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Meet New York Film Academy (NYFA) Faculty Member & Award-Winning Film Critic, Peter Rainer

Peter Rainer

Peter Rainer is a lecturer at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles (NYFA-LA).

Rainer is also the film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and can be heard regularly on NPR’s Film Week on KPCC-FM. He was one of three finalists in 1998 for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and is a three-time winner of the Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for Best Online Film Critic. Rainer is also president of the National Society of Film Critics and has appeared as a film commentator on CNN, ABC News World Tonight, Bloomberg Radio, and Nightline.

Additionally, Rainer has served as film critic for New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, New Times Los Angeles and Los Angeles magazine. His writings have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and GQ. He has also written and co-produced two A&E biographies–on Sidney Poitier and John Huston–as well as co-authoring the 1977 film Joyride. He has served on the main juries for both the Venice and Montreal film festivals.

Rainer continues to immerse NYFA students with decades of film history, knowledge, and insight.


Rainer’s Roundtable at NYFA

In this series, Peter Rainer sits down with NYFA students and discusses film production, critique, and the filmmaking process.

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Rainer on Film

With Rainer on Film, Peter Rainer dives deeper into film trends with video essays that incorporate clips from films as well as behind-the-scenes photos and footage. In its debut episode, the film critic discusses films of the 1960s and 1970s. In the second episode, Rainer moves on to the films of the 1980s.

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The NYFA Hour on Popcorn Talk

Popcorn Talk Network is the online broadcast network with programming dedicated exclusively to movie discussion, news, interviews, and commentary. In The NYFA Hour, the New York Film Academy hosted an array of knowledgable industry personalities, with multiple guest appearances with Peter Rainer.

In the episode below, Rainer joins host Pegah Rad to discuss the art of film critique and how cinema has changed since he started writing about the movies:

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The Back Lot – NYFA Podcast

The Backlot podcast aims to offer our students and you, the listener, expert insight into the film and entertainment industry through top notch instructors and A-list guests. Check out the July 22, 2019 episode where guest Peter Rainer discusses the Hollywood artists we lost in 2018.

Peter Rainer’s 2018 Hollywood In Memoriam


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Be sure to bookmark this page as we will be updating it regularly with all the newest videos and content with Peter Rainer!

Differences Between TV and Radio/Podcast Journalism

With the ubiquity of digital technologies and the unrelenting demand for news around the clock, broadcast journalists have now become the quintessential multitaskers of the 21st century media. Increasing your chances of getting employed in the world of broadcast journalism requires a skillset beyond just being able to gather, collate, and  deliver information using a teleprompter; it also requires sound knowledge behind the camera, like shooting, editing, and various production requirements for your particular medium — new media, print, television, podcasts, you name it.

Becoming well-versed on an array of platforms gives you a larger pool of choices when deciding which avenue to pursue, as well as impressing a larger number of employers. With that in mind, here are some helpful tips on the differences between journalism in television and radio/podcasts.

Writing and Editing

In television, what the audience sees is critical to the information they process and how they interpret it. For that reason, everything on television is bigger, flashier, and significantly less focused on words. Unlike the radio or podcast format, where the responsibility to visualize the story lies in the audience’s imagination, multimedia journalists and reporters on television deliver a “voice-over” serving as an accompaniment to videos or images — basically acting as a caption to what is seen.

The practice of editing video before writing the text is rarely followed in a television newsroom, though reporters do keep the video in mind when writing, editing the video to then fit the words. What’s most important is to always keep the words simple, short, and succinct, so as not to overwhelm the audience with too much  information at once.

Using simple vocabulary helps engage as well as reach a larger audience. This doesn’t differ much from radio news, although an emphasis on descriptive words and paying particular attention to pronunciation is a lot more critical for radio listeners than it is for TV viewers.

Additionally, since radio listeners are usually engaged in other activities while listening, scripts for radio newscasters usually use a “conversational” style to keep the listener’s attention.  

Formats

Sequencing formats and the stacking of a show on television also differs from radio and podcast news. For instance, a viral video may become the opening story on television, but without the power of visuals, radio and podcasts must prioritize the most attention-grabbing stories using only words, resulting in the viral video story being pushed further back in the show once the listener’s already invested.  

Additionally, weather forecasts and traffic conditions are usually later in the program on television — unless extreme weather conditions or massive traffic jams are the top stories of the day. TV news programs communicate meteorological findings and forecasts with maps and other graphics, many of which depend on chroma key effects.

Contrastingly, 90 percent of car commuters listen to radio, increasing the importance of a traffic reports exponentially for radio news and moving it to the top of the program.

Staff

Although having the advantage of video and images in relaying to audiences what  words sometimes cannot, television broadcasting requires many more people and resources to cover a story.

A field reporter, for example, is ideally accompanied by a camera operator — though it’s even better for your career options if you’re able to act as your own producer, editor, and talent. Multimedia journalists (MMJs) are in high demand.

Radio reporters and podcasters, however, can attend interviews and go on location with nothing but a handheld recording device. This makes it easier to retrieve anecdotes and interview audio to support a story, as preparation and organisation is a lot less complicated. Plus, interviewees are sometimes more likely to agree to an interview off-camera.

With all this considered, it really comes down to personal preference when deciding which medium to pursue as a budding broadcast journalist. Just remember to stay vigilant, be resourceful, and always be curious!

What is your favorite medium to keeping up with the news? Let us know in the comments below! And learn more about Broadcast Journalism at the New York Film Academy.

Trends in Journalism to Watch Out for in 2018

Innovations, whether you’re talking about television or the internet, have continued to change how the average person discovers news. And no matter where you look, technology still doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Here are the four biggest journalism trends this year that we consider to be at the top of the list:

Offline But Not Disconnected


There’s no denying the power the internet has when it comes to keeping people informed and connected. In this day and age, it’s far more likely to learn about a current event via a WiFi-connected mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. Tech companies everywhere are enjoying the benefit of features such as push notifications that keep their readers engaged and wary of their latest information.

But what about when they can’t count on their internet connection? Sooner or later, people find themselves in an area or building where Wi-Fi either doesn’t work or runs too slow. According to The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2017, apps are making a comeback, which means we are seeing news organizations putting more focus on their offline content in order to keep consumers with unreliable internet happy.

Podcasts Continue Their Rise

Journalists and media companies know full well that text and video alone are not enough these days. Many consumers find themselves preferring content that they don’t have to read or see — all you need is a pair of ears. Much like the times of old when radios were the go-to place for news, plenty of folks today want audio news sources they can listen to while driving, working, etc.

In another survey done by Reuters Institute involving 194 leading editors, digital leaders, and CEOs, it was discovered that 58 percent of publishers plan to focus more on podcasts. The same amount will also put more effort into creating content for voice activated speakers.

More Focus on Social Media, but not Everywhere

Even a decade ago when MySpace ruled the social networking world, few could have predicted the power of social media sites in the hands of journalists. More people than ever —  especially in U.S. — prefer taking to Twitter and Facebook to get their news for the day. According to the Reuters Institute survey, the number of American that prefer social media for news has doubled since 2013.

However, trends aren’t quite going the same way elsewhere. Across all the countries surveyed, only about a third of people between the ages of 18 and 24 have social media as #1 on their list. While growth has ceased in the United Kingdom, places like Italy, Brazil, Australia and Portugal are actually seeing a decline.

A Push for Artificial Intelligence

When most people think about artificial intelligence (AI) they imagine robots that can help us with our daily chores before inevitably turning against us once Skynet becomes self-aware. While not as exciting as our favorite sci-fi movies, the use of artificial intelligence in the journalism industry is expected to make a big impact soon. This is why 72 percent of of the top digital leaders and editors plan to start experimenting with AI.

Why would journalists have need for artificial intelligence? According to surveys, 59 percent think AI can improve content recommendations while also detecting intentional media bias. Other uses include using AI. to help automate workflows, improve commercial optimisation, and help journalists find stories.

What are your predictions for the next biggest trends in journalism? Let us know in the comments below, and learn more about broadcast journalism at New York Film Academy.