"A Good, Earned Laugh Is Always Welcome!": Interview With My RØDE Reel Judge and Top Movie Critic Grace Randolph

When it comes to online movie commentators, there are few voices that command as much attention as Grace Randolph. As host and creator of Beyond The Trailer – a hugely popular channel sharing the inside track on what's going on in Hollywood, trailer reviews and audience movie reviews – she has nearly a million movie lovers tuning into her content every week and a whopping half-a-billion total views on her videos. Grace studied film at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is a talented comic book writer with a bunch of comics under her belt including Justice League UnlimitedX-Men: Nation X and her own creation, Grace Randolph's Supurbia. She is also a judge for My RØDE Reel 2019, returning for a second time after her debut on the panel last year. 

Below, Grace chats about what she loved about last year's Judges Prize winner and how to hook people in in under 3-minutes (and if anyone knows about this, it's her!).

Hi Grace. Thanks so much for being a part of MY RØDE Reel 2019! This is your second year in a row judging the competition – what did you think of the quality of the entries last year?

I was really impressed by the scope of the entries - not just in terms of the type of short films but from across the globe. Sometimes moviemaking seems like strictly a Hollywood thing, or from a few other countries, but it’s important to remember there are cinephiles everywhere! The next great filmmaker could come from anywhere, especially with technology bringing us together and creating opportunities like My RØDE Reel.

Last year’s Judges’ Film Prize winner was a hilariously morbid short called Fishy Wish. What was it about that film that struck you? 

I think we all appreciated Fishy Wish’s production values, and - to speak to my first point - that it was an entry from Poland. Humor also helps, especially since we’re watching so many entries. A good, earned laugh is always welcome!

Usually your critical eye is focused on feature film trailers which, in essence, are quite similar to short films. What do you think is the key to creating an engaging piece of content in under 3-minutes?

Don’t waste any time - you have to be strong out of the gate, and have a strong finish just like a trailer!  Also, realise you’re making a short and NOT a shrunken down feature.

Finally, what advice do you have for this year’s entrants?

Have fun, and be unique! Some people believe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it really just shows a lack of imagination and self-confidence
Find out more about this year's judges and the competiton at the My RØDE Reel website and get shooting!