Interviews Movie Website Ownership Site Owners and Leaders

Interview: Reel Talk’s Candice Frederick: Moving Beyond the Blog

Building a movie website or blog is not the end of a movie webmaster’s journey when it comes to expressing themselves about film and the film world. It can be only the first step if they want it to be. There are other avenues such as podcasts, newsletters, video reviews or film commentaries on YouTube, newspaper, radio, and television opportunities. Candice Frederick of Reel Talk has availed herself of some of these options.

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What sparked the idea for Reel Talk?

I’ve always been really passionate about movies and, after several extended movieanalyses with people I know, I decided to expand my thoughts and ideas into a blog. I figured I could meet like-minded individuals, and debate with those who disagreed. 🙂

How did you choose the name Reel Talk? Was it an afterthought when you had already chosen ticketstubz?

TicketStubz was actually chosen afterwards. I really liked the pun of Reel Talk (but little did I know it was already popular!). The URL Reel Talk was already taken, so I settled with another clever title–ticketstubz.

When was Reel Talk launched?

December 2008.

Was your experience or lack of experience an issue when you launched Reel Talk?

I never owned a blog, but I have several years of journalism experience so I just thought it was an extension of that.

Reel Talk is a Blogger blog. Where are you on the Blogger vs. WordPress debate?

Blogger has undergone quite a few changes lately, but when I first joined WordPress, I was told, had better templates. But I’ve gotten kind of used to the blogger quirkiness.

How does Reel Talk generate revenue?

From ads. I’m still looking to get more prominent ads featured on the site.

Do you have a separate bank account exclusively for Reel Talk, a business account? If so, with what bank?

No.

How many people work at Reel Talk?

Just me, but I am always looking for guest bloggers! 🙂

Do you have assigned work shifts at Reel Talk?

N/A.

How many page views does Reel Talk get per month?

5,000.

What do you use to measure site traffic?

Google Analytics.

What mistakes (if any) did you make in the beginning with Reel Talk?

I think I was too informal in my writing in the beginning. I like to think I’ve made it more formal, more stylistic, and more polished.

When and how did you join the National Association of Black Journalists?

When I was a writer/editor for Essence Magazine, a few of my articles were nominated, and awarded, by the NABJ. I’m not a member, but I am an honoree.

Did you go to school for journalism? If so, what school?

Yes, St. John’s University.

Do you find that a background in journalism helps when you write about film?

I do, actually. I think it helped me come up with new ways to write about similar subjects and really create a convincing picture in my writing.

How did you become a contributing film critic to CNN?

I met one of the producers of CNN Newsroom online and she followed by blog and twitter feed and she said she was a fan and offered me a few stints as a guest critic. It was nerve-racking at first, but I really enjoyed it.

How did you become a contributing film critic to BBC radio?

One of the producers had followed by twitter feed and read a few of my comments and thought I’d be a great guest for a segment on kids films. It was a very fun experience.

You co-host a film radio show called Cinema in Noir. Is that on terrestrial radio or satellite radio?

It’s a multicultural movie discussion show on Blog Talk Radioonline.

Were you approached for that film radio job or did you approach someone?

I was approached by one of my former co host, Rocky, on twitter. We had like-minded goals–diversifying film discussion–and she offered me a spot on her soon to be radio show.

Are you paid for your CNN, BBC, and Cinema in Noir contributions?

No.

What advice do you have for a person wanting to break into radio regarding film?

First and foremost, you have to have passion. You also have to be able to express your thoughts about film and be able to argue a point with equally passionate critics. Start your own show online, which can lead to bigger and grander things. It gets your voice heard as you essentially carve out your own brand as a go-to critic who is knowledgeable and confident. Others will see that and want to book you.

What advice do you have for a person wanting to contribute (regarding film) to CNN or the BBC?

A lot of it is who you know. Chat with the CNN folks on your various social media links. Follow them, comment on their posts. If they see your passion and your knowledge of the subject, they’ll become interested.

What is the best advice you can give to an aspiring movie website master?

One of the most important things I’ve learned as a journalist is having your own voice. Not just someone who has an opinion, as you already do. But, rather, a writer who’s writing is distinctly theirs, whose writing style is incomparable to any others. That distinguishes you from the pack. Also, stay up on the latest movie news, and follow other bloggers to see what they’re doing and just acquaint yourself with the process. A lot about getting your name out there is getting other people in the blogging community to know about you too. I’d also recommend learning website formatting, or teaching yourself how to do it (like I did). Research traffic analyses websites to find you how you can record traffic. Come up with a an eye-catching design template and a catchy title for your blog. The rest is gravy. 🙂

If someone wants to read more about you, where can they find you?

Reel Talk is a great way to find me, or you can find me on Twitter (Profile: Reeltalker) or LinkedIn.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started ProMovieBlogger to educate others on what he had learned through trial and error. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook (http://film-book.com), he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He also created and runs Trending Awards.com.

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