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Rotten Tomatoes recently held its first Rotten Tomatoes Critics Workshop, designed to help freelance critics and journalists navigate festivals, develop industry contacts, and get their stories placed. We asked the industry professionals who spoke at our workshops to provide their top tips for freelancers; the below come from IndieWire Executive Editor and Chief Critic, and founder of the Critics Academy initiative, Eric Kohn.
1. Do Your Homework
Get familiar with every section of the festival. Make sure you’re aware of the major filmmakers in the lineup and learn more about their work if you haven’t been exposed to it. Look for the connective tissue in the lineup: Common themes, actors appearing in multiple projects, notable backgrounds. Read the trades to get familiar with the bigger industry trends that could dominate conversations around the festival and inform some of the developments in store. Think in expansive terms: Writing reviews for a film-specific outlet is important, but interviews, features, and other stories may interest publications even more.
2. Pitch As Early As Possible
Most publications secure their plans weeks in advance. Consider practical ways to get on a publication’s radar that could yield more opportunities. Send your best pitch …
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