This blog post is not intended to start trouble but simply to help new indie filmmakers avoid the traps I feel into.
One of the most important skills you can learn in your creative journey is to quickly determine the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. An essential part in building your career as an indie filmmaker is to make the best possible contacts that will help you achieve your goals and likewise you can help achieve theirs.
An important thing to remember is that some possible contacts may not be as collaborative as you. If you are unfortunate enough to come across people like these they will not see you a fellow creative but as a competitor. I recently was on the receiving end of a group of these while I tried to get a crowdfunding campaign off the ground. I was already aware that they didn't have much interest in helping on the project as I'd spent the couple of years previous to launching that campaign asking for help on social media and being ignored by them. So I thought from a business perspective if I could raise funding for that project these people may help out for a pay day. I was wrong.
As the campaign launched they became vocal with advice. Through YouTube annalitics I could see Subscriptions dropping off and view counts falling around the area myself and them are based. The campaign ultimately failed due to these people publicly disagreeing with everything I was trying to do. These people would rather offer bad advice than help even with the chance of a pay day from a successful campaign. Remember that destructive cricticism if offered at the right moment can seem like good advice to the untrained eye.
I realised far too late what was happening. If id known then what I'd know now I'd have never tried the crowdfunding campaign. I'd simply wasted too many years looking for help in the wrong place.
In the last year I've made some of the best contacts I'll probably ever make resulting in my film finally getting made and also directing another project written by someone else. This group of people took my script for Conclusions which at that stage I thought was complete and ready to shoot and pointed out it's short comings.
Conclusions had a part which was far too disjointed in the flow of the film. The constructive criticism introduced a new scene to the film which indeed helped the fow and actually ended up being one of the things I'm most proud of in my career to this point. Conclusions is only as good as it is due to that Constructive criticism.
Also some constructive criticism of the finished film has helped in the rewrites I'm doing on the follow ups Ashes and Scars which is making those scripts a whole lot stronger than I was expecting.
Definately question all responses you ever get and get used to working out quickly which is constructive and destructive. This will not win you many friends in fact you'll start losing some friends when you start to call them out on bullshit.
Most important thing to remember is you CAN'T do this stuff alone but you need the right positive likeminded people in your life.
Get out and start creating guys. There is nothing and no one that should be standing in your way when it comes to art.
Dont let em stop you
Big Love Rodders.