Film reviewers’ friends or foes
As indie filmmakers’ reviews are very important, or are they? well, the aim surely must be that filmmakers want people to enjoy their films or why would we bother to make them. However, that may all depend on what you want out of this filmmaking game. For me personally I try and live my life the best way I can, with an inner integrity that I hold close, this is also the same integrity I rely on when making films. It is easy to define someone based on the films that they make rather than the person that they really are. I’m really not that bothered about what anyone says or believes about me on a personal level, because once I have a vision then that is my gaze on film which I’ve put out to the world, it’s a personal outlook that is etched into pictures from my mind. Filmmakers must remember that this can be very dangerous as more often than not audiences may hate what they see, yet I can’t help what I see or how I see it for which I won’t compromise especially for the reward of a few empty pats on the back, when in reality all I would have achieved is to have picked my own pocket and for what? However, let’s get back to the subject of film reviewers. they will rip you a new arse hole if your film is not to their liking, some will take into account budget while others will not care, some are forgiving of your lack of resources while some are not. As a filmmaker There is very little room for error when it comes to reviews, you need to hit all the plus points because if you don’t a loop hole opens for the critics to jump all over your film and feast upon your demise. This is when you will fall into a sadness because the people you have made the film for have not enjoyed your art, your vision, your hard work. Then comes the anger, who do these reviewers think they are criticising my film when they don’t know how much hard work has gone into this project.
Ok, calm down, this is the reality of it in my opinion, I will reiterate this is only my opinion.
If you are in a position to get your films reviewed then you are already on the right course, if you are not willing to except a reviewer’s point of view however harsh then maybe you shouldn’t ask the question in the first place, especially if you don’t want the answer. Honesty is a rare commodity these days so if you get such feedback then run with it, learn from it, and embrace it. Once this is accomplished you will own it. Remember the reviewer has done you as the filmmaker the courtesy of sitting through your film, not only as a viewer but as a note taker, an analyst, picking over the bones to contemplate how the film has made them feel. Of course they know how much work has gone into your film over time, why, because they have reviewed film after film in the same time period, they have taken the time to get back to all the filmmakers who have asked them for their services. Then we have the filmmaker who reacts badly by fighting back at the reviewer, in a tirade of abuse with the use of the same old chestnut, what do you know about film anyway?
We as filmmakers need to remember by digging at reviewers who are only giving us their point of view and after all we must remember we have requested their input; this is nothing more than giving them a bad review of their review. this makes no sense to me.
So, lets sum up by saying we should always make the films we want to make, as a result let everyone see our films and be open to opinions however hard they may be. Stand by your film and don’t be embarrassed by what is after all your vision. Cut the reviewer some slack, don’t ask them for a review if you only want them to say how great you are, if that’s the case then you should ask your mum and dad for a review. Have some integrity and remember we are not great, there is no shame in that we are just trying our best and that goes for both filmmaker and reviewer.
Don’t get personal with reviewers as that holds no substance as you don’t know them on a personal level, this also applies to the reviewer in the same way, always review the film and not the person.
So, to the original question, are reviewers’ friends or foes. Well in my opinion they are always friends, my reasoning for this is you would always expect your friends to be honest with you, and there it is in a nut shell.