How do I get press passes for my reviewers?
January 18, 2009 10:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm the Arts & Entertainment Editor for my college newspaper and I'm wondering how to apply to receive press passes and press materials for new movies. I've seen the previous question about Fox, and I was able to sign up there but I haven't been able to locate similar things on the other companies' sites. Anyone know how to do this?
posted by Bwentman to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A lot of companies aren't going to be overly forthcoming about this sort of thing on their websites. The obvious thing to do would be to contact the movie guy at your nearest big daily paper and ask him for contacts as a professional courtesy, after you've charmed him or her with your blatantly sycophantic behavior. It might not be a bad thing to 'suggest' that you could have some of your better writers review the films that no one else wants to see for the daily paper, too.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:43 PM on January 18, 2009

Back in college, one of my freelance jobs was as a classical music critic for a small Times-Mirror Group newspaper. I used to get all manner of free stuff just for having the chutzpah to sit down and write a letter asking for it.

It wasn't complicated: I explained who I was, what I wanted, what kind of piece I was hoping to do and when I was hoping to review it, accompanied by samples of my work. I didn't have any special contacts, I just hit the phonebook. You don't have anything to lose since the worst that can happen is they'll say no. Why not?

My all-time prize came when I asked EMI if I could do a piece on a couple of Callas recordings--and was sent an enormous box filled with their complete list of Callas titles in time for the big anniversary. Oh my God, my SO and I were jumping around like little kids on Christmas morning! Good times.
posted by aquafortis at 12:33 AM on January 19, 2009

Look out for press releases (these are found pretty easily online via bloglines or google) for upcoming movies and find the contact information. Send them an email explaining who you are and that you want to be kept informed of upcoming events. PR people will be ecstatic to add you and toss you some free tickets.
posted by OrangeDrink at 1:01 AM on January 19, 2009

There will be local studio people who handle screenings and events, who will add you to their lists and notify you whenever something's coming up, so just keep researching. Call or email the studios. And don't forget music venues nearby, too!

I would also recommend calling the local A&E editor and asking for advice -- they are usually very happy to help out student reporters, as they were once in your shoes.
posted by lhall at 9:35 AM on January 21, 2009

I contacted the President, now former President, of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. However, she was not as helpful as I had hoped. She merely instructed me to contact each film company individually and explain why I needed the press passes. She offered nothing further, not even a slight push in the right direction.

I know several people who do work at our local big daily, and I'm sure they could put me directly in touch with their resident critic. BUT. Well, haha, I suppose this is petty, but I've something of a hatred for the man and his insufferable reviews...

Then, I guess I shouldn't feel bad for using him to get free things, right?

I appreciate the answers! Thanks!
posted by Bwentman at 8:54 PM on January 21, 2009

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