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Up Close and Personal with Film Critic, Jedd Jong

Film critic, Jedd Jong, was the latest industry guest featured in a talk series organised for SUSS film studies students by the SUSS Minor in Film Studies team. Aimed at exposing students to unique conditions and expectations surrounding film-making, the talks allowed them to interact with industry practitioners helming various capacities. Over 35 students attended the lively exchange with Jedd, firing thought-provoking questions one after another. ‘What does he look out for when watching a film?’, ‘Are critics influenced by other reviews?’, and ‘Are critics ever pressured to write positive reviews?’ were among some of the questions posed.

Besides answering the students’ queries, the film critic who appeared on radio show Kiss 92FM and Channel 8’s Morning Express to discuss movies, also shared how he started pursuing his passion in the film industry and the obstacles he had encountered. He also generously offered tips on how to write compelling reviews on films, urging students to read lots of film reviews, practise their writing and balance passion with craft.

Film Studies Q&A with film reviewer Jedd JongFilm Studies Q&A with film reviewer Jedd Jong

Marco Li, SUSS Bachelor of Science in Marketing with Minor student, were among the audience who raised an interesting question about the difference between reviewing a film and a television series – if the much lengthier duration of a television series would make its review harder and more complex compared with a movie. In response to his question, Jedd explained that critics of a TV show are typically given only three to four episodes to view if the show is contemporaneous. Hence, that is why there are far fewer reviews as a TV show progresses.

Logavel s/o Balakrishnan from the Bachelor of Communication with Film Studies said, “The conversation with Jedd was an eye-opener into the world of the film critic. He had shared interesting insights into the various forces within the industry which shape the way films are marketed. Jedd also walked us through his thought process, showing us how he transcribes filmic concepts into text. Overall, the Q&A was really instrumental in helping us understand the practical application of what we were learning in our Writing Film Criticism course.”

“As an aspiring filmmaker and film critic, I had learnt so much from the session. Jedd had offered helpful advice on where a budding critic can start his career and taught us how to understand readers and viewers in the current film ecosystem. Talking to him, I realised how professional film critics have to be knowledgeable about film and engage readers in dynamic and creative ways,” enthused Joey Leong from the SUSS English with Film Studies programme, who summed up the event most aptly.

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