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Farmers' Harvest

Senior Goodbye: Final farewell from the fantastic film critic

‘Sometimes you just gotta do whatever makes you the happiest.’

%22I+think+I%E2%80%99ve+learned+more+about+filmography+from+writing+reviews+than+I+ever+could+have+taking+an+actual+filmography+class.+Unless+I%E2%80%99ve+been+wrong+this+whole+time.+Then+I+might+need+a+filmography+class+or+two.%22

"I think I’ve learned more about filmography from writing reviews than I ever could have taking an actual filmography class. Unless I’ve been wrong this whole time. Then I might need a filmography class or two."

Photo by Jayden Warren

Photo by Jayden Warren

"I think I’ve learned more about filmography from writing reviews than I ever could have taking an actual filmography class. Unless I’ve been wrong this whole time. Then I might need a filmography class or two."

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“I regret to inform you that this is the end. I’m going now.”

The end of anything is always a sad time. Unless, of course, it is the end of “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” in which case, it is an incredibly satisfying time.

Freshman year, I did something that I never once thought of as being important: I took a survey to see what jobs I was best suited for. Critic was at the top of that list. And if you look at my profile, you will probably notice that the survey was right.

In my time on staff, I have found my sweet spot: reviews. I’ve won a Best in Texas award for one, and my first year on staff I got an Outstanding Performance in Journalism award. I’ve seen great movies and had the time of my life. I’ve genuinely loved every movie I’ve seen and reviewed since joining staff with one exception, but that review was never published.

Generally, my reviews have been well-received, although some people ask why I don’t ever seem to put up a bad review. The reason is simple: As is the case with the internet in general, the negativity is always easier to comment on the bad in any medium of art. The positive side of everything is usually cloaked in shadows, hidden away. By bringing the positives to the forefront and only just touching the negatives, I feel like, even just a little bit, I’ve helped make the world a better place to be.

If people aren’t questioning my lack of negativity, they usually ask me how I write my reviews so quickly yet so exceptionally. It is a simple process, with three steps and three rules to follow.

Step one is to see the movie, as you always should when reviewing a movie. Be on the lookout for unique camera angles, listen intently for the soundtrack and be ready to point out key points.

Step two is the most crucial step, as it involves timing. As soon as you leave the theater, start a list on your phone of things you liked and things you didn’t. If you have a bad memory, this step will save your review, as you can refer to the list at any time while writing.

Step three is simple: Write the review. Easy.

And as a bonus step: Be prepared to lose sleep and suffer for your art, especially if you have a reputation of getting things up as soon as possible. This will occur when you happen to be reviewing a Netflix show that came out a day before you thought it did and each of the 13 episodes are an hour or longer. Of course, that review might end up being one of your best, as happened with me.

As for the three rules, they are as follows:

  • Never spoil the movie, EVER.
  • Always sit in the front row, get the best view of the screen.
  • Never leave the theater until the screen goes white and the lights turn on.

There is only one other thing I get asked in regards to my journalism: “Which review has been your favorite?” The answer actually has three parts: Which review I liked writing the best, which movie I enjoyed seeing the most and which Netflix show I enjoyed binge-watching the most.

My favorite review to write was my Jessica Jones S2 review, despite messing up my sleep schedule and causing me to have a massive headache. It was the first review where I attempted to talk about conflict, filmography and camera work, subjects which, for the record, I have no expertise in and it surprisingly actually sounded amazing and made complete sense.

Out of everything that I have reviewed, my favorite movie might be surprising, seeing as I have reviewed the likes of “Infinity War,” “Black Panther” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” I actually enjoyed “Ready Player One” more than any other film I have reviewed, mostly because with a Marvel movie or a Star Wars movie, you have to have your eyes and ears peeled for audio queues, references, cameos and the list goes on. With “Ready Player One,” after two minutes I realized there was no way I could catch all the references and for the first time since joining staff, I was able to watch a movie purely for enjoyment and then wrote an amazing review for it.

As for my favorite Netflix show: It’s no competition. Jessica Jones vs. Iron Fist? We all know Jessica wins in a heartbeat.

No offense to my Catholic school friends, but I’ve learned far more in four years of public school and met hundreds more amazing people than I did in nine years of private school.

The sole non-sidewalk-licking regret I have in my high school career is not joining the newspaper staff earlier. If I had, I almost definitely would have been an editor, so I have been told.

As one door closes, another opens. Next year at UNT will be fun, as I pursue the love I never knew I had. Going from private school to public school seemed daunting, just as going from high school to college does now. I survived back then and I am confident I will survive now.

Even though I’ve only been on staff for a year and a half, the people I have met are truly some of the greatest I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and I will miss each and every one of them.

There is so much more I’d like to say here, but this goodbye has dragged on as is. So, for the last time as the in-house movie critic, honorary editor and reporter for the Farmers’ Harvest, using the pulchritudinous words of my Idol J.R.R. Tolkien:

“I bid you all a very fond farewell.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Senior Goodbye: Final farewell from the fantastic film critic”

  1. Kathy Faber on June 2nd, 2018 3:08 PM

    Hayden,
    You have come along way in the last four years. I am so proud of you.
    Know that Nannah and Grand are smiling down upon you!
    Congratulations,
    Kathy

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Senior Goodbye: Final farewell from the fantastic film critic