Everybody’s a Critic! How To Get Your Projects Noticed By Top Critics — And How To Become One Yourself!

Everybody’s a Critic!
How To Get Your Projects Noticed By Top Critics — And How To Become One Yourself!

Monday, October 26, 2015

How does a book writer, artist, performer/musician, or filmmaker get noticed by professional critics and bloggers, in today’s cacophony of 500 channels, Netflix, and YouTube — especially if they’re small-press, self-published, or an “indie” filmmaker or performer? And just as important, what qualities do critics want to see (and avoid!) in what they’re reviewing? What sets paid/professional film, TV, book, and arts criticism apart in today’s world of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Blogspot “film critics” and “political commentators?” What is the ROLE of the professional critic in today’s society — and can you become one yourself?

And how has the demographics/diversity explosion changed the mandate for what films, books, and TV must address, in today’s highly charged media climate? What are the ethics behind “fair” and “unfair” reviewing — and are book, music, and movie reviews doomed to a future of either blathering talk-talk about critics’ personal lives or short, terse, “thumbs-up / thumbs-down” reviews of rotten tomatoes and television without pity?

In concert with our October 17 Saturday Seminar on “How to Get Your Work Noticed,” IWOSC is presenting a full panel of top critics from Book, Film/TV, Music, and Performing Arts Criticism to address these issues and more — and to take your questions from the audience.

Our stellar panel includes:

Telly Davidson, Author

Telly Davidson, Author

TELLY DAVIDSON (moderator/panelist) has been an active IWOSCan for the past decade-plus, having hosted or appeared on previous panels on Trends in Publishing, Literary Agents, Books-to-Film, and Covering the Celebrity Beat.

Telly was senior film and TV reviewer for bestselling pundit David Frum’s FrumForum from 2009-12, has reviewed movies and TV and conducted interviews for FilmStew, 213 Magazine, iF Monthly, Entertainment Today, Guitar Player, All About Jazz, and has worked on TV specials for NBC and PBS including The WRITE Environment and Pioneers of Television.

He currently works with top producer’s rep Jeff Porter of Porter Pictures on the placement of independent films, is the author of the Emmy magazine-cited TV’s Grooviest Variety Shows and is completing a new book on pop culture and politics to hopefully be published next year, tentatively titled CULTURE WAR.


Brent Simon

Brent Simon

BRENT SIMON is a film critic and regular contributor to Screen International, Paste, Playboy, Yahoo Movies and is West Coast correspondent for the leading Asian-language film and TV industry magazine, MTime.com.

An honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Simon served for five-plus years as editor-in-chief and lead film critic of the now-defunct Entertainment Today, at the time Los Angeles’s oldest free weekly publication focused exclusively on entertainment. Simon has contributed essays and feature pieces for print publications as diverse as Los Angeles Daily News, Paper, Los Angeles CityBeat, H Magazine, Zeitgeist, Now Playing Magazine, PopSmear, New York Magazine and Vulture, IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, FilmStew and Reelz.

A former three-term president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Simon has worked with AFI Fest, and served on festival juries at City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA), Method Fest and more, and in 2007-08, his play “Pulp College” was produced Off Broadway.

You can see his blog at shareddarkness.com and “Meet the Critic
Twitter: @SharedDarkness


Debra Levine

Debra Levine

DEBRA LEVINE is editor/publisher of arts•meme, the fine arts blog she founded in 2008.

A specialist in Hollywood dance history with over 30 years’ experience writing about dance and live theatre/performance, she is a frequent host and speaker at dance-on-film events, bringing fresh ideas to audiences at the Museum of Modern Art, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, UCLA Film & Television Archive, Dance Camera West, American Cinematheque, The Last Remaining Seats, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

In January 2016, Debra will curate and host ALL THAT JACK (COLE), a 20-film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. On Turner Classic Movies, she co-hosted, with Robert Osborne, “Choreography by Jack Cole,” a full-evening broadcast featuring four classic dance films.

She has produced multiple in-person screening events starring Academy Award-winning actor/dancer George Chakiris of “West Side Story,” including “George Chakiris: A Life in Film” at UCLA Film & Television Archive and MoMA.

Debra is a two-time Fellow at NEA Arts Journalism Institutes. In dance and classical music/opera. Debra’s criticism and feature articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, La Opinion, Long Beach Press Telegram, South China Morning Post and Dance Magazine.
Twitter: @artsmeme

DAN SCHINDEL is one of LA’s newest and youngest film and TV/DVD experts — he spent an entire year watching and reviewing a new documentary every day, and it became a blog originally titled “Days of Docs.”

Dan’s writing has appeared in Los Angeles Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Movie Mezzanine, Paste Magazine, Film School Rejects, Nonfics, ScreenPicks, and much more.

You can relive his “days of docs” — as well as get the latest on all sorts of current big-name film and TV titles, at DanSchindel.com.

Twitter: @danschindel


Erika Schickel

Erika Schickel

ERIKA SCHICKEL returns to our panel, having served alongside the likes of Digby Diehl and Steve Wasserman on past IWOSC panels.

The daughter of legendary film, TV, and book critic (and Friend of IWOSC) Richard Schickel, Erika is a writer, mother, teacher, author, journalist, essayist, and “opinion-atrix” whose writing has appeared in the LA Review of Books, LA Observed, City Beat, LA Weekly, and many other online and print publications and op-ed pages.

Erika is the author of You’re Not the Boss of Me: Adventures of a Modern Mom, and is currently finishing her second book, The Big Hurt, a “memoir of romance in a post-romantic age.”

A former actress and performance artist herself, Erika has worked extensively in theatre, TV, radio, and film.

You can get to know her at: ErikaSchickel.com and @schickity