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How to Score Free Screeners Before New Movies Come Out

Photo: Antonio Guillem (Shutterstock)

Your average cinephile might itch with anticipation before a new blockbuster release, but unless you’ve got a legitimate critic’s platform, you’ve got slim chances of receiving that coveted screener. Luckily, it’s probably easier than ever to become something of a movie critic, provided you’ve got the necessary writing chops and willingness to badger publicists. Here’s how you can get ahold of movie screeners.

Start writing about movies

Screeners aren’t available for just any movie aficionado—plenty of people are enthusiastic about film and look forward to the Academy Awards, but unless you’re writing about movies regularly, it’s going to be difficult to convince a publicist to send you a screener.

Your chances are probably better than they were in the heyday of old media, though, when professional critics occupied a vaunted niche at big newspapers and magazines. To that end, you can start out small, writing about movies on your own blog or pitching movie reviews and criticism to news outlets, including smaller film blogs where the barrier to entry might be lower.

You can also start by writing audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and earn your stripes by eventually becoming a verified reviewer on the site, or pitch any of the more established independent blogs that began as upstarts built from

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