Community Critique: Robbie Ruviews - YouTube Short Film Reviews


(Robbie Ru) #1

On Robbie Ruviews, we take random short films from YouTube and review them. The basic structure is a brief intro, a “live” commentary where I watch the film and give thoughts in real time, honing in on the good and not so good parts of the film, and sharing my overall thoughts on the film.

You can find the link to my channel here: Robbie Ruviews

My favorite episode is probably this one: WHERE IS IT - Short Film Review

I am trying to create a community of people who review each other’s work every week. I am looking to get people engaged and I want to hear their thoughts on the film as well so we can learn from one another.

With this Community Critique, I am looking for ways to engage the audience more and heighten interest in what I do. It’s mainly me talking to the camera with little/no opportunity to add anything creative (i.e. effects, funny cutaways, etc.). I try to inject comedy where I can, but I also don’t want to force it/not be myself within these reviews. I take them pretty seriously and I feel if I joke too much, I could offend the filmmaker. Here are my main questions:

  • What could I do to be more engaging?

  • Is there anything that I can be doing better from either a filmmaking perspective or a personality perspective?

  • Does this format work?

  • Is this something that grabs your interest?

I would love to hear your thoughts on how I can improve my content to engage my audience! Thank you!


(Bri Castellini) #2

@mintypineapple @movieguyjon @kmd @alwaysafilmgeek @ghettonerdgirl @samlockie @Meg


(Bri Castellini) #3

Hey Robbie! I’m gonna organize this critique the way you organize your reviews in the video description :slight_smile:

The Good:

  • You’re an engaging, funny host, and I’m immediately drawn in because you seem like someone I’d want to talk about movies with
  • I like that you’re clearly savvy about filmmaking and screenwriting- it’s always grating to watch a movie review from someone who has no idea how to structure a plot or film a basic scene.

The Could-Be-Improved:

  • You can definitely cut out a lot of your commentary- you tend to repeat yourself a lot and redundantly emphasize things in trying to come to a conclusion in your speaking without doing a jump cut, which is something I totally relate to. I do that too, but you have the benefit of video editing, so lean into that. Concisely state your point and move on- we’ll get everything we need in about a third of the time.
  • Part of that could be prep- I’m not sure if you have a script or an outline of things you want to hit, but I’d recommend prepping a bit more beforehand so you aren’t tempted to ramble.
  • The videos are also long due to your live commentary portion, and I’m thinking maybe the way to do it is to have two videos- one just for a review and a few select clips either from the live commentary or from the film itself, and then one live commentary. I know I rarely enjoy live commentaries just because of how it sometimes requires the host to just say things to maintain the fair-use of it all (ie- talking constantly to make it clear they’re transforming the piece instead of just presenting it in its entirety), but I do like reviews that take clips from a thing they’re reviewing to commentate on (like you do later in the video). This not only doubles the videos you can use to promote, but it also appeals to both kinds of viewers- people looking for fun and interesting reviews but have less time, and people who like watching an engaging person live-react to a thing.

All in all, you were an upbeat, engaging, well-spoken host, and I really enjoyed watching! I may also be sending you an email soon… though my short is 14 minutes so I dunno if you do films that are that long (especially with your live commentary bit)


(Meg Carroway) #4

Watching now!


(Meg Carroway) #5

This was really cute! Loved “Boo-views.”

I agree with Bri that the video could probably be like half as long… though I actually liked the live commentary a lot. It was my favorite part! Are all the films you review that short, or do you sometimes only do selections from your live commentary if the film is over 10 minutes?

The intro could definitely be shorter- I like your personality right off the bat but I’d rather the video just get started rather than spending like two minutes with an introduction that doesn’t give me any info I won’t get immediately from the review.

Overall, this was really cool, and I’ll definitely watch more! But 12 minutes is pretty long for a video reviewing a 4 minute film.


(sam lockie-waring) #6
  • What could I do to be more engaging? i think you could definitely edit a lot more, which other people mentioned. i almost want to see you edit to the pace of your speech- snappier, making jokes of shorter cuts, things of that nature if that makes sense. you have a snappy, upbeat vibe but your edit lets to wallow in single cuts too long and that can be hard to get into
  • Is there anything that I can be doing better from either a filmmaking perspective or a personality perspective? personality is dope my man, filmmaking just the editing thing, honestly. and maybe some more contrast between whatever outfit you wear and your background- in your normal non halloween vids your background is pretty dark and colorless so wearing something brighter/with a bold color might look nice against it.
  • Does this format work? i think the format works, with more cutting for sure. quicker intro, maybe cutting around the more boring parts of your live commentary especially if you have nothing to say but an exclamation or two, and definitely a tighter review portion.
  • Is this something that grabs your interest? for sure- i like that you’re looking at indie stuff. not enough people do that.

(Jonathan Hardesty) #7

You’ve got a really fun thing going on and I really enjoy it.

Some thoughts.

Going to mirror what @Bri_Castellini and a few others mentioned in that the videos are currently too long and the pace is a bit slow for the format you’re working in (youtube personality, vlogger, etc). I 100% think you can get at least two shorter videos out of one short film or webseries episode. The live-commentary is fun and if you really amp up your personality and reaction to them that can be very entertaining. The more essay-like critique and breakdown can and should be its own video, and if you want to make a fun challenge for yourself you could set your critique time limit to be however long the short film or episode is itself. Someone made a minute and a half long short, you’ve got a minute and a half to encompass everything. Could be fun!

If you consider breaking them up into two videos, you could always use a thoughtful face picture on your thumbnail for the critique and a really emotive face for the live-reaction.

Oh, and feel free to let yourself get scared and freak out for those horror shorts. That is fun to watch. We can relate to not wanting to have the earbuds in during a scary moment. :smiley:

Hope this unorganized ramble of mine is helpful! Good stuff here!

That’s the big thing I noticed here. You’re having fun, and that’s fun to watch.


(Robbie Ru) #8

Hi Bri!

First of all, thank you so much. I really appreciate the time you took to critique my work! I absolutely agree with you! I tried one episode without any commentary and people didn’t really like that so I have been hesitant to mess with that aspect of it, but cutting it down/making 2 videos could be really great. I will be sure to take your notes into consideration!

Send your film on through! I just reviewed a 20 minute film so that’s about my maximum length. :slight_smile:


(Robbie Ru) #9

I typically play the entire film and have commentary. As I was telling Bri, I have a 20 minute film coming up next.

Fair enough! I will definitely cut that intro down. I’ve been experimenting on ways to make it more engaging but this may be the most effective way.

Awesome! Thank you! I will be sure to find ways to cut it down, that’s probably the biggest flaw with my format. :slight_smile:


(Robbie Ru) #10

Thank you for your thoughts! I will be sure to find some ways to cut down my episode length. I appreciate it!


(Robbie Ru) #11

I like the critique time limit idea! That could be really cool to do! Great idea! I’ll be sure to give you the credit if I end up doing so, hahaha.

I really appreciate you taking the time to critique my work. I will definitely put your notes into consideration. Much appreciated! :smiley: