Pass the Mic with Amy Nicholson

May 6, 2024

Meet Amy Nicholson, co-host of the podcast Unspooled. In addition to podcasting, Amy is a film critic for Variety and KPCC's "Film Week." Her other credits include the Los Angeles Times, Movieline, Deadline, New York Magazine, and many more. She has served on the jury for Sundance and SXSW and screened submissions for film festivals such as Sundance, AFI, and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Her criticism and investigative features have been recognized by the Los Angeles Press Club, the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards, and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. And to top it all off, Amy is also a published author. 

Amy sat down with Sophie Anderson, Associate Director, Sales Marketing, Podcasts, as part of our creator-focused season of Pass the Mic. In her interview, Amy talked about making room for her own voice in a crowded industry and her advice to the next generation of creators. Check out her full interview and some highlights we love below.

Let others fill in their part.

Let others fill in their part - Amy Nicolson

Highlight: “I feel like that should be the total goal of criticism, having everybody weigh in on everything. And maybe you don't get all of the subtext, but you get your interesting part of it, and somebody else can fill in their part. And you can come from this point of view, and I think all of that adds together to a beautiful portrait of a film.” - Amy Nicholson

Stand out from the rest.

Stand out from the rest - Amy Nicolson

Highlight: “Nobody's actually covering anything from a fun, female point of view. It felt like there was just a lane where I could easily come in and not sound like everybody else. And so I felt as though, not trying to play the game on the standard quote unquote film bro terms.” - Amy Nicholson

Always sound like you.

Always Sound Like You - Amy Nicolson

Highlight: “Always try to sound exactly like who you are and what you're thinking and what you're feeling. I've noticed that younger critics coming up are really steeped in the world of Twitter and social media. Kind of a groupthink, where they're nervous about people getting mad at them on Twitter if they don't agree with a certain opinion. And so, it's become a little harder for people to make sure they know their own voice because there's so many other voices shouting at you to agree with them all the time.” - Amy Nicholson

Find what you like.

Find what you like - Amy Nicolson

Highlight: “My first semester of college, I changed majors three times. I was like, is this psychology? Is it sociology? And then I realized it was anthropology—this idea of studying a culture with a little bit of anthropological distance. And then I realized that that's exactly what Hollywood does, all the time. They study us and they're like, what will make millions of people buy tickets to a movie about computer hackers who rollerblade? Or superheroes who make you feel the world's going to be okay? Or are we angry? Do we want to watch The Joker? All of that is advertising in the world, or it has its shared core identity of: What are people hungry for and what do they want us to serve them?” - Amy Nicholson

Show up like you belong.

Show up like you belong - Amy Nicolson

Highlight: “Walk into a room or walk onto the microphone like you're supposed to be there. That whatever you think is interesting is probably interesting to somebody else. If you really think that there's a story that you just need to know everything about and you want everybody else to know what you're learning about, you're probably not alone.”  - Amy Nicholson

Want to hear more content from Amy? Check out her full episode on our podcast. And when you’re ready for even more inspiration, check out our Pass the Mic page

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