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June 23, 2022

Writing about media (movies, tv, video games...)

 Questions to ask myself after watching a tv show/film, reading a book, or playing a video game. And more! I will be using the term “Subject” to refer to whatever I’m reading/watching/playing.

This is just a list of suggested questions. I am only going to answer the basic questions and any that feel specific to the subject I’m writing about.

  • Pre-impressions

    • How did I come across this subject?

    • What about this piqued my interest?

    • What do I think this is going to be about? 

    • What do I already know about it? 

    • What kind of expectations do I have?

  • General impressions

    • General synopsis

    • Things that stood out to me

    • What did this remind me of?

    • How did it do things differently?

    • How did it surprise me?

    • What makes the work so [adjective]?

  • Post impressions

    • What does this work mean to me?

    • Was there anything I could personally relate to?

    • If you liked it, imagine someone hating it for justifiable reasons. 

    • If you hated it, imagine someone liking it for justifiable reasons.

    • What is my single most lasting impression?

    • What kind of person would I recommend this to?

  • Things I liked

    • Was there anything that delighted me?

    • Who was my favorite character and why?

    • Interesting creative decisions

  • Things I disliked

    • Was there anything that disappointed me?

    • How would I have done things differently?

    • Who was the worst character and why?

    • Anything that bothered me?

    • What would I have liked to see?

  • Meta

    • How are the creator’s experiences different from my own?

    • How have the creator’s own life experiences manifested in the work?

    • What is the work’s creative lineage? (i.e. who/what inspired it?)

  • The story / message

    • What message was the subject trying to say?

    • How did it convey the message?

    • Was it successful in conveying its message?

    • What interesting things did I learn from this?

    • What questions do I still have?

    • How is this subject relevant to its time?

    • Is it a product of its time, or is it timeless?

    • Do you think the subject will have any lasting significance? 

    • Or, how has it stayed significant?

    • Discuss the symbolism

    • What would it be like without a particular essential element?

    • How does it use the genre to its advantage?

    • What tropes did it employ?

  • Score and sound design

    • Thoughts on the soundtrack?

    • Any particular tracks you really liked?

  • Art direction

    • How would you describe the visual style?

    • Did you like the style? Why or why not?

    • What kind of creative liberties did they take?

    • Any interesting creative decisions that influenced the production?

    • Any particular cinematography that stood out?

    • What was the overall mood, and did it capture that well?

  • Ask and answer at least 3 to 5 questions specific to the subject.

    • Google “XYZ discussion questions”

  • Incorporating it into my life and work

    • What elements inspired me?

    • What am I getting out of this and how will I use the information?

    • What would I borrow from this, and how would I adapt it?

    • What ideas could incorporate the ideas I borrow from this?

    • What other media demonstrates the ideas I want to borrow?

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