When it comes to getting an opinion on movies, people used to turn to Siskel and Ebert to get either two thumbs up or two thumbs down on a feature film. But times have changed since they were on the air, and now most students turn to their peers, Internet reviews and/or advertising; but for USC alumnus David Freedman, Siskel and Ebert are the two men who inspired him to start his own show. “I was at Café 84, sitting and having dinner with some friends after seeing a movie. There was a group of undergraduates at the next table talking about it,” Freedman says. “I thought what a great idea for a show. ‘Siskel & Ebert’ was the inspiration growing up, and this show is the remake of that show … [It’s] multicultural and younger.”

“Just Seen It” is an unscripted Web-based show posted online at justseenit.com. The show consists of a panel of graduate students discussing a film. The graduate students are primarily from USC, but the show will also feature graduates from NYU and UCLA. They are all masters or Ph.D. students in production, critical studies and/or screen writing. Freedman is the creator and show runner for the 7-month-old show that premiered in January 2011. He recently obtained his Masters in Film and TV production at USC and was one of the founding members of Moviefone (777-FILM).

The five to six-minute long show discusses the most recent films that have been released on the big screen. The review covers the film’s cinematography, story and writing, casting/acting, directing and production values.

“We always cover story and writing; it’s the foundation of every movie,” Freedman says.

The reviewers discuss all topics and then give their opinion for moviegoers to either “see it – in theaters,” “stream it – at home” or “skip it – altogether.” The reviewers hold ticket stubs and place them in the middle of the table after giving their verdict over the film.

“[This is the] only review show in the world to say see it, stream it or skip it … it’s the way people think on every other review show it’s either good, ok or bad,” Freedman says. “We try to [review] all types of movies … We have an amazing cast and crew that can post and produce four or five segments every week; we want to do all the big releases.”

But they also screen independent films as well such as The Tree of Life and Win/Win. Reviews come out about a week before the film hits the big screens. They have screened movies such as Our Idiot Brother, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Columbiana. Most recently, the show reviewed Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, One Day, Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night.

Right before every new season, a broadcast e-mail is sent to all cinematic students at USC for open auditions for cast and crewmembers. Although primarily run by graduate students, the show also welcomes undergraduates who are passionate about movies as well.

The show has released its 75th episode and continues to grow. The show is filmed in three closed sets: one of a lounge, a restaurant and a living room setting. Freedman says that before filming an episode, the cast and crew goes through a 45-minute prep. It also takes 45 minutes to shoot an episode, and for all students involved it’s a good working experience.

Although only a Web-based show at the moment, Freedman looks to expand his show so that it may reach a wider audience.

“We would love to keep building our following, love to get it on a national broadcast medium, spreading the word and letting people find out about the show,” Freedman says. “I love movies, I love TV and I love this show; I hope the show will get a wide audience to follow it.”

For more information, visit justseenit.com.

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