Q&A – Vol. 5:
Reel Talk Inc.

by Starsky

What does Reel Talk Inc. do?
Reel Talk Inc. is an entertainment website that posts daily content- news, reviews, top 10s, editorials, along with a weekly podcast with all the latest in the film and television industry.

When was the business established?
Reel Talk was founded in 2015 first as an Instagram account @reeltalkinc, and a year later, I created the website. In March 2017, we began our podcast, Reel Chronicles, as part of the brand extension.

Back in the beginning, how did the idea for Reel Talk Inc come to mind?
I’ve always been extremely passionate about film. Taking a film class at my alma mater, Rutgers University, opened up a new world for me. Not only am I a fan of film, but I always found myself always having something to say whether it was about the filmmaking process or critiquing the plot. Keeping that idea in mind, I created Reel Talk to have an outlet to entertain and discuss film with other fans.

What did you hope to achieve from when it began?
In its infancy, my main concern was to provide great content and meet other cinephiles. Reel Talk started simply as a forum to discuss film.

When did it begin to take off?
A few months after creating the Instagram page, I began to see an uptick in followers and interest in what I had to say about specific films. I would regularly receive messages from friends and new followers, stating that they would wait to go to the movies until after they read my spoiler-free reviews. It was something I took great pride in and took seriously as a critic to always be 100% honest in all my reviews.

Do you remember when you discovered your love for film and television?
My passion for film started an early age. But it wasn’t until my early to mid-teens, where I realized that I wasn’t just into the popcorn mindless film. I began to search for more prestigious “higher art” or indie films you could say, which opened my eyes to a brand new world. Now, I watch a wide variety of genres but some of my favorites are horror, documentary and dramas.

My love for television began at the age of 7 years old, where I was introduced to Comedy’s true queen, Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy.

Is there an organization that has inspired you the most? Why?
Honestly, I was never motivated by a specific organization. My real inspiration and motivation came from my desire to be heard and express my feelings towards film. If there is a person that did inspire me, it would be director Kevin Smith. I attended one of his show’s at Caroline’s in the city (NYC), and he talked about the concept of putting your ideas out into the world. Ideas that are kept inside are wasted opportunities. That switched on the light for me to pursue my film passion and start the Instagram account and then the website. Reel Talk Inc. was born.

Later, this would all come full circle when a friend of ours had Kevin record a congratulatory message to me and my wife on our wedding day. Mind blown.

Take me through your daily routine.
Every day, we set our news posts. Weekly, we prepare our film reviews and features – usually celebrating a film anniversary or opinion on a franchise, along with preparing our podcast episode agenda and inviting guests to come on the show. We find it most exciting when we get to cover breaking news with film festivals, comic cons, or fan events like D23 and break the news quickly on the site or on our social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

What do you like/dislike most about what you do?
What I love the most about what I do is that film has become the central focus of my life – whether it’s catching the latest release, revisiting old classics or films I’ve never had the chance to see before, or even just witnessing how far the filmmaking process has come – every day is something different and I’m so happy to be fulfilling my passion and meeting others that share that same spirit. The site has opened doors that I will continue to work hard to expand on and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us.

What was the toughest part of starting up Reel Talk Inc.? How did you overcome it?
In the beginning, the toughest part was creating the website itself – the design and troubleshooting the tech side of it. Managing our time was a big thing especially since we all still work a 9-5. Then 2017 came and so did the new social media algorithms and that’s always a battle to make sure we’re setting our content at times to meet our audience where they are and engaging with them so that the algorithms push our posts up higher and they don’t miss out.

How many writers are involved?
At this moment, I am the lead critic on the site, and I have four contributing writers- two of whom write reviews as well.

What do you look for in potential writers?
The same passion I have for film, along with a strong voice. I find it very important that every writer’s reviews have their unique voice come through on the page and our Editor-in-Chief ensures that they do with each of their pieces. Otherwise, they’ll feel like a copy and paste critic with no actual opinion. We also want to give our readers variety whether through the writers or the content on the site. We want our readers to relate to someone and connect with the writing.

Do you have any sponsors/advertisers? If so, who are they? If not, is that something that could get involved with later on?
We do have a few affiliates – Amazon, Best Buy, Vudu, and Taschen.  We try to work with advertisers our readers can use – whether it’s linking new releases to our Amazon Recommendations store, Best Buy specials of the week or purchasing films out on digital through Vudu.

What is the next step for Reel Talk?
We’re looking to diversify our content further by hiring new writers, along with entering the video world and starting a series on YouTube.  We have plans to attend a few more film festivals in 2020 and we also have our own professional goal is to have our site and critics accredited through Rotten Tomatoes.

Top 3 favorite films?

  1. The Godfather Part II
  2. The Godfather
  3. The Dark Knight

Top 3 favorite TV shows?

  1. I Love Lucy
  2. The Sopranos
  3. Breaking Bad

Top 3 favorite actors?

  1. Al Pacino
  2. Robert DeNiro
  3. James Stewart

A piece of advice for people looking to create their entertainment platform.
It’s the same advice I heard Kevin Smith say at that Caroline’s show that inspired me. If you have an idea or something to say, find your way to express it and go for it.