Magazine Review

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Sight & Sound

Sight & Sound

Sight & Sound is a very intellectual film magazine which credits the majority of the films crew, hence all the little paragraphs of text on the right. A small image is at the top of the screen with the film’s title to the left, not particularly big, below it is key information including director, stars, running length and country of production. This is very fact based, technical talk which isn’t accessible for casual film fans as it takes a lot of effort to understand what is being said. S&S focuses very little on visual style like the other 3 do and is more interested in covering as many films as possible, not all to the tastes of the general majority of film fans. Quite a niche audience for this magazine.

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Little White Lies

Little White Lies

Little White Lies doesn’t do 2 page spread reviews instead opting to allocate a page to a film at the very most. An image occupies the top of the page whilst below, the title, director, main cast and release date for the film are shown, again in a colour that fits the issues theme. Theme for LWL is far more important as each issue is specifically focused on a different film such as the Django Unchained or Man of Steel edition. The colours used would run throughout the issue and be used mostly for text. The text is written in a smaller font to that of the title and credits. The film is rated on 3 criteria: Anticipation, Enjoyment and In Retrospect, this rates how much the reviewer looked forward to, enjoyed and reflected on the film and how positively s/he did as opposed to the simple yet easily accessible 5* rating made by Total Film and Empire.

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Total Film Magazine

Total Film Magazine

Total Film, similarly to Empire lays out usually using one large picture in the corner of the magazines double spread that takes up a large amount of room and covers a large portion of both pages. It’s title is large and often shown at the top left of the page, just above the star rating, as opposed to Empire, whose star ratings end the review. There is a larger quote that ties in with the colour scheme of the magazine, here the colours are black, red and grey (for which is used for the review quote). As can be seen, the pages aren’t totally filled with words and there is quite a lot of blank page space, not an excessive amount but certainly an unusual amount. This, again, points to the fact that this is a far more casual magazine that focuses on casual film fans who want an easier read than to decipher the intellectual Little White Lies and Sight & Sound. This is a far more visual magazine with a line graph of interest points through the duration of the film. It has some nice stylistic value but won’t worry LWL or S&S with it’s writing.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

To start off I will briefly look at the 4 established film magazines and analyse how they’re written and organised on the page. I’ll start with Empire.

Empire usually has a large picture to cover a double spread, this image, taken from an older issue has 2 images which are accompanied by a small caption as all the images on their reviews are. Below the images (although, occasionally to the side) is an extra large title of the film, cast and crew credits and a quote from the review that’s font is larger than the review itself but smaller than the title, this is often a different colour and fits in with the colour scheme, here the secondary, highlight colour is orange and this is shown by the cast & crew credit box (bottom left), quote (middle right, below image) and self promoting website advert (bottom right). It’s all very accessible with a nice visual flair that is never to artistic like Little White Lies, it balances text out fairly well with images allowing readers to just pick up and read without the adjustment needed for a hardcore film fan magazine like Sight and Sound.

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FILM MAGAZINES

There are a number of different film magazines available in the UK, the 4 established ones being Empire, Little White Lies, Sight & Sound and Total Film. Each has a different approach to film, aesthetic style and taste in film. This is a quick round up of the quartet.

Empire: Quite a casual film magazine that has been billed as “The World’s Biggest Film Magazine”. It’s almost “laddish” in it’s material often making jokes and entertaining the odd expletive. Certainly not the least formal (that award goes to Total Film) whilst it has a vibrant, modern appeal in it’s layout with bright colours ranging from Red to Yellow depending on the feature and a tidy arrangement.

Little White Lies: The Indie film magazine, if you will, has a huge focus on style, dedicating each issue to a certain film (as can be seen here, http://shop.littlewhitelies.co.uk/category/magazines) with articles in the magazine focused primarily on that specific film. The language used is formal and whilst there is a huge focus on visuals there is a hugely intellectual application of writing ability in both articles and reviews. Not as wordy as Sight & Sound but not as casual as Empire.

Sight & Sound: S&S is the wordiest of the quartet focusing primarily on it’s written musings with a VERY basic layout, the odd picture and shuffled words. The most inaccessible of the 4 magazines for hardcore film buffs, nowhere near casual reading. Looks to focus on lesser known films as opposed to blockbusters.

Total Film: The most casual of the 4, has an even blend of images and text, similar to that of Empire. Diagrams are used to show high points and low points of a film, a very visual magazine. Best for a casual flick through, could potentially be viewed as Empire’s dumb(er?), less successful cousin, certainly target’s a similar demographic. 

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Empire Magazine Reader Profile

Here’s a poster we made to show the profile of a generic Empire reader.

Empire magazine reader profile

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Empire Reader Demographic

Empire Reader Demographic

This is a really well presented, visual demographic on the Empire readership, the world’s biggest film magazine.

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FILM MAGAZINES

This page will be dedicated to magazine reviews based on feature films from magazines such as Empire, one of the world’s biggest movie magazines. Here I will post magazine reviews I’ve found (some from the magazines themselves and some from the website of the magazine) and eventually my magazine review.

There are a number of different film magazines available in the UK, the 4 established ones being Empire, Little White Lies, Sight & Sound and Total Film. Each has a different approach to film, aesthetic style and taste in film. This is a quick round up of the quartet.

Empire: Quite a casual film magazine that has been billed as “The World’s Biggest Film Magazine”. It’s almost “laddish” in it’s material often making jokes and entertaining the odd expletive. Certainly not the least formal (that award goes to Total Film) whilst it has a vibrant, modern appeal in it’s layout with bright colours ranging from Red to Yellow depending on the feature and a tidy arrangement.

Little White Lies: The Indie film magazine, if you will, has a huge focus on style, dedicating each issue to a certain film (as can be seen here, http://shop.littlewhitelies.co.uk/category/magazines) with articles in the magazine focused primarily on that specific film. The language used is formal and whilst there is a huge focus on visuals there is a hugely intellectual application of writing ability in both articles and reviews. Not as wordy as Sight & Sound but not as casual as Empire.

Sight & Sound: S&S is the wordiest of the quartet focusing primarily on it’s written musings with a VERY basic layout, the odd picture and shuffled words. The most inaccessible of the 4 magazines for hardcore film buffs, nowhere near casual reading. Looks to focus on lesser known films as opposed to blockbusters.

Total Film: The most casual of the 4, has an even blend of images and text, similar to that of Empire. Diagrams are used to show high points and low points of a film, a very visual magazine. Best for a casual flick through, could potentially be viewed as Empire’s dumb(er?), less successful cousin, certainly target’s a similar demographic.

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