Writing Grad Turns Film Critic

By VFS Web Team, on January 28, 2006

He's ruggedly handsome, mysterious, and charms all the ladies with his dashing British accent. No, he's not the newest James Bond - he's Daniel Champion - movie guru, storyteller, and web writer.
In 2003, Daniel enrolled in the Writing Program for an intensive period of restructuring his imagination. Always an avid lover of movies, it made sense to him that engaging deeply with film would spark his creativity.
"I was completely self-taught before the minds at VFS got hold of me," laughs Daniel. "As far as the influence of movies on my life, well, they were my life. I was spoon-fed a diet of the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Marty McFly, and Indiana Jones. I come from a generation nurtured on a classic sense of adventure far removed from today's contemporary quirks and I hope my writing shows this."
A Million Places Out There
After graduation, Daniel quickly figured out that he could create a profession for himself as a movie reviewer by capitalizing on his newfound knowledge of story structure. Observing the deluge of internet film sites - all needing quality writers to fill their pages - he wagered that if he combined his love of film and music he might be able to claim a niche as a reviewer.

Even before VFS, Daniel regularly visited a site called musicfromthemovies.com, which reviews film soundtracks and scores. Like any smart aspiring writer must do, Daniel cold-called the site's Editor-in-Chief, who asked he submit a sample review. Now, thirty reviews later, and still counting, Daniel has examined the scores of many movie classics such as Star Trek, Hoosiers, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Accidental Tourist.
From Reviews To Features
Two years into his career as a film critic, Daniel has earned enough credibility to initiate his own articles ideas, and pick and choose from different offers made by the magazine's publisher. Meanwhile, his respect as a writer is leading to opportunities to write more in-depth pieces. He is currently writing a feature on the career of jazz musician and film composer Dave Grusin as well as an analysis of new sculpting software from SensAble Technologies.
"This process is markedly different from the review writing," says Daniel. "Where reviews require opinions, these articles require a more complex process where the opinions and ideas of others are given equal voice and greater points can be made and discussed."
Time To Write
While the flexibility of freelance writing can be deadly for a procrastinator, Daniel maintains a disciplined personal writing practice. In addition to his job as a film critic, he is hard at work on a script called InsectoSpies, an homage to 70's spy movies. In fact, he has found that having to meet consistent deadlines for web articles has helped him economize his writing time.
"I began web writing with the knowledge imparted by the VFS instructors," he says. "I hope to continue building a successful portfolio because of it. I'm thirty years old. When I'm sixty I hope to have even more to look forward to than I do today. I hope to have a house by the lake, a franchise under my belt, a story that talks of truth, and a hundred more to tell."