Tommy Edison / Blind Film Critic

Tommy Edison / Blind Film Critic

Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 02:45PM EDT by amanda b..

Added Jul 25, 2013 at 03:07PM EDT by amanda b..

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Tommy Edison is a YouTuber who vlogs about his unique experiences and perspectives as a blind person. Though Edison is most-well known for his personal vlogs, he began his YouTube career by reviewing movies on the channel Blind Film Critic.

Online History

On April 15th, 2011, Edison launched his first YouTube channel Blind Film Critic[1] with the help of producer Ben Churchill.[2] The pilot episode featured a review of the newly released horror film Scream 4 (shown below), in which Edison mentions that there are multiple segments with 4-5 minutes of silence, making it hard for him to follow. In the episode, he plays a clip of the film’s audio track without its visual counterpart to demonstrate the difficulty in following a plot without the sense of sight. As of July 2013, Blind Film Critic’s YouTube channel has more than 75 video uploads, 15,700 subscribers and 2.1 million views. In addition, all of the episodes in the web series are also available as a podcast on iTunes.[9]

In September 2011, after publishing 25 episodes and movie trailer mashups, Edison began experimenting with more personal videos on his YouTube channel, including one documenting a trip to the ATM (shown below, right). Throughout the month, the video was featured on Viral Viral Videos[3], Buzzfeed[5], the Consumerist[6], Boing Boing[7] and eBaum’s World.[8] Encouraged by the success of the ATM video, Edison and Churchill launched The Tommy Edison Experience[4] channel to document other aspects of his everyday life, such as playing sports, operating a DVD player and cooking among many others. As of July 2013, this YouTube channel has nearly 85 uploads, amassing more than 106,000 subscribers and 9.3 million views.

News Media Coverage

On April 18th, 2011, Urlesque[20] wrote about Edison’s pilot review of Scream 4, pointing out how much one can learn about a movie without visual cues. In May 2011, less than a month after the launch of Blind Film Critic, Edison was interviewed by ABC News[15] (shown below) about his web series, followed by many other news outlets including TIME Newsfeed[16], USA Today, PopCandy[17] and The Huffington Post.[19] In 2012, Edison’s videos continued to garner attention from mainstream media, leading to profile articles by The Atlantic[21], USAToday[22] and Laughing Squid[23], among others.

On Instagram

In January 2013, Edison gained more attention for his Instagram account[14], which he launched in June 2012. The account was lauded by tech and photography blogs for its unique process, impressive quality and use of hashtags, including Gizmodo[24], PetaPixel[25], Engadget[26], New York Daily News[27] and the Huffington Post.[28] As of July 2013, he has more than 32,000 followers on the photo sharing app.

Notable Videos

Personal Life

Tommy Edison was born blind and began working as radio disk jockey in 1987. Two years later, he became the nation’s first blind traffic reporter. In 1994, he was offered a traffic reporting position with Connecticut’s STAR 99.9 FM, where he relies on a police scanner and commuter tips.[18] In 2009, Connecticut governor Jodi Rell declared May 21st Tommy Edison Day for his dedication and service to the community.[10] Edison maintains active accounts on a number of social media websites including Twitter[11], Facebook[12], Tumblr[13] and Instagram.[14]

Search Interest

External References

[1]YouTube – BlindFilmCritic’s channel

[2]Blind Film Critic – About Ben Churchill

[3]Viral Viral Videos – Blind Man Uses ATM

[4]YouTube – Tommy Edison Experience’s Channel

[5]Buzzfeed – How Does A Blind Man Use The ATM?

[6]The Consumerist – What It’s Like For A Blind Man To Use An ATM For The First Time

[7]BoingBoing – Blind person uses ATM for first time

[8]eBaum’s World – Blind Man Uses ATM

[9]iTunes – Tommy Edison

[10]Intro Magazine – State of Connecticut to Proclaim Day in Honor of America’s First Blind Traffic Reporter in Millford.

[11]Twitter – @BlindFilmCritic

[12]Facebook – Tommy Edison

[13]Tumblr – Blind Film Critic

[14]Instagram – BlindFilmCritic

[15]ABC News – Blind Film Critic Tommy Edison Taking Internet by Storm

[16]TIME Newsfeed – Q&A: Tommy Edison, The Blind Film Critic With a Big YouTube Following

[17]USA Today Pop Candy – Meet Tommy Edison, the Blind Film Critic

[18]New York Times – Connecticut Q&A: Tommy Edison; On the Air About Traffic, and Blind

[19]Huffington Post – Blind Film Critic Tommy Edison Reviews ‘Thor’ (VIDEO)

[20]Urlesque – Blind Film Critic Reviews Scream 4

[21]The Atlantic – How Tommy Edison, the ‘Blind Film Critic,’ Became a YouTube Sensation

[22]USA Today – Blind movie critic Tommy Edison educates the masses

[23]Laughing Squid – Colors According to a Blind Person

[24]Gizmodo – How Blind People Use Instagram

[25]PetaPixel – Tommy Edison: Instagrammer, Film Critic, and Blind Since Birth

[26]Engadget on AOLTommy Edison demonstrates how the blind can connect with Instagram

[27]NY Daily News – Blind photographer snaps Instagram photos, shares with followers using a little help from Apple’s Siri

[28]Huffington Post – Blind Instagrammer Tommy Edison Sees The World By Photographing It (PHOTOS)

Recent Videos 15 total

Recent Images 3 total

Top Comments


Kind of a neat insight into the way blind people process things.
I’m glad he’s chosen to put this stuff up. A neat channel by a cool guy.
Few people can say their films were reviewed by a blind critic. :D


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