Tuesday, June 2, 2009

FAQs and Che (Shea)

In the hopes of making this blog a more enjoyable, informative experience for everyone involved, from time to time I'll be putting up some FAQs. Here's the first.

Q: I notice that in your reviews for ICON the films get stars. What's the scale?
A: In the case of the Film Round-Up, the films are rated on a scale from 1 to 5...Keep in mind, I rarely give out five stars for a movie. That's for special cases.

Q: How come some of your reviews are of already-released movies, while others haven't come out yet?
A: It boils down to a case of economics and connections. Let's take the first factor. I currently live in central New Jersey, and I'm very happy there. Screenings are usually in New York, occasionally in Philadelphia. Traveling costs money, and like everyone else, I'm trying to save money wherever I can. So I really have to limit my trips, going to two/three screenings a day, if possible. That's the reality, and I hope it will change soon...The second factor I'm working on. The longer I review, the more studio and PR people I come in contact with, or I try to reach in my spare time, the more advance stuff I'll see.

Q: Weren't you supposed to profile a prominent New Jersey filmmaker? Aren't you going to tell us who the hell it is?
A: I completed the profile a few weeks ago, and it will run in November. I promise to divulge who that person is very soon. The story behind getting the interview is pretty entertaining. Or at least it is to me. You'll hear about it. Trust me.

Q: Why don't you do more interviews with directors and actors and the like?
A: I guess I could, but it has to be the right situation. Unless you're persistent (my speciality) or a big wheel at the cracker factory, most times publicists will organize a conference call, or worse, grant you a sliver of time to talk to said star during a press junket. There's a great sequence in The Devil's Candy, where Julie Salamon profiles Brian DePalma doing one for Bonfire of the Vanities. Poor DePalma is forced to sit for hours while any moron with a press pass asks stupid, misguided, or wrong questions for five minutes. How can an interviewer get anything good in that time period? And if talent finds these things as miserable as DePalma did, aren't they going to be jaded to start with?

By the way, if anyone can assure me this isn't the case, I'd love to hear it. Post a comment.

Q: Why don't you share more personal information with us?
A: Because most of the time it's not essential to this blog. I'll tell you anecdotes about myself, my family, or other people when it's warranted. But the one thing I hate about blogs is that everyone feels the need to share everything, from the mundane to the remarkably personal. That's why I have a journal. Emily Gould, formerly of Gawker Media, wrote an interesting piece about this in The New York Times Magazine last year. I strive not to "overshare."

Q: Hey are those super-cool "Shea Forever" still for sale?
A: Indeed, they are. Go to http://www.toastofmanhattan.com/ and buy, buy, buy.

Thank you. No further questions.

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