A Sad Lesson from Pitching Articles

I don’t hate all Marvel movies, I promise. But as an aspiring film (and culture, whatever that means) writer, it’s not what I want to write about. I’d prefer to be commissioned to write positive re-evaluations of twentieth-century films on major anniversaries, essays about visual effects in Indian cinema, or think-pieces about how we watch movies. These are the exceptions, the ones I somehow tricked editors into believing in to some degree. And it’s not just me. If you pay attention closely to Film Twitter or Letterboxd, you might recognize the pattern: blockbuster drops, some say its good, some say its bad; meanwhile, someone like Sean Gilman writes a piece of profundity, like his “After the End: Fruit Chan and the Decline of Hong Kong Cinema,” that quickly succumbs within a day or so because something as dumb as “Free Guy” releases (and because nobody read the piece in the first place).

Other than my amazing editor at Boston Hassle for whom I write regularly, I can’t find a home for the non-mainstream pieces that I actually care for—my “thought pieces.” A few bouts with imposter syndrome later, I wondered if it was just me. Am I a bad writer? Am I a bad film critic? Should I stick to thinking about religion? 

I tested this theory—albeit subconsciously—by pitching pieces about movies I wouldn’t normally want to cover. Growing tired of rejections, I pitched three pieces related to the elephant that just won’t leave the room: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All three were accepted with relative urgency. All three are generously paid gigs. 

Continue reading at the post calvin.

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