It was recently brought to my attention that there was a podcast called “God Awful Movies” (really that’s the name of their podcast.) For an hour and a half they review a Christian movie and completely rip it to shreds.
Now, I’m not sure what is worse about this podcast, the fact that these people have dedicated their lives to making fun of Christians, or making fun of people’s hard work creating a movie. But nonetheless, this podcast spent an hour and thirty-eight minutes to go through my film “Catching Faith” and rip it apart scene by scene.
I probably shouldn’t have listened to this podcast, but it started out kind of funny, and I was able to laugh along with it until it got out of hand, and they personally attacked the people involved in this film including myself.
It took me a couple of days to shake the insults these men spewed out, and then I realized, I should take it as the highest form of a compliment that they spent such a long time discussing my film. I mean, isn’t that actually a form of flattery?
Either way, I know I cannot please everyone with my films, and I have gotten really good at ignoring the negative noise that comes when you are willing to put your work out there. I suggest you do the same, don’t make a film to impress someone else, make something that impresses you.
My best advice for filmmakers is to grow thick skin, because freedom of speech is a good thing, and when we put our work out there, we must be willing to receive the “hate” that comes along with the “love.” There is no such thing as a “perfect” movie, although some people have tried to convince me there is (these people have never actually made a movie, mind you) and art is subjective, if you went around a room and asked everyone what was “good” they would all give you a different answer.
The alternative is to hold on tight to your “work” and never put it out there for fear of rejection or criticism. But like Seth Godin often says in his blogs, you must “ship it.” You must at some point say, ok this is good enough, and let it go, send it out there and move on to the next project. And if you’re afraid of the negative noise, then don’t look up reviews on your films, that is a simple way to avoid it.
At the end of the day, be brave, create what you love, and ignore the people who “love” to “hate” other people’s hard work. I bet most of the negative comments that are left on reviews for films are from people who have never made a movie. And it is so easy to hide behind a computer screen and spend an hour “bashing” on someone else’s hard work. That’s easy; the hard thing is putting in two years of your life to creating a piece of cinema!
So know that if you are making movies, you are the small percentage of people who are actually doing “it.” Pat yourself on the back, heck give yourself a HUGE hug. You are AMAZING!
If it were easy everyone would do it!
“Critics should find meaningful work.” John Grisham