Apparently plenty of folks online have been wondering how to become a movie critic on YouTube, and we’ve got some answers for those folks.
It’s understandable why people would want to become critics on YouTube. Looking at some of the most successful YouTube critics, there’s actually a lot of money to be made from running a channel that consistently gets hundreds of thousands or even millions of views.
There’s also a definite appeal to having your opinions heard by that many people, especially since, in most cases, you don’t have to go through any other companies to share your criticism on YouTube.
Unless you’re looking to work with an established online brand, such as ScreenRant, becoming a YouTube movie critic doesn’t require a job application. There’s really no barrier of entry, but that also means that competition is fierce.
Uploading movie reviews is easy enough, but there’s absolutely no guarantee that your videos or your channel will attract lots of views.
YouTube has been heavily professionalized over the last ten years or so, and your videos are going to be competing with videos from channels that have more resources and more subscribers.
That said, there’s definitely still an appeal to a review channel that’s relatively DIY, especially if you have some interesting things to say.
Thankfully, our experiences running a channel have given us even more advice to share with you. So let’s get started!
Just Do It
If you’re looking for the simplest answer to the headline question, it’s this: just do it already.
Like we already said, this isn’t a job that you need to apply for, but it might also not pay out for quite a long time, either.
First up, you’ll need a YouTube account. That should be obvious, but we’re mentioning it anyway. When you want to upload a finished video, all you’ll need to do is click the Create button at the top of the screen and start the upload process by selecting your file.
But in a more big-picture kind of way, one of the first questions you should ask yourself before starting your own review channel is, do you have a lot of free time?
It’s possible to create and upload movie review videos even if you’re already working a full-time job, but if you really want to focus on your reviews and make high-quality content, it’s going to take some time.
Do you have that time? Will you be willing to use up a lot of your free time writing and recording and editing and uploading reviews? Do you know how to record audio? Do you know how to edit videos?
These aren’t necessarily complex tasks, but you definitely need to know what you’re getting yourself into here.
If you’re willing to put in the time, then the only barrier to getting started is your own willingness to make things happen.
Get Familiar with Video Editing and Recording
Ok, so we know that this article isn’t specifically about the technical side of creating videos, but just because we’re so thoughtful, we’ll give you a very quick rundown of what you’ll need to create something that sounds somewhat professional.
Even if you don’t plan to record video of yourself talking, which is actually kind of complicated, you’re going to need voiceover audio. Please don’t record this audio on your phone or your computer’s built-in microphone.
If you’re using a video camera or your phone to record video, don’t rely on the audio from the on-board mic, either.
You need good audio, and it’s not difficult to achieve this, even on a budget.
Buy yourself a USB microphone. These can cost anywhere from $20 to $140, and generally speaking, more money means better quality. But even an entry-level mic will give you some decent audio without having to worry about an audio interface for your computer.
Use Audacity to record your audio. It’s an open-source piece of audio software that’s very easy to use. Audacity will recognize your microphone and record when you tell it to. You can then edit your audio to cut out pauses and interruptions you don’t want.
It’s also very important to consider the environment in which you record your audio.
You could have the most expensive mic in the world, but if you record audio in a big open space with a lot of reverb going on, it’s going to sound like trash and people will have a hard time understanding what you’re saying, and this is not really something you can fix in software.
Record in a relatively soundproof space. You can soundproof your space with DIY soundproofing panels, or you can simply record audio underneath a blanket. It’s inconvenient, but it works.
Again, even if you don’t choose to record video footage of yourself, you’ll need some kind of visuals in your YouTube video. It’s much better for keeping people’s attention.
Regardless of what visuals you choose to use, you’ll need some kind of video editing software to put it all together and export a usable video file.
We use Adobe Premiere, as part of the Adobe Creative Suite, which costs about $50 a month after the initial promotional period.
If you’re not willing to spend that much on your software, then you can look into some free editing software.
We can’t provide an entire video editing tutorial here, but thankfully there are tons of tutorial videos out there for basically every major program.
Oh yeah, and if you want some background music for your videos, just use YouTube’s audio library. It has music and sound effects that are completely free to use in the videos you make for YouTube.
Find Your Brand
When you’re trying to be successful on any social media platform, branding is really important, sadly.
People are much more than just one thing, but to strangers on the internet, branding can help people remember who you are and give them an idea of what you offer.
If you want to cover certain types of movies on your channel, make that clear in your videos or on your channel page.
Your branding can definitely evolve over time, but having some kind of brand from the start is pretty important.
How do you want your viewers to see you? What is your favorite thing to talk about? Will you be comfortable staying in this pigeonhole, potentially for years to come?
Cultivate an Audience
This can be one of the most difficult parts of becoming a YouTube movie critic. If you’re lucky, your channel will have a big hit right away and the algorithm will continue to promote your work to new viewers all the time, making channel growth incredibly easy.
But if you don’t start things off with big numbers, you’re going to have a much slower path to success.
One of the best things you can do is to talk about movies that are relevant right now. On the other hand, it can be great to cover movies that have a strong, niche audience that don’t tend to receive a lot of attention.
Again, you can change your approach over time, but you should have an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish right from the start. If you know what you’re about, then so will your viewers.
Also, interacting with your viewers can be incredibly important. Try to respond to comments to make viewers feel heard. You can also hold streams where you directly converse with your viewers.
Overall, be honest with your audience. Talk about things you really care about, or else your content may come across as phony, and that’s probably not going to attract new viewers.
Be honest with your feelings about a movie and take into account what other people are saying about each release.
If you want, you can also make videos about larger topics within the world of movies, rather than just specific reviews.
We can’t guarantee that you’ll find success, but staying true to yourself is always helpful when you’re chasing down that dream.