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Saturday, December 26, 2015

An Indie Filmmaker's Guide to reading reviews of their work.

Over the years my movies have gotten a ton of reviews from all kinds of sources. I’ve had glowing reviews, tear-the-movie-part reviews, eh reviews, well-written reviews, reviews that didn’t use spell check and everything in-between.  Early on I got a little more worked up over them, but over the years I’ve mellowed and learned to just have fun with them. I enjoy reading the horrible reviews every bit as much as positive ones. Sure it’s always nice to get praise, but negative reviews can spark interest in your movie just as well.  Anywho, here’s a few guidelines for reading reviews of your work.

  1. Don’t take it too seriously. Sure it’s nice to have someone gush over your work, but you need to remember criticism is subjective and totally dependent on point of view.
  2. There’s no such thing as bad press. A scathing review is as likely to draw in readers as a dick-sucking one.
  3. The worst reviews are apathetic. It’s best to be loved or hated. The only reviews that ever bug me are of the middle-of-the-road take it or leave it variety.
  4. Don’t take it too seriously.
  5. It’s not personal. The reviewer (most likely) doesn’t know you. There’s no axe to grind. And if they do and there is, then it’s not about your movie anyway.
  6. Don’t take it too seriously.
  7. If you’re an actor, remember that movies are a director’s medium. If you get a bad notice, it’s most likely the director’s fault. He or she cast the movie and decided if the performance was “there.” If they took anything less, that’s on them. Another thing to remember is some critics mistake bad dialog for bad performance.**** All that said, sometimes director’s are saddled with certain performers and there’s nothing to be done.
  8. Don’t take it too seriously.
  9. A good review from even a small publication feels good.
  10.  Don’t take it too seriously.
Oh, I almost forgot. Be gracious. If you have the time and info, contact and thank the reviewer (even if the review was bad.)