Emerson is a writer and film critic with experience in nearly every aspect of making and watching movies, including screenwriting (and re-writing and re-writing), producing, editing, exhibiting, marketing, publishing, interviewing and criticism, and academic study. He is the founding editor-in-chief of, and a contributor to, RogerEbert.com, where he has a blog called Scanners (after the David Cronenberg movie).
Emerson was the editor of the late Microsoft Cinemania, a multimedia movie encyclopedia on CD-ROM and the web, and he has been the editorial director of other massive film-related internet projects, such as Reel.com and FilmPix.com. A member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (while based in L.A. as the movie critic for the Orange County Register), he has written for many on- and off-line outlets, including Knight-Ridder, The Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, Film Comment, The Rocket, the Seattle Weekly, MSN Movies, Premiere, Amazon.com, CinePad.com, and the NPR affiliate KUOW.
Emerson is also the coauthor (with his friend and sometime writing partner, Julia Sweeney) of the play and screenplay, Mea’s Big Apology, and the film, It’s Pat: The Movie, and has been a guest writer for Saturday Night Live. He is a consultant for Sweeney’s acclaimed stage monologue (and eventual film), Letting Go of God. Emerson has programmed films and series for Seattle's Market Theater, the University of Washington, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Floating Film Festival. He lives in Seattle with his dogs, Edith and Lolita, and he loves CWA.