Focus interview with freelance journalist Michael Leader

Michael Leader is a freelance journalist specialising in entertainment, culture and technology. He regularly contributes to pop-culture websites, film magazines and even fits in a spot of blogging.

This week, FeaturesExec caught up with him to discuss the London Turkish Film Festival, teaching and Wu Ch’Eng-En’s Monkey.

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Nowadays I mostly write about entertainment, culture and technology. From movies and video games, to literature, comics and music. However, I do dabble in current affairs journalism, and my first published articles were about ice hockey and cricket.

Where are we likely to see your work?
At the moment I write regularly for two websites, both with an all-round pop-culture focus, and they are the USA-based CC2K.us and UK-based Den of Geek. I’ve also recently had articles published with 4Talent Magazine, Film and Festivals and Swedish academic journal Film International. I also publish regular, varied content on my own blog, Wild Tyme, http://wildtyme.blogspot.com.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I’ve just finished covering the London Turkish Film Festival for Film and Festivals magazine. I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the opening gala and premiere at the BFI Southbank cinema, and then a press pass for all screenings. All the films I saw were bursting with inspiration and creativity, and had a stylistic boldness that most mainstream English-language films are shy to attempt. It was a great opportunity to experience and champion a film industry that is on the rise, yet still under-represented on British cinema screens.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I would love to have a shot at interviewing enigmatic musician Tom Waits. More realistically, I would settle for interviews with writers Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow.

About You:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
At some point during my time at university, I changed my opinion of teaching and education. As both education and journalism are rooted in communication and information, I would try to find a place in the academic world.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I hate sounding boringly mundane, but it would probably go towards rent and bill payments. However, I would like to become a ‘friend’ of a local, independent cinema, or a member of the BFI.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Books in my immediate vicinity: I’m currently reading Wu Ch’Eng-En’s 16th-century fable Monkey and I have been browsing through the luscious coffee-table book Watching the Watchmen, a beautifully designed ‘behind the scenes’ look at one of the most celebrated graphic novels by its artist, Dave Gibbons.

Blogs on my screen: Tech-bible Lifehacker (http://lifehacker.com), gaming news source Kotaku (http://kotaku.com), the personal blog of writer Warren Ellis (http://www.warrenellis.com), the workblog of artist Sean Phillips (http://surebeatsworking.blogspot.com), and the film criticism blog of David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/).
[lnk|http://www.journalistdirectory.com/journalist/XQEXX/Mike-Leader|_blank|FJD: Michael Leader]

[img|jpg|Michael Leader]

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