Press Conference

Green Street Red Carpet Interviews

Dominion: Prequel to Exorcist Photocall

EIFF events I’ll try to see

Then there’s the Press Conferences and Photocalls…I have no idea if I’m going to get the guts together to do any of these, but if I did, that’s the list I’d like to go see. I’d be scared to say anything for making a complete fool of myself!

I was surprised at a few things with the organisation though, both as a member of the Press (woo!) and as a member of the public. For a start on the day that tickets were being sold they just couldn’t deal with the number of people that were trying to get in touch with the box office and book tickets. The phones were engaged, and when they weren’t they would ring out and the online booking was crashing so much you wouldn’t have a clue how many tickets you’d bought, if indeed you got that far.

Then there’s the fact that movies like Serenity were sold out for both showings that very afternoon, the first showing having sold out within two hours of the box office opening! Yet if you were someone like me, waiting to find out if they would be accepted as Press, you would have no idea if you were getting to see movies or not. As a result I bought tickets for seven movies and waited for ages to find out that I’m accepted. Still, I don’t begrudge it, I can see a lot more movies, and I’m giving some money to some good movies, and decent venues.

Now that I am press I’ve checked out the packed screening timetable and worked out what I’m going to go and see, and here’s the biggest issue for me. If I’ve been commissioned to write about a movie, which to a degree I have, then I really need to go and see that movie. So I’ve not bought tickets because I’m going to the press screening to see it early and get the review in, makes sense so far. Except EIFF don’t take bookings for the screenings, you just turn up with your pass and stand and wait in a queue, hopefully you’ll get seated and hopefully you’ll get to see it and supply your commission. If not, I think you’ll be rather unpopular and perhaps losing some work!

It’s probably not really going to happen that much, but it could easily be the case with Serenity and a few other of the headliners. So my I’m going to turn up pretty early and race in for a seat. I’ve got two sites to write for, and quite a large audience on both.

Updates and news as it happens…nothing much until the fifteenth when I can go and collect my Press Pass!

2 comments on “Movie writing and the EIFF”

  1. ghani Reply

    Congratulations! This is a wonderful step for you and well-deserved – I think you’re a brilliant writer and you’re the reason i read The Movie Blog. Carry on with the work and see where it takes you!

  2. pablo Reply

    thats superb rich. Heading in the right direction to be doing it fulltime and getting paid for it(fingers crossed)

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