The Twin Geeks Style Guide

Writing

Word count

All articles at least 400 words

This is a minimum. Please feel free to exceed these numbers and use all of the words you need to make your point!

Types of Content

  • Reviews
  • Editorials
  • Lists
  • Podcasts
  • Double Features
  • Second Chances

Editing

Every staff member is the content editor of their section. This means they’ll provide oversight and final call on the pieces that’ll run on their part of the website. We are all content editors and the image is of a small team working thoroughly on their topic of choice. Have an article idea? Clear it with one of our section editors and they’ll help workshop the piece into everything you want it to be.

Calvin – Film reviews

Kevin – Television reviews

David – Editorial

In WordPress, mark all in progress pieces WIP and all ready to edit pieces as R2E in the article title. When a draft is ready to edit on WordPress, let an editor know and they’ll assist you with proofing and workshopping the piece and help you find a place on the schedule.

Writing reviews

Reviews will be critique focused with an emphasis on reviewing new releases. There is no single style – we encourage creativity and personal values here – but there will be a general guideline for quality. The review should offer the author’s perspective with each part giving structure to their overall argument.

For classic films, there are two ways to go with context – reviewing the films as they were at release and reviewing them as they are now. Both are valid, just make sure it’s clear which one you’re doing.

Scoring

We’ll be utilizing a ten-point system for reviews. This translates cleanly from the Letterboxd star system we’re all familiar with. It’s much clearer what you mean when you say 7/10 than 3.5 stars. Include “/10”, with the first number in bold, so it’s always clear what we’re using for a scale.

Conventions for writing titles and years

Always use American release dates and titles for consistency’s sake. This will help stay on the same page across all articles as to what year films are from and how they qualify for end-of-year content.

When introducing film titles within a piece, follow them with parenthesis and the year: i.e. Under the Skin (2014). Note the title is italicized but the year is not. This is only needed within the first reference. If the piece references multiple titles with the same name and different years, reference throughout. This is not required for films reviewed within the same year of their release to prevent redundancy.

Writing editorials

Editorials are meat and potatoes content. These are the pieces that will define our tone and show our collective editorial voice. Like reviews, there are several ways to go, from an op-ed (or opinion piece) to a scholarly analysis. Again, every style is valid and welcomed but make clear which one you’re doing for each piece.

Writing lists

Lists are a necessary part of attracting site interest. They are the most easily and widely shared content on websites. We’ll put a lot of thought into making these clever and doing something new each time these come together. There will be a couple standardized group lists a year – for film of the year, most anticipated of the year, and then those will repeat midyear. These and other periodic staff lists will be written under a Twin Geeks Staff account which is shared by everyone. Authors involved will receive credit within each article they’re involved in.

Avoid listicles and and anything so simple as a top 10 without descriptions. We want to make content that’ll keep people with us and encourage them to explore more of the site’s content. We’re going to put a high value and standard on lists because when they’re done well, they’ll be our biggest driver for traffic.

Writing Double Features

Double Features are articles focused on taking two films with similar themes or ideas and comparing how they are both executed. The films should be presented of equal stature, without favoring one over the other. Avoid going in depth on the plot details of either film as the focus of the piece should remain on the quality that both films share. Typically, both films will be introduced and briefly summarized (one to two sentence descriptions) and then the shared theme/idea will be highlighted. From there, the article will discuss how each film addresses the shared theme/idea, how they compare to one another, and what that comparison reveals about both films.

Images

Space your images symmetrically throughout the text. This means give an even gap between the number of paragraphs and images. You can use single images or create a small album of images but try to organize these consistently within the frame of your work.

When possible, utilize images that convey the central concepts from the text around them. If the text and images work together, they can showcase exactly what you’re saying within a review.

Multimedia use is also encouraged here when it will enhance your argument.

Fair use

We are covered to use any images and gifs from films under fair use, as we are supplying the added value of criticism of the work. Do use photos directly from films but stay away from artistic interpretations, fan art, etc., etc. When using outside materials, a simple attribution will work – i.e. Courtesy: Name of Photographer.

Captions

Always caption the name of the film in an image. If it’s from the film, use the title (and optionally: you can include the actors in the shot.)

PR

Twin Geeks is a PR focused website. We are about creating strong and lasting connections in the film industry. Everyone will eventually receive their own personal email where they can professionally conduct all of their PR. Effective PR follows all embargos, is timely, and expresses clearly the interests of our site.

When applying for festivals, we’ll provide you with an editorial request written on company letterhead, expressing your purpose at their event and expressing our content plans for coverage.

Publishing priority

Embargoed content always receives first priority due to PR. To that end, anything received as a screener or covered during a festival will be fast-tracked asap.

After this, passion is our main motivator to publish.

Publishing schedules will be clearly formatted and shared with all writers so they have a highly visible outline and a reasonable expectation for when their work will appear on the site.

If someone’s spent a month on a piece, do expect that to receive significant time as a featured article. The same goes for high-priority reviews. This will all be handled with the needs of our writers and their written work as our first interest. We work with, not against you, to ensure you have the best possible placement on the site.

Views

Views are important but more important is creating a sustainable place to work with content we’re proud of. We celebrate the success of an author’s work and especially viewing milestones but do not hold it as a competition or as a measure of their success with a piece. Our pride and belief in everyone involved outweighs any number of views we can receive. Articles will blow up and occasionally go viral but that is always the author’s success and we will recognize that.

Sharing

We’ll have dedicated Facebook & Twitter pages run with a consistent and professional voice. This means celebrating our work first. They should not include any slander or controversy from other sites.

Individuals are responsible for making their own posts on Reddit. This is to encourage everyone to respond to the discourse about their own content and to prevent confusion on Reddit. Always look for specific subreddits that reflect your topic. Follow the guidelines of each community so we keep our name in good standing on their boards and can go back for more.

Staff contact

davidallenpunch@gmail.com

kevinlever25@gmail.com

calvinkemph@yahoo.com

2fancy2clown@gmail.com

jsparks507@gmail.com

New staff email addresses will eventually be provided.

Staff social media

Twitter

https://twitter.com/DavidAPunch

https://twitter.com/kevinlever

https://twitter.com/Calvin_Kemph

Letterboxd

David https://letterboxd.com/buildmygalowshi/

Kevin https://letterboxd.com/kevinlever/

Calvin https://letterboxd.com/calvinkemph/

Jesse https://letterboxd.com/mariachi507/

Graham https://letterboxd.com/FancyClown/