Behind the blog: What goes into a film analysis post

For this week’s post, I thought I’d do a little housekeeping and blow some dust off the curtains that keep this blog-labor-of-love going. When teaching information literacy skills in my librarian day job, sometimes it astounds me how the little things can be what flips on that “light bulb” moment (like using shortcuts in Google like define:procrastinate to look up definitions). I like to tackle the “big picture” issues, but today, it’s all about the details.

I’d like to share what goes into putting together a film analysis post, like this one I posted last week about 2002’s The New Guy. There’s the watching of the film, obviously, and taking notes, and either rewatching the film, or rewatching specific scenes to make sure I got down quotations correctly, etc. Oh, and pausing and rewinding to take screenshots of pivotal scenes. That could take anywhere from 2-4 hours to do, depending on how long the film is and how important the librarian’s role is to the film. Last week’s post was a little shorter at this stage — only about an hour — because (1) I had already seen the film, and (2) I had previously taken notes on the film. So it was about deciphering my prior notes, and seeing if I had anything to add this time around. Spoiler alert:  I did. 😉

Reel Librarians:  Notes from 'The New Guy'

My initial notes for ‘The New Guy’

Then, either before or after watching the film, I like to do a little research. Go figure! I’m a librarian. Researching is as natural as breathing air. This usually involves at least one visit to and several Google searches, and possibly some library database searches, depending on what I uncover. And checking out what my fellow library film researchers have said, if they’ve seen that particular film, as well. And then there are extra notes.

Ok, now we’ve reached the stage of ACTUALLY PUTTING THE POST TOGETHER. Easy, right? Not so fast! My usual process is to retype, or copy-and-paste, the notes I’ve taken thus far, and then build a post as I begin the initial editing process. This stage looks a little something like this:

Reel Librarians:  Early draft of 'The New Guy' post

An excerpt from the earliest draft of my film analysis post for ‘The New Guy’

This stage usually takes me about an hour, possibly two, including uploading pics, cropping, and hoping inspiration will strike. Oh, and time for, you know, THINKING. And figuring out a title. That’s the hardest part. 😉 Fast-forward, the post is done. That means we’re done, right? NOPE. I’m a librarian, so that means… cross-linking and citing sources! For every analysis post, I create a corresponding entry in the Reel Substance section of the site. So The New Guy was a Class III film, based on the librarian’s importance to the film, so it corresponds to this entry and citation in the Class III page.

Reel Librarians:  Citation entry for 'The New Guy'

Citation entry for ‘The New Guy’ on the Class III page

So every film title in a post that is hyperlinked directs the reader back to the film’s citation.

I also then update my Master List as well as the corresponding Actor List or Actress List, with links back to the film’s citation.

Reel Librarians:  Master List entry for 'The New Guy'

Master List entry for ‘The New Guy’

Reel Librarians:  Actress list for 'The New Guy'

Actress entry for Justine Johnston, who has played a reel librarian twice

And then it’s time to proofread my post, preview what it will look like, make corrections, doublecheck links, assign tags and categories (akin to cataloging and indexing), and then schedule it to post. All of that cross-linking and proofreading takes maybe another hour.

Then it’s SHOWTIME.

Reel Librarians:  Screenshot of film analysis post for 'The New Guy'

The finished post for ‘The New Guy’

After the post goes live, I then update my Reel Substance and Master List pages to then have cross-links back to the blog post, as well as update my Reel Librarians Pinterest boards. On average, anywhere from 4-10 hours of prep time goes into one film analysis post. So if you’ve ever wondered why I don’t do film analysis posts every.single.week, this post might help explain that. I love love love researching reel librarians, as well as updating this blog/site hybrid to showcase that love, but it does take serious commitment and hard work. But it’s all worth it to me in the end. I hope it is worth it to you, as well, dear reader.

And… the final stage?

My mom reads my posts and emails me about any typos and corrections I need to make. 😉 Love you, Mom. ♥


One comment on “Behind the blog: What goes into a film analysis post

  1. […] my second favorite of July 2013 was this behind-the-scenes look at all the work that goes into a film analysis post. I make no profit off this blog — it is a strictly-for-fun adventure for me — so it […]

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