Abhishek Krishnan



What it takes to be a film journalist, explains Abhishek Krishnan


“So, what are you up to these days?” My “long-time-no-see-and-suddenly-bumped-into” friend asked me.


I work for Behindwoods. I am a Film Journalist.” I replied.


Okay, but what do you do for a living?” He asked – his nescient intellect unable to understand the fact that Film Journalism is a full time job.


“Duh, my company pays me.” I answered with a smirk.


“Wow. You get to watch movies. You get to meet celebrities. You get to go for audio launches and press meets. This isn’t even a job. This is so much fun. Lucky you!” He was exasperating.


“Well, thanks. But this is indeed a job – a job as laborious as any other job, sometimes even more.”


“Oh, can you elaborate?” He asked – his face brimming with sarcasm.


I glanced at his face for a moment, not only because I was offended by his sarcasm, but also because I did not know where to start.


“Let me start with the movies I watch.” I began. “Are you aware of the number of movies that release every year? Would you even think of going for a movie that does not interest you? Have you ever been forced to rush out of the theater and find the nearest joint to review the movie?”


I was as hot as the cups of coffee that the waiter placed on our table a moment ago.


Obviously not.” He said as he took a sip of coffee from his cup.


“We watch movies that people would not have even heard of. We are required to review films as soon as possible, making sure we do not compromise on the quality of the writing, and also keeping in the back of our minds that there is a humongous amount of responsibility riding on the top of our heads as mistakes can cost us a lot.”


“Some people tend to exercise their freedom of expression right after every review, flooding us with an array of hate messages and curses even if our feedback is accurate from our point of view. You just can’t help them because different people have different perceptions.”


“At times we are also accused of taking money for what we write – an arraignment that comes out of a figment of someone’s imagination. A negative review can also hurt the feelings of the actors or technicians involved in the movie and we are hence forced to take extra care of the words we use even if our rating is low.”


“When the others plan to spend time with friends and family during festival holidays, we work extra time, sacrificing our sleeps to catch up with early morning shows.”


But they are just movies. A few hours on it and the work is done right?” He asked.


“Dude. There is a lot happening in the industry”. I replied. “We always have to be on our toes, when it comes to reporting updates, without making a fuss about which angle the hands of the clock stand in. Whether at 12’O clock midnight or 6’O clock in the morning, you simply have to slip in your shoes and step out.”


Oh come on. Don’t give me that nonsense.” He said. “I have heard that you get to eat free food and also get a cover at press shows.


Now he has a point here.” I thought. May be I had to tell him how Behindwoods worked.

You are kinda right here buddy. But we at Behindwoods have some ethics. We don’t take cover or eat at press shows, which is again a toll on our health. Because producers arrange press shows such that they can provide lunch or dinner during the interval. We have no option but to remain hungry until the show ends. For example, I attended a 12 PM press show yesterday and they provided lunch. I obviously did not take it and by the time the show was over, I was exhausted.


This happens to me only once in a while, but our cameramen face this problem every single day. They run from pillar to post covering back to back events and they just don’t find the space to stop for lunch at times.


But you get to meet celebrities. I wouldn’t mind going at any time of the hour to meet them.” My friend declared.


It is not as great as you think buddy. It requires a lot of punctuality, endurance and patience. There have been instances where we have waited for six hours for the bytes of a celebrity and sent back without it, in spite of going bang on time. Can’t blame them. Their work timings are unpredictable and they just can’t give us an accurate time.


Some of them are managed by middle men who behave as though we are demanding their kidneys.”


“Have you ever been blasted at for something you did not do?” My voice grew louder, grabbing the attention of many around us. I realized I was getting over emotional..


“There is so much more, which I can’t discuss in this open place.” I whispered to him.


“But, yeah!!!  I am indeed lucky, as you said. Because I love what I am doing. On the other side of all the hard work, hate comments and accusations, we get to hear some words of appreciation from the people who like our work and you have no clue of the kick it gives us.”


“Of course I know very clearly that there are jobs that are even more demanding than ours. Doctors, Policemen, Army Officers and all. I was just trying to explain that ours is no easy job as you think it is.”


Cheque please.” I requested and the waiter brought us the cheque. My friend offered to pay.


It’s on me. Thanks for giving me a ear.” I winked.


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