How To Handle Criticism Of Your Work

Everyone has an opinion in the film world. Everyone’s a critic. Sometimes they have a point, sometimes they don’t. Often times the issue that people have with your script is not the real issue. Dig deep. Find out what people are really reacting to. It may not even be an issue with your script.

Don’t take everything to heart. Some people are simply dumping their issues with the entertainment industry on your script. Other times, they have hijacked your script and diverted it to their preferred destination.

Ultimately it’s your script. Your story. Your decisions. Unless it’s been sold. Then it belongs to the producers. You can’t tell the new owners how to decorate after you’ve sold your house to them.

Unless your material has been purchased by a third party, you aren’t obligated to take any notice. However, if you’re receiving similar feedback on the same aspects of your script from multiple people, you may want to step back and examine the issues. Something may not be clear, incongruous or extraneous to the story.

Take critique for what it is; opinions. The only criticism you should flatly reject is abuse.

Understand the context of your critique. Are you receiving general notes on the quality of your script? Or is the reader looking for something in particular? They may be looking for a particular genre, a locale, or role for a particular person. For instance, Roger Avary wrote ‘Killing Zoe on the basis of an empty bank being available to shoot in.

A producer has budgetary concerns. Your scene in outer space may not be achievable on your $50000 budget. They may want make your script more appealing to A list talent, or simply make it more sellable.

Look at a producer’s slate. Their notes may reflect a deficit in their slate, hence notes like “can this be a romantic comedy?” or “make this scarier (or funnier).

Receiving criticism and rejection is a normal part of any creative endeavor whether it be writing, art or music.

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