Movie blog attracts big following
Stevee Taylor's bedroom walls are plastered with posters showing the faces of Hollywood stars and directors; they provide her with movie-musing fodder for her motion picture passion.
The 17-year-old film critic hunkers down almost every night with her laptop and writes her award-winning movie blog called Cinematic Paradox.
She has more than 200 followers and her site has been viewed more than 50,000 times.
Since beginning her blog in 2009, the Dannevirke High School student has scooped her fair share of "Lammys", or Large Association of Movie Bloggers awards.
In this year's Lammys she was nominated for best blog, best rating system, best awards coverage, best running feature and the best blog design.
Her dad owns the town's Blockbuster rental store, so Stevee has free access to the latest DVDs.
The family perk means she's normally in store on a Tuesday snatching the new releases before they're put on the shelf for the public.
Her inside access to a wide range of movies and her love of writing has seen her blog develop and grow in the past few years, she says.
"When I started blogging I was absolutely awful at it.
"But as you go along, you learn a lot from other bloggers and I've learnt a few tricks of the trade."
The secret to keeping her online popularity is looking after her followers, she says.
"Blogging is really hard to become popular at and I had a problem when I started, I was always like: ‘Why is no-one reading my blog?', but it was because I was really crap.
"The trick is just being really nice to your followers and making sure you talk to them and communicate with them.
"I always try to do something different for them instead of just reviewing films, because everybody does that."
So, Stevee reviews a range of films in a range of ways, she says.
Her blog includes 101 movie facts about her, a movie-inspired alphabet, a Dear Hollywood section where she writes to producers telling them how to improve their movies, as well as Underrated Showcase Sundays, where she critiques movies that get a hard time.
She doesn't discriminate over genres and will absorb anything from classic Hollywood flicks to your "warm, fuzzy rom-com".
Her latest likings are Anime, Japanese cartoons made through computer animation, and French New Wave, a type of European art cinema showcasing social issues.
She often gets a worried look from people when she explains her diverse movie tastes, but blogs that she doesn't mind.
"I'm only a 17-year-old girl, so this is quite a hard task, but then again, everyone around my age is supposed to love sadistic horror movies. So I really am not so perverted and sadistic for liking the movies I like."
Stevee has dreams of being a movie director and says to keep an eye on the big screens because her name will be up there one day.
- Manawatu Standard
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