The internet has been abuzz in the last couple of weeks with all sorts of new and exciting projects. We’ve seen the launch of the Lone Gun Manifesto, the Multi-Hyphenate “Don’t Make Sh*t” creative statement, some great new short films and the debut of The Production Office, the weekly live show from indie filmmaking guru Chris Jones (of Gone Fishing and The Guerilla Film Maker’s Handbook(s) fame).
The one thing that all these projects and ideas have in common is their creators’ willingness to take on board the views and opinions of other people.
That’s not to say that any of them are bowing to pressure from readers, viewers or supporters to change their visions, but they are seeking a broad range of ideas on what’s right and what’s amiss with their creations in order to better themselves and what they are trying to achieve.
It’s a lesson many writers and filmmakers would do well to learn. Feedback isn’t about people blindly praising or harshly judging you or your script, film or show – it’s about learning what works and what doesn’t from someone else’s point of view.
You’re not always going to agree with what other people think of your work, the important thing is to acknowledge comments and take the time to really consider them.
Case in point: my new screenplay. I’ve just finished a fourth draft of a screenplay that’s very close to my heart and sent it out to my loyal band of 3 readers who I send all my stuff to for feedback. I’ve had another great set of notes from one of them that highlights some issues that I was aware of, some that I hadn’t noticed and some that I disagree with.
The significant point is that even those we disagree with are hugely valuable, because it forces us as writers or filmmakers to justify to ourselves why we don’t agree. It’s no use just saying “No” and ignoring someone – you have to take the time to work out why you disagree and why you want it to stay the way it is.
Feedback can be hard to accept when it’s not the gushing praise you were expecting, but it’s vital to hep create the very best piece of work. Don’t be afraid to offer your darling up and ask people what they think. In the end, it’ll make your baby better.
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