We invite you to get to know our members in this monthly series about their work and careers. In our first “Meet a Critic”, we are pleased to introduce you to Andrew Mack, Associate Editor, News for Twitchfilm.
How long have you been writing about film?
I began writing for Twitchfilm when it started up in September of 2004. I’m a day-oner.
How did you start? Was there a specific film that sparked the desire to write?
Twitchfilm editor Todd Brown and I went to college together. We found common bonds in both music and film and remained friends after school. I wouldn’t say there was a specific film that sparked the desire to write. I would often bring over my latest Hong Kong action film find to his house, to the point where his last partner’s students would ask, “What did kung fu friend bring this week?”.
Todd had been writing for another outlet at the time that I secretly wanted to write for too. When that time was coming to a close he was starting out on his own. I had done some writing for him when he ran our college paper then another friend’s music zine in the short time after we left school. I was over at his place for a barbecue during the Summer of 2004 and he asked, “You want write for my new site?” That was it.
What was the first film you ever reviewed/wrote about?
We cut our teeth at TIFF in 2004. One of the first articles I ever wrote were capsule reviews of The Machinist, House of Flying Daggers and 3 Iron. That, was a good day.
What is your favourite memory about being an online freelance writer?
After twelve years of doing that there are so many good times that it would be difficult to settle on just one. Hanging out with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at The Drake Hotel after junket screening of Shaun of the Dead? Getting a massive hug from Time Crimes‘ Nacho Vigalondo in Bill Pullman’s hotel room in Austin, Texas the first year I went to Fantastic Fest? Listening to Richard Stanley spin wild tales of tree people in northern Afghanistan on the bus ride to Patzcuaro, Mexico for a film festival? That sounds a lot like bragging, doesn’t it.
Really, it is getting to travel around North America and attend different film festivals. We have worked hard and built a good reputation at Twitchfilm over the years so I get to go to festivals here in Canada, the States and Mexico and meet people that I admire and respect for their work. In turn I have total strangers express the same to me for what Twitchfilm, and if I am lucky, I, have meant to them and their film careers.
What has been the biggest challenge about being an online freelance writer?
Doing it for free. The perks are awesome but no one at Twitchfilm does this and gets paid for it. We all volunteer our spare time to write for the site about what films we love. Our rewards are festival invites, press passes, pull quotes and free Blu-rays. Hugs and free drinks are our currency. When I can get a poster from Australia or a DVD from Indonesia with my review quoted on it that’s pretty awesome too.
We have worked hard and built a good reputation at Twitchfilm over the years so I get to go to festivals here in Canada, the States and Mexico and meet people that I admire and respect for their work. In turn I have total strangers express the same to me for what Twitchfilm, and if I am lucky, I, have meant to them and their film careers.
What are your writing goals? How would you like to expand your writing?
If anyone writes about film long enough they get in their minds what great films should be. Some of us are silly enough to think that we’ve got the next great script in our heads; that not one of the seven and a half billion other people in this World have that same idea. Well. I have four! Four freaking awesome ideas for great genre films and if any of you steal those ideas I’ll cut you!
In your opinion, what is the best movie ever made?
The best movie ever made is the one that makes me laugh, cheer, cry, cringe, flinch, gasp, recoil in fear, check my pulse, pray to my God, call my mom or tell anyone who doesn’t like it that they are simply wrong and we cannot been seen in public together anymore.
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