Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Five-Star Book

I wish Christopher Null’s enlightening new book, “Five Stars! How To Become a Film Critic, the World’s Greatest Job,” had been available back in days of yore when I started writing movie reviews. Reading it would have cleared up any misunderstandings I had about what’s involved in this exciting profession. And it would have helped me avoid some costly as well as embarrassing mistakes. Even now, after spending ten years as a film critic, I find Null’s book extremely valuable as a resource for ways to perform my job better.

Drawing on his extensive personal experience as a professional film critic and founder of, one of the largest and most successful movie websites on the Internet, Null gives readers a splendid crash course in film history and the mechanics of filmmaking in addition to detailed information about writing reviews, breaking into the writing profession, setting up a website, getting on screening lists, obtaining free DVDs, handling criticism, interviewing celebrities and much, much more.

Null, a member of the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), includes excellent samples to illustrate each section of his book. The terrific reviews, letters, interviews, etc. scattered throughout are not only fun to read but also very helpful. And his lists of studio PR contacts, independent distributors and specialty video/DVD distributors should come in handy for anyone just getting started in the business.

This well-written book is essential reading for wannabe film critics -- and a valuable resource for those of us who already have “the world’s greatest job.”

“Five Stars! How To Become a Film Critic, the World’s Greatest Job” is scheduled for release by Sutro Press on July 1, 2005. For further details or to pre-order, go to


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