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Everybody’s a critic

USC student group aims to fill review hole

If there’s one thing film students love more than watching movies, it’s sharing their opinions of movies.

Just Seen It, started by recent U. of Southern California film school graduate David Freedman, allows a team of recent USC grads and current masters and doctorate film students to do just that. The Just Seen It group writes, shoots and produces short reviews of films and TV shows a la Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper’s “At the Movies.”

Putting a contempo spin on those shows, Just Seen It caters to a younger demo with online video reviews and a three-part rating system: see it, stream it or skip it.

Shot in the way you’d expect film students to break down a movie they’ve just seen — over drinks with a few close friends — Just Seen It reviews major movies and new TV shows and champions “hidden gems,” lesser-known shows and films near and dear to their hearts. Some recent reviews include “Moneyball,” which earned a “See It!” and “Contagion,” which got a “Stream It!”

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In December, Freedman, who now works for Bill Mechanic’s Pandemonium shingle, and his friends were looking to fill the void left by the now-defunct “At the Movies.” There “wasn’t a really intelligent and entertaining and contentions movie show,” on TV, he said. They shopped the idea for a Just Seen It TV show around and found a cable network that was interested. The net eventually backed out, but Freedman and his friends didn’t give up.

Now JustSeenIt.com has about 40,000 hits per week, 500 registered users, and the team just posted the 100th review to the site. Though the Internet is home to Just Seen It for now, Freedman one day hopes to see Just Seen It on TV.

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