The Directors Seat: How to Write a Movie or TV Series Review

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The Directors Seat: How to Write a Movie or TV Series Review

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Today I’m going #ThrowbackThursday & sharing a guest post feature I was honored with on The Blog Tag.

When life gives you sweet vanilla ice cream it’s important to take stock & contemplate the journey getting here.

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Posted by SUMARIE STEENKAMP on 06/08/2016

Once upon a time not so long ago, we did an interview with one of the most amazing writers/bloggers. And as a regular reader of Alfonzo Words I knew I just had to ask this rising star for a guest post on movies/series as he is constantly talking/quoting/reviewing some new movie or series that came out.
Without any further delays, I present to you:

The Directors Seat

by Alfonzo Words
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What do I want to be when I grow up?

A question I would ask myself constantly as I grew up. The only answers I ever found were in movies & TV series. To give you an indication:
When I watched the movie Big with Tom Hanks, I wanted to be that. For my job to be all about toys.
When I watched the TV series Greys Anatomy, all I wanted was to be a surgeon. It sparked an insane passion for Biology in High School. In fact, it was probably the only subject I studied for. Intensely. So adamant was I, that I applied to study medicine in university.
Then the real world hit, after the joy of getting accepted and an amazing graduation vacation with all of my friends, I returned to discover that my college fund had been…misplaced. There I was, Matric certificate & no idea what to do with my life. This brought on a spiral of depression that landed me in hospital. Thankfully I got a job at Primedia the month after. It didn’t pay much but I was more determined than ever to do something, anything with my life. It only took one Google search and I was hooked. Movies! I had loved them all my life, more than most. What better career could I have found than to be a Director! Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameron! I was overjoyed and for that year I saved up so I could afford college. The admission process into the Arts Department at Wits was fierce to say the least yet I managed somehow to beat out the thousands and get a spot. If you’re still in college or have ever been, you’ll understand when I say that campus life is the good life. Haha. Great friends both old and new, leisurely strolls and EPIC parties of note. Everyday I seemed to have made a new friend.
The key subjects I enrolled in was Film, Television, Fine Art, Drama & Music. The knowledge and experience I acquired there will never be forgotten.
Fast forward, I began in the industry just as I had started, with no clue how I was going to do anything haha. Got a job with an amazing company Blue Wizard Productions & additionally got hired to be a part-time cameraman for a movie. With the company I literally had to start off at the bottom. Checking all the equipment, making sure the gazillion batteries were charged, lighting, sound, graphics, promo clips. The learning curve was steep & the support minimal. Everything was expected, so when a mess up occurred boy did I get it. There were days when I would clutch my head and wonder what the hell I had gotten into.
On the plus side, the camera-man gig was going so damn well I could tear. We got to travel to the most unbelievable places within South Africa, seriously I had no idea such Opulence existed in this country. There was even a place reminiscent so closely to France that I thought I was walking those cobbled streets. Got to drive a Cobra up Cape Point, the acceleration alone ripped through me at the slightest touch to the pedal. Cuddle up under the stairs at a lodge that had beds outside on the patio. Even ended up swimming with pythons (Yeah you heard me, Pythons and of course I didn’t know they were there when I jumped in!)
These getaways were where I truly discovered the travel bug & also gave me a new found power over my work. I would return with vigor & concur the challenges I faced on a Daily basis at Blue Wizard. From the obnoxious son of the boss in all his Douche*ness to the crazy deadlines to finish a project. I took it all in stride. It’s absolutely mind-boggling how much goes into what you see on the screen. To give you an indication, I once had to edit a quick 11 minute video on Safety at a Nestle factory.
Cool parts: I got handed the entire project, which meant I would be directly involved in the camerawork, lighting, sound & editing. Not just lugging around the equipment. Got to work with the graphic designer to get the sequences & aesthetics just right.
Crazy parts: For an 11 minute video it took an entire day of shooting from sun up till sun down and then editing through those hours & hours of footage to find the right clips needed. Since there was two cameras it was double the hours. And yes the footage was necessary because of the angles, sound bites & moments captured.
From this, I was able to hone my skills and even get the chance to edit prime time TV shows, which was a true highlight in my career.
The thing that stuck with me though was that I could never watch a movie or TV series the same again haha. Thinking about the angles, camera work, lighting, sound & editing involved as I watched. What was once a mindless, enjoyable thing became a critical analysis of the techniques used and a learning process for me, yet still all the more enjoyable.
On the movie side I had finally been given the supreme honor of not only writing but also directing one of the scenes. The premise was at a 5 star golf resort where the couple would be spending their valentine’s day. Let me tell you, you can plan and plan for a scene to go one way but in the moment, aye caramba! it’s a whole other dealio. I had to think on my feet & improvise in a lot of places but true and true it was a brilliant weekend. I got teased by the actors for the romantic scenes I had written. We had tons of fun & I learned how to swing a club yet be gentle with the putter.
All in all it, everything I learned, everything I did was an unbelievable experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. It’s made me into the man I am today. My writing might be my primary focus right now, but I still have mad passion for the film & television industry. Someday I will get back into it. Big, Big Plans are afoot haha.
So with all of that being said, I have an almost obsessive affair with Movies & TV Series having atleast 7 Terabytes worth of the stuff. That’s 7000 Gigabytes mind you. I can spend endless hours watching every known Genre of Movie &/or TV series.

Here’s a quick guide on how to write a movie/TV series review:

Be Personal! No one wants to read a generic, monosyllabic regurgitate of what’s already on the interwebs. You have a unique voice, use it. I want to know about your experience, what made the piece truly memorable for you, what emotions did it invoke whether positive or negative, speak out & speak up. Trust me, your opinion matters. The more you are your true self in a review, the more readers will flock to see what you have to say on it.
  1. Include a short blurb of the storyline as you understand it
  2. Include your personal experience with the Movie/TV Series
  3. Tell us about your favorite characters
  4. Conclude on your overall reflections
  5. Make us anticipate a watch or deter us, whichever is your purview
  6. Give it a personal rating out of 10

Here are some quick one liners from me on memorable movies:

Interstellar: “Transcended my perspective on the known universe. Had my friend and I, for the first time, literally on the edge of our seats.”
Deadpool: “A Chaos Storm of awesomeness! Epically changed the whole superhero game especially for Deadpool comic book fans, myself included.”
Star Wars – “The Force Awakens: Brought back all those feelings and memories of why I absolutely love the franchise. With a gut-wrenching twist thrown in the middle.”
Love, Rosie: Ah, the age old story of two best friends falling in & out of love. Made more relevant by my own story with a best friend. Somehow we always come back to each other.
The Fault In Our Stars: “Pain demands to be felt.” Such EPIC feels in this movie, fresh & witty dialogue. A storyline that is just wordless in it’s beauty. Okay… Okay….
I really hope that helps should you ever want to do a Movie or TV series review.
If you would like examples check out these posts on reviews I’ve done so far:
Bonus: here’s a awesome movie review by Cassarica at the Amazeblog : For the Horde – Warcraft Movie Review
And you thought you knew everything about this awesome writer/blogger? No way!
Join in on the conversation on our social media accounts:
Original Post Here
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Also check out my brand New YouTube Channel: Enricoh Alfonzo
I uploaded my first video yesterday, it’s the book trailer for Melissa Kate’s new release, Love in the Fast Lane




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Let’s just say it’s been a long long journey getting here & I know I still have a ways to go. I’m grateful for all the amazing souls I’ve met along the way & will continue to appreciate them in any way I can for as long as I breathe.

Know that every closed door leads to other interesting paths you never thought possible and so long as you remain true to your Dreams of Bigdom, no matter where you go, you’ll always end up where you truly belong…Just Believe & never stop moving forward. 

There is No equal to the creativity in Imagination~

  © Enricoh Alfonzo ~ Alfonzo Words

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~Be Kind to One Another~ Ellen Degeneres

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22 Responses

  1. Such great insight! You are a great example of pursuing what you are passionate about. Waking up to work is always a pleasure if you love what you do

  2. You camera man job sound so interesting. I would have love to do the travel but not the work.

  3. Eugenia says:

    What a cool and really inspiring post you’ve written! Great way to know you better as a writer and as a movie maker! I know what you feel, before launching the ad/movie there is always a lot of work behind. Enjoy the process 😉

  4. You have lead such a cool and interesting life! I wish I could work and travel, there are so many beautiful places in this world.

  5. Such an inspiring post!! I love every word you wrote. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I was a theatre major and then changed it to journalism in my first year because I figured journalism paid more than theatre, but anyway I found my passion in movies with all the work and behind the scenes stuff that went into Lord of the Rings, (I know very nerdy of me) but if I could go back, I just might take up a career in anything movies, even being a boom mic holder! 😉

  7. Cheryl F says:

    Very inspiring. When I was young, I used to tell my parents that I want to be a doctor. When I reached college I learned that my heart is in sitting in front of the computer. Sometimes, it's not really about what do you want, but where your passion is.

  8. How cool! Thank you so much for the review tips! I'll keep them in mind.

  9. Alicia says:

    I've recently learned that making good footage is more time consuming than one would think. Looks like you're doing great, though. Thanks for the tips.

  10. Wren says:

    Congrats on the follows! That was also an inspirational post, I always wanted to be a novelist or a artist. I do both in my spare time… nothing published or viewed outside the family, but I still love it.

  11. This is really inspiring, btw congrats to you. I'm glad you shared some useful tips.

  12. This is a great article- so much I didn't know before! I guess some part of me always wanted to be a writer and I keep moving towards it but it's still baby steps I guess..

    — DT | Here I Scribble

  13. Amy Jones says:

    This is so interesting thanks for sharing

  14. mail4rosey says:

    STarting in as grunt is so worth it if you get to travel like that… I think congrats to you are in order for making your life work. 🙂

  15. TColeman says:

    I used to write more seriously when I was younger and wanted to pursue it. Love your post!

  16. Sarah Bailey says:

    Your posts always make me think! I still don't know what I want to exactly be but I know that I love writing and giving advice.

  17. Ashley G says:

    Watching Grey's made me want to be a doctor as well!

  18. I'm happy to hear you landed a gig with the Valentine's scene! A friend of mine went to film school in Miami. He loved it so much he ended up getting his master's degree and now directs and creates independent films. Best of luck to you!

  19. What a neat guide. I haven't really considered trying this but it's cool that you're offering this resource for those who don't know where to start.

  20. Amy Jones says:

    This guide is so great and exciting

  21. this sounds like an awesome job. I love how your post makes me get into something I had no idea I had interest in.

  22. JOJO VITO says:

    Very inspiring post! Congratulations also for the likes, its awesome!

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