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Member Area
Venice Biennale

It would be nice to do something political (AIS 22)

Nigel Floyd: film critic
Nigel Floyd has been working as a film critic for the last 22 years building himself a reputation as a conoisseur of horror and science-fiction movies. He currently works for various publications including Time Out and BBC Radio 4. 
Filmwaves - How did you get into film criticism?
Nigel Floyd – I got involved in the film society at university, did two film courses, a post graduate diploma at the Polytechnic of Central London and then I did an MA in film studies at the University of East Anglia. At the time, in Norwich, a fortnightly magazine called Cover, which was a poor replica of Time Out, was starting out. I wrote to the editors explaining that I was interested in doing film reviews and how I would do them and I got the job, at 5 per issue… I remember that my first review was Southern Comfort (Walter Hill, 1981). I stayed in Norwich for a while also helping the local regional cinema, a BFI funded cinema, then I decided to move to London, and after starving for about three years, I started writing for the Monthly Film Bulletin and the NME. Finally, my big break was when I wrote a review of Platoon for Time Out. Once my name was in Time Out my credibility took a leap forward.
FW – What is your advice to budding film critics?
NF – The first thingI always say to people is: if you want to be a film critic get something in print. The people who ran the magazine in Norwich were very good people but with no money, we were in it because we wanted to do it. The magazine did not look very nice but the very fact that someone has trusted me to write a review and that they printed it, made it tangible. There is something magical about having something in black and white. The second advice is that, when you are free-lance, as I have always been, it is very handy to have an area that you specialise in. Mine is science-fiction, horror and fantasy. If you can build up a reputation for reviewing those films and interviewing the filmmakers, then people will come to you because they trust you to write about those things.