Working as a Film Critic in La La Land

A sunny day for a clouded vocation.

Today is a hi-ho workday for a large group of film critics in Los Angeles. The 56 members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), minus one who was suspended in October, have gathered to debate, vote on and announce via social media their collective picks for the best films and performances of 2016. Along with the group’s awards banquet later this month, at which the winners are introduced by various individual LACFA members, this is arguably as good as it gets.

As opposed to the current general state of the profession. Although only a minority of LAFCA members chose to answer the organization’s “Meet the Critic” questionnaire as part of their organization bio, many of these excerpted answers to the question, ‘What advice do you have for aspiring film critics?,’ are resoundingly similar:

Luke Thompson: Don’t do it. As a career goal, it’s a loser right now.

Mark Keizer: Don’t expect to make any money.

Alonso Duralde: Do something else; it’s harder than ever to get paid to do this.

Kevin Thomas: Don’t even think about doing it unless you absolutely have to give it try. It has never, never been harder for film critics to get started, let alone survive.

Chuck Wilson: Don’t expect to make a decent living from being a film critic. That’s always been a difficult task, but it’s beyond impossible now, thanks to the cutbacks at newspapers and magazines.

Wade Major: Do something else.

Mark Olsen: Good luck. Please do not enter this profession expecting to become rich in a monetary sense, but it will push you as a person in ways you likely cannot expect.

While these individual questionnaires are not dated, it’s worth remembering that some of the conversations may have been conducted in the shadow of some particularly bad media news.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Devin Faraci Puts LAFCA in an Unfamiliar Spot

Image via:

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: December 4, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT