Spotlight on: Film and Theatre Journalism

Daniel Rosenthal is a Pembroke graduate and former Associate Scholar of the College. He now works as a freelance arts journalist and also lectures on film. He is particularly interested in screen adaptations of Shakespeare. As well as publishing two books on the subject, his latest book is The National Theatre Story (2013). His work has also appeared in publications including The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday and Variety.

Daniel is therefore ideally placed to teach the PKP course on Film and Theatre Journalism. Over seven weeks, students receive a practical introduction to the realities of reviewing for print and online publications. There are plenty of chances to test their skills at pitching, reviewing and interviewing. The practice pays off: several students who have taken the course in the past have gone on to intern for world-class publications.

Daniel uses examples of his own work to explain to student how they might go about identifying a hook and an angle for their story. This is his constant mantra: ‘What’s the hook? What’s the angle?’

In the video clip below, students practice pitching story ideas at a mock editorial meeting. The exercise involves looking online at upcoming film releases and, given a limited amount of information, trying to find a hook and an angle that will allow them to frame a salable story. The film is ‘The Expendables 3’, with details from IMDb.

For their assignments, students been asked to write reviews of Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare’s Globe and Michael Gondry’s latest film, Mood Indigo, a pitch concerning a local arts event and a profile of a leading arts practitioner. PKP student Billy explains that the course has allowed him to broaden his horizons:

Click here for more information about the course.


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