Let's raise the curtain on freelancer Tim Baros, who reports from international film festivals and frequents theatres and cinemas to find the most entertaining entertainment the world has to offer. Discovering little-seen filmic gems at Cannes, Sundance and the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (while the rest of us suffer through 'Fast & Furious: Yet More Furiouser') is what Tim has been focused on for the past three years – what is he looking forward to writing about in the future?
About your journalism
What do you write about?
I really enjoy all kinds of writing, but for the publications and websites that I write for my articles are focused primarily on entertainment, which includes film and theatre reviews/features. I have also done some financial writing in the past, focusing on market conditions and personal stories, but do that less so now as film and theatre articles and interviewing people in this business are what I really enjoy doing.
Where are we likely to see your work?
For the short time that I have been writing (a little over three years), I have been able to write for quite a few publications and websites. I currently cover all film-related articles and interviews with actors/filmmakers for Pride Life magazine (which comes out every three months) and its website, writing film/theatre reviews. I also write for Here is the City – film/theatre reviews as well as film/theatre features, and this past year I have written a few theatre reviews and other non-entertainment related articles for The American magazine and its website. I used to write for In Touch magazine as well as for Squaremile.com – In Touch ceased publication a couple of years ago and I haven’t written for Squaremile.com since last summer when I did an Olympics piece for them. I did an Olympics piece for TNT Magazine last year and for City A.M. I sent them one small blurb, which they published. I was proud of that one!
Last year I was lucky enough to be involved in the Olympics as a volunteer. I was in the Opening Ceremonies, and the Paralympic Opening and Closing as well. We were sworn to secrecy to not give any details out about these ceremonies to anyone, especially the Danny Boyle directed Opening, so as a writer it was hard for me not to write about them, but I did manage to save the secret and to be a part of history and it was the most incredible time of my life.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
The most enjoyable (and memorable to me) work that I do is when I cover film festivals. I have been to Cannes a few times, as well as the Sundance, London Film and London Lesbian & Gay Film Festivals and what is most memorable to me (and I hope to my readers) is the different types of films that I cover.
Which films have you most enjoyed covering/were most excited about when reporting on film festivals?
I get most out of watching/covering films that no one knows much about. Film festivals are a great place to see films from around the world that unfortunately will never get released. I have seen lots of gems at these festivals, then for them never to be heard from again.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I guess any and all would be the best answer to this question. I would love the challenge to write more in-depth interviews with celebrities and hope to do so later this year.
When I see a really, really bad movie (the recent 'I'm So Excited', as an example), I want to ask the stars and film makers "What were you thinking?!"
About you and PRs
Where do you source ideas for articles?
I read lots of magazines every week, as well as daily newspapers and get lots of ideas from them. Also, I am very much tuned in to what is happening in London and elsewhere so I always have lots of ideas. I wish I had more time in the day to write about all of them.
How can PRs be useful to you?
I am not too sure if they know how to reach me, but I guess through the JournalistDirectory, via twitter @timbaros, or email. Carrie Thatcher at the FDA has been very helpful in providing me with information on upcoming film releases and invitations to film events. This really helps when I write articles.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Anytime is fine.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Any interractions I get, whether it be at parties, events, meetings, anything, is very useful to me as it gives me more of a taste and flavour of how to cover a specific film or event.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Contact me more!
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I have a day job that pays my bills but am trying to become a journalist full-time. I am on my way!
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
It would pay for my trip to next year’s Cannes Film Festival.
A professional journalist through and through! Do you find social media useful in your work?
I do tweet and find it extremely useful to let filmmakers and actors know about a piece I have written about them. They normally do tweet back to me thanking me for the coverage, which is always nice!
What are your top three films of all time?
Last year at the London Film Festival I saw 'Laurence Anyways', which had a theatrical release earlier this year and is now available on DVD. It is about a man who transitions into being a woman and the strain it has on his relationship with his girlfriend. Beautifully told and shot, directed by 23 year old Xavier Dolan – what a masterpiece. I also think 'Sophie's Choice' – with an amazing performance by Meryl Streep – and 1950's 'Sunset Boulevard' are the best films ever.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
As I mentioned above, I read several magazines a week, and these include the freebies passed out everyday in London – Time Out, ShortList, Stylist, Sport magazine, and TNT Magazine (very useful for upcoming events in London). I also read Vanity Fair from cover to cover as well as New York Magazine to keep me up-to-date on what is happening in my former city. I also devour the local community papers as I want to keep abreast as to what is happening locally.
I don’t have much time to read blogs, though my next door neighbor just started up www.zeitgeistafrica.com – a blog that shares stories of change makers, social entrepreneurs and organisations helping to transform Africa in their unique ways.
I wish I had more time to read books, though at the moment I am reading 'The Tools' – a book that helps one to find courage, creativity and willpower, and to inspire to live life in forward motion. I am on page ten, so have yet to get anything out of it! I really do enjoy reading adventure books, and I think in the past ten years I must have read about two dozens books on people's adventures (and tragedies) climbing Mount Everest. Going to Base Camp is on my bucket list, though thankfully not at the top!
You can find Tim tweeting @timbaros. And you can find a 'Fast & Furious' film at every cinema, everywhere, forever.