HOW TO BE A FILM CRITIC

Step 1. Go to Film School

You just graduated from a very good college. Your parents are really rich. You resent them anyway, and you want to punish them in some way. You're not sure what to do with your life, but you know that it has to be something really fun.

One day someone tells you about film school. "Making movies ..." you think, "that sounds like a good time." You spend the next few years at NYU, writing weak scripts, schmoozing, and bragging to all your friends that Spike Lee's number is in your Rolodex. Extra points for blowing over US$20K of your parent's money on a film that's even stranger than the strangest film you ever saw - you know, experimental! Your professors will eat it up, and your parents will cry into their popcorn at the screening. It's like killing two The Birds with one Oliver Stone!

 

Step 2. Try to Make a Movie

Three years and almost $100,000 later, your "education" is complete and it's time to make a feature-length film. You call every number on your Rolodex, yet no one seems to want to invest except - you guessed it! - those two people with the same last name as yours. You take them up on their offer of financial support, but insist on maintaining creative control of the film, from the credits to the soundtrack. After an intense national search for the female lead, you settle on your girlfriend, Brenda. She can't really act, but she sure is pretty!

 

Step 3. Fail

You shoot your film. Or try. But everything, literally every single thing that can go wrong does. The main mistake, you later realize, was blowing $300,000 of your $500,000 budget on the rights to your favorite song, "Reunited," which you insisted would absolutely make the make-up-then-make-out scene. But who knew Peaches -n- Herb would drive such a hard bargain? The real problem, of course, is that your script sucks. Film critics far and wide enjoy pointing this simple fact out to you, again, and again, and again....

 

Step 4. Seek Revenge

After you finally get out of rehab, you start to write again. But this time, you're not gonna stick your tender neck in the critical and financial guillotine - hell, no! This time, you're the one dropping the blade. Now and then you accept a little kickback from some studio exec to write "UNBELIEVABLY HILARIOUS!" about Grumpiest Ancient Men - whatever keeps the lattes flowing. But most of the time, you're letting heads roll left and right - and it's funny, almost, how the thrill of execution never seems to fade.

But you never get around to canceling your subscriptions to Variety and Film Threat. And every now and then, when you come across a photo of your former colleagues sipping martinis with Quentin Tarantino (that dork!) at the Viper Room, or when your hear your mom telling her friends how you could've been a great director, you have to smoke a pack of cigarettes just to hold back the bile.

 

You die 10 years later of lung cancer.

The End.

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