Here's how I use it on a Nikon in "Metered Manual" mode:
- Point the metering rectangle at the part of the scene I want to assess.
- Adjust the controls (speed or aperture) until the meter indicates the zone I want that element to fall on (It might read +2 for a white object, +1 for caucasian skin, -2 for dark shadows etc etc).
- Sweep the scene to check the exposure of the other elements in the scene. If the meter indicates more than +2 or less than -2, I'll assess whether I can live without those on my final tranny and make adjustments to the exposure if needed.

Your choice of film only dictates which end (+2 or -2) you choose as the most important part of the scene. The method of checking the scene doesn't change.