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HELP WANTED: Seeking People with Unique Voices and a Passion for Film and Television

Want to work for Verdict?

One of the most respected internet resources for film criticism, Verdict staffs more than 40 writers and editors, covering everything from the biggest Hollywood blockbusters to the smallest independents. Here you are guaranteed to find thought-provoking, insightful, and often irreverent reviews, interviews, and commentary from a diverse collective of first-class writers. We love what we do.

You may be saying to yourself, "I love movies and TV. How do I become a Judge?"

It's easy. To start the ball rolling, all we need is a sample review written in the Verdict format.

"How do I do that?"

Start by reading other Verdict reviews, so you're familiar with subtleties of the format. When ready, select a Blu-ray or DVD, preferably something you've never seen. This is our way of seeing how you approach a film with no previous connection or passionate ties. Watch it, paying close attention to the thoughts and emotions it stirs. Then, using the template, tell us what you loved, what you hated, and what you were ambivalent about; what worked, and what didn't; which actors soared, and which fell flat. Share your thoughts on the image and sound quality, and bonus materials (if any). Finally, tell us if you would recommend purchasing, renting, or avoiding this Blu-ray or DVD like the plague. Compensation for reviewers is in the form of retail review product.

Remember, this is a conversational medium that demands nothing but your own personal opinion, good or bad. Think of yourself sitting next to friend talking about movie; you're telling a story in your own voice. Don't try to ape the style of Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert, AO Scott, or any other recognizable critics. They are who they are because of their unique voices. Be yourself and let your true personality shine through. The most successful writers are the ones who create a sense of intimacy with the reader.

Two caveats: 1) Most of our reviews run somewhere in the neighborhood of 750-2000 words; so don't write a masters thesis or a junior high book report. Either extreme risks losing the interest of the reader. 2) Don't plagiarize someone else's work. Journalistic integrity is a huge deal; in this day and age where it's very easy to cut, paste, and alter another writer's words, our editors are extra cautious when evaluating new talent.

"I can do that. What else do you need?"

Write up a quick bio telling us who you are, where you live (state, country), what you do for a living, what you're passionate about, and why you would make a great addition to the Verdict family. We want to know the person behind the words.

Email your sample review and bio (as attachments in .doc, .txt, or .pdf format) to helpwanted@dvdverdict.com. Our editorial team will review every application as they arrive. There is no deadline at this time. The evaluation window will stay open until we find the talent we're looking for. Only serious applications will be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Do you take applications from writers outside the US?
At this time, we are only looking for US-based writers.

2) How much experience do I need?
If you know your way around the English language and can express your thoughts in a clear and engaging manner, you're in good shape. You don't have to be a professional, but you may very well become one by working with us.

3) Do I really have to write something new or can I just send links to samples of my previous work?
You can always include links to previous work, but in order to understand how well you grasp the Verdict format, we need something written with our template.

4) If I already work for another site, can I still apply?
Absolutely. We have several team members who contribute to multiple print and online publications. Just know that we aren't here to re-post reviews you've written for other sites, and make sure you aren't violating any non-compete restrictions in place with other publishers.

5) What's the time commitment?
We're looking for writers who can commit to a minimum of one review per week.

6) What do you pay?
There is no cash compensation, at this time. However, you will receive retail DVD and Blu-ray product to review, which is yours to keep.

We'd love to add your energy, enthusiasm, and insight to the team. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Michael Stailey
Publisher, Editor-In-Chief
DVD Verdict, Cinema Verdict, TV Verdict

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