Criticism isn’t anything we like to hear, but it can be expected, especially as a filmmaker. Even today’s greatest directors have heard criticisms throughout their career. Criticism isn’t exactly a bad thing. It’s true that every filmmaker’s style may not be to everyone’s liking, but it is always worth taking ideas on board to consider for the future. Filmmakers should be open to criticism, although you may be tempted to get defensive. You should feel confident about your work, but it is equally important to take criticisms the right way. Here is how to take criticism as a filmmaker.
First of all, know that criticism is part of the industry. There will always be critics, no matter how experienced you are in the industry. Know to expect it and not to take it personally. It’s all about how you handle it that counts.
You know criticism is going to come your way, so you can choose to ignore it or listen. Always listen and do so with an open mind. Refrain from feeling the need to jump in and justify your actions or be defensive as this time is just for listening. Make notes if you have to so you can look them over later and take the time to digest what is being said. This will allow you to approach the criticism with a much clearer mind instead of reacting perhaps a bit too harshly without thinking.
Think about what has been said. Is it authentic and does it relate to your work? Is the critic coming from a sincere place? Were the points valid? Try to see things from their point of view. Not everyone will see films the same way you do, so keep this in mind. If you are filming for a particular audience, it is especially important to take their opinions on board. These are the people who would potentially be paying to see what you have created, after all.
If you’re not totally sure and want a second opinion, ask a trusted friend who you know will tell you the truth, even if it’s not what you want to hear.
If the criticism is genuine, then take it on board and learn from it. Accept that what they say may be valid and worth taking on board for the future. The truth is that no filmmaker is “perfect” and sometimes the criticisms that come our way is coming from a good place. Learn from the critics instead of always dismissing them.
Once you have determined what changes are being suggested to you and how to do it, act now. Show that you are open to change and making justified adjustments when needed. You should only make the changes that you think are right to make without taking away from what makes your style unique.
As previously mentioned, criticisms are just part of any job in the performing arts industry and shouldn’t be anything to be scared of. Filmmaking can be an incredibly rewarding career, especially if you take criticisms properly as outlined above. If you’re looking for a way to take those first steps towards that career, TPAC’s Screen and Media Film Making diploma could be for you. With this filmmaking course, students discover the art of screenwriting, producing, special effects, post-production and more to give all the skills needed to create stunning cinematography.
Contact us or apply today to get enrolled in the next Screen and Media Film Making course or discover some of the other performing arts courses TPAC have on offer. We are committed to seeing our students reach their goals of a career in performing arts.