So, You Want to be a Film Critic?

April 11, 2018
Currently screening on ABC, the brilliant series Employable Me features young people with a disability seeking employment. One of its subjects, Cain Noble-Davies, aspires to be a film critic, and we gave him an opportunity to intern with us, which he writes about here.  

I never thought I could turn this into anything resembling employment. That is an important thing to start with because, although I am perfectly comfortable with my area of expertise, I had to accept early on that it was going to be an uphill climb to turn that into a viable career.

I got bitten by the critical bug in 2010, and over the last nine years of my journey of cinematic discovery, I always took it for granted that I had the chance to make my voice heard through the Internet.

But of course, I’m not the only one doing exactly that. Whenever I put my thoughts down onto the page about whichever new film I happened to see, I am actively competing with millions of others who are doing the same. The very thing that gave me a chance to make my mark is also the main barrier that is holding me back.

When it came time for Northern Pictures to start filming me as part of Employable Me, my attitude towards being a film critic as a job was rather defeatist. The social media revolution of the last several years has led to a lot of reshuffling within what we consider to be traditional news media.

Print media is still going through major revamping in the face of online content on demand. Hard for a periodical publication to compete with websites that can provide news and critique on an hourly basis.

Hell, my own understanding of film critique is more informed by the works of video critics than print critics.

Knowing that a certain sense of realism is required to accurately find a job in today’s market, I put my aspirations as a film critic down as just a hobby. A hobby that I took great pride in and that has led me to many great experiences, but a hobby nonetheless.

Then I got in contact with Dov, the publisher here at FilmInk. Our first conversation, in my view at least, was a heady mixture of both elation and sobering realisation. The elation came out of conversing with someone else who shared a comparable love for cinema that I had; I’m not usually that good with first conversations with people, but I got along with Dov remarkably well on that first meeting. The sobering realisation came from Dov explaining a lot of what I’ve written above.

As someone with certain pessimistic views of the world, I could never be sure that the internal doubt I felt about this profession was actually warranted, or if it was just my own needless worrying rearing its ugly head again. But Dov wound up confirming a lot of the suspicions I entered the conversation with regarding this line of work, and while I am a bit saddened by having my fears confirmed for once, I’m also glad I was given that moment of clarity.

He didn’t lead me on. He didn’t try and sugar-coat the reality of this line of work: it is a hard enterprise. But at the same time, he also gave me a chance to prove my worth. He sent me out on interview detail, the results of which are shown in the third episode of Employable Me, and from then on, he has sent me out to critic screenings for films to do write-ups as well as interview articles on actors like Sam Rockwell and Idris Elba.

Aside from giving Dov reliable turn-around on my work (usually, he’d find my review for a film in his inbox the same night he sends me out to see them), I also genuinely feel like this is some of my best work in a critical capacity. Working under a word limit and a deadline (two things I don’t use with my self-published reviews) put me in a framework that I feel got the best out of me.

I never thought I could turn this into a career. But after Dov decided to give this self-taught suburban film buff a shot at writing for him, I know that I’m one step closer to that dream.

Closer than I ever would have imagined I’d be.

Make sure you tune in to episode 3 of Employable Me on 8.30pm, Tuesday April 17, 2018 on ABC1. The first 2 episodes are available on iView now.

Check out Cain interviewing Edgar Wright for Baby Driver:

Comments

  1. Doug

    Incredible watching your journey Cain. Your writing is clever and terrific to read. You’ve made a fan of me mate, and I wish you all the best with your work – I’ll be hanging out for more!

  2. Dan

    Well done for giving it a red hot crack Cain. You can write and you’ve got a unique voice that deserves to be heard. I’d wish you luck, but I don’t think you need it!

  3. Ch

    My son (12) and I loved your story this evening on ABC. We’ll be following you now on Filmink and use your critical reviews to determine our cinema choices. Thanks so much 😊

  4. Jessica L

    Cain, I just watched you on abc and I wanted to let you know that you are a brilliant film critic. I’m not surprised filmink snapped you up! You’re a great role model for others with autism reflecting the success that an be achieved when you do not allow a label to define you or stop you in any way from achieving your dreams. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for your work in the future! Good luck with everything!
    PS I loved baby driver, maybe I should check out his other work 😉

  5. Shaun Cool Kid

    Please make a movie review podcast cain! I would listen to it 24/7. You could review movies and rate them, have a series about the worst films or the best films, or maybe compare them. I would be so happy.

  6. Amanda

    Just finished watching Employable Me 3 and was cheering you on during your interview with Edgar Wright! Your questions were insightful and led to interesting responses. Loved watching your journey and enjoyed reading this blog post. You have a great writing style. Perhaps you’ll use it to write your own screenplay?! Wishing you huge success for the future!!!

  7. Denise

    Hey – what an engaging interesting interview. Fantastic. Good luck Cain

  8. Tanya

    It was great seeing you get a chance to prove yourself Cain. I look forward to seeing great work from you in the future.

  9. Sarah

    Well done Cain! We have just watched Employable Me and are thrilled you got your dream job, keep writing!

  10. Ellie

    Great work Cain! I will be following your reviews from now on. Look forward to reading your reviews 😁😁

  11. Stephen Thomson

    Our son, Peter, is Aspergers and a total film buff, as well. My wife and I enjoyed the ‘Employable Me’ series and cried with every single one of the parents right through the entire program but they were good tears. The series has brought autism ‘from the closet’ and into peoples homes, hearts, and minds. Too over the top with my praise? If so, maybe, at the least, I can state quite candidly that it is one of the greatest beginnings to understanding the autistic that I have ever experienced. Cain, you rock!

    1. Maz

      I agree with Stephen’s comments and wish you every success Cain. And I look forward to reading more reviews You have talent and who knows where this may lead!

  12. Rob

    Great interview with Edgar Wright. I’ve been looking for a reviewer to follow since the end of the movie show and now I have found one.

  13. Maggie

    Tonight’s episode was the second Employable Me I’ve seen. It’s very heartwarming.

  14. Jodi

    I love your writing Cain, and your interview with Edgar Wright was fantastic. Congratulations- I can’t wait to read more of your reviews & interviews. (PS. Loved watching your journey on Employsnle Me. Please give your Mum a big hug from me – what an awesome lady. You make a great team)

  15. Kath

    My family really enjoyed watching your story last night. Thanks for being brave & willing to share. We wish you all the very best & look forward to being guided by your reviews. Oh and I bet some of those bullies would be way jealous of your cool new job! 😉Take care.

  16. Ian

    After watching the first episode last night I’m looking forward to watching ep2 on iView tonight. Your writing style is wonderful, something that I envy.

  17. Avril

    Cain, have just started reading your movie reviews – and wow, you have such a talent! So pleased to see you have been given a ‘break’, but never doubt you deserve it.

    As the mother of someone with ASD, it is so good to see you wonderful people being taken seriously and given the opportunities others take for granted.

    You will be a fantastic ambassador for people with ASD who are trying to negotiate the minefield that is employment.

    All the very best for a wonderful career as a film critic.

  18. Margaret Cooney

    What a way you have with the English Language, Cain. On ep 3, was inspired listening to a younger person who clearly loves language and uses it creatively. You’ve converted me into a film blog reader!

  19. Philippa

    Cain, you have a brilliant mind and are a brilliant writer. My husband and I watched Employable Me last night and when David Stratton sauntered into your kitchen I nearly fell off the couch, and then promptly cried. Just magnificent. I am so inspired by how hard you work to follow your passion, and I will be keenly looking out for your reviews in future. I hope that the number of hits Film Ink has had on their page since Employable Me screened shows them they made an excellent decision in taking you on.

  20. Fe

    Cain you are fantastic, you have just the right mix of humour, information, your knowledge shines through with no ego…. definitely a plus!! You are so readable too… Thats coming from a dyslexic reader… but when I read your writings it just flows for me… (which does not happen often, believe you me! )
    Best of good fortune for your film critic career… Watching Employable Me was fantastic enjoyed it so much. Yours fe
    (ps is you lovely dog a Lagotto Romagnolo by chance?)

  21. Lisa Marsh

    I like everything about you Cain. Your humour, intellect, articulate thoughts and insights.
    FilmInk and Dov, I have just become a very big fan of you too👍
    Good luck Cain, looking forward to reading your reviews.

  22. st0li

    I cried tears of joy for you, Cain, when David Stratton turned up at your place. What a kick-start to your burgeoning career! I look forward to reading more of your reviews and, if there’s another series of Employable Me, please, please can we see your interview with the heart-stopping Idris Elba.

  23. Cheryl Gardiner

    I cried tears of joy after watching your episode of Employable Me. Your interviewing and writing skills are outstanding and I wish you every success. All the best always.

  24. Ylice

    First off – Congratulation on your placement at FilmInk. After watching you on Employable me, we were all cheering you on to obtain your dreams. After reading your review, I think I’ve found my go-to-guy. Also well done Dov and Filmink for giving you a chance to show your worth.

  25. Matt

    What an amazing journey.

    So many so called ‘successful’ people loathe their work. The passion that oozes from your love of film reviewing, we can see that you’re already wildly successful. If only I had the passion for my work as you do yours.

  26. Sandy

    Awesome work Cain, loved watching your story on Empoyable Me and now I’ve discovered this FilmInk website too. I hope to be seeing you on your own ABC TV show reviewing movies one day, I miss Margaret and David!

  27. Sally

    I am 10 years old and recently watched you on Embloyable Me. I hope one day I find a way to make money by doing something I love as much as you love reviewing movies.

  28. Vanessa

    Great job Cain! You are a natural film critic! I love your interview style! I look forward to seeing more of your work!

  29. Alli

    Good on you Cain.

    You deserve this career. You are really insightful in your reviews and make them refreshingly interesting.
    I look forward to reading and viewing more of them.

  30. Sara

    That was an awesome interview Cain, well done!

    Finally caught the doco earlier tonight and was lucky enough to catch the scene where you jump into your wardrobe to record your review for Triple J. When a man’s desparate, lol.

    Congratulations, very happy you’ve been given this awesome role and thanks to Dov for giving you the chance to be able to share your work with us.

  31. jennifer goodrick

    Congratulations Cain. I thoroughly enjoyed watching “Employable Me”. It’s encouraging to see some one keep kicking over barriers that are put up by societal and cultural expectations. These are often unnecessarily narrow and exclusive. Good on you. Keep up the good work and keep knocking those stupid, society sacred cows down.

  32. Sarah

    Congratulations, Cain! I was impressed by your wit and honesty on Employable Me, and am just as impressed by your writing skills now that I’m reading your work. I’ll certainly be looking out for your byline in future. As you said to Edgar, good luck with whatever you do next!

  33. John

    Cain. You are awesome and so is your mum. Keep being you because you are perfect.

  34. Joh

    Love your brilliant sense of humour, Cain! I can certainly see a long and prosperous career for you in this industry. Keep up the excellent work, and never give up!

  35. Suzanne

    That was a really great interview! You had a really good connection with Edgar and he seemed to genuinely enjoy your questions. I also loved Employable Me. After all those many job applications you’re on your way- Huge Congratulations!

  36. Tim

    Well Done Cain! My wife an I were so uplifted by your story and your success getting a job so perfect for you.

    I have bookmarked this page and will scour it frequently for your works!

    I’m sure you have made your family so amazingly proud, and as parents of an ASD child, even though we don’t know you…. You’ve made us proud too and give us hope for our little man.

    Thanks for sharing your story, congratulations on your job and keep up your incredible writing, positive attitude and genuine personality.

    All the best mate! 🙂

  37. Leonie

    I enjoyed watching you on the television Cain. I think you have the most beautiful speaking voice. I wish you good luck.

  38. Craig & Sandra

    Totally inspired by your story, not a dry eye in the house. Credit to you and to Dov and to filminc for being supportive and making your dreams come true. You are all inspirational. We think your mum is pretty special too, she has done a great job of raising a fine young man. All the best for your future.

  39. Emily

    So inspired by your story, Cain. You’re a remarkable writer and human being. I’m so pleased that you’ve found a meaningful profession with such a wonderful company! FilmInk; well done! As a person who works with children with Autism, I thank you for taking a chance on anyone in their first job.
    Cain, please tell you’re mum that I think she’s awesome and has done an incredible job of raising you to be such a humble, talented person.

  40. Pedro

    Beautiful to see your on going journey mate!
    Hope to see more and more stuff made by you.
    Best of luck

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