The Role of Critics in Filmmaking

You’ve got the script, settled the funding and you’ve scouted locations. Scheduling is done, even catering is planned, but have you considered what the critics might say? Critics can be the thorn in your side, or a form of teacher depending on how you let their words affect you.

First, let’s get this out of the way: you’re going to get a bad review at some point in your career. Someone, either someone seeking fame or someone just drumming up controversy, is going to dislike your work. How you handle that will define your career as a filmmaker.

Develop Thick Skin

Mark Kermode has become something of a fan favorite over the years because of his ability to completely skewer films with stinging cynicism. Unfortunately, someone has to be on the receiving end of that cynicism. Someone who may have put a lot of time and heart and soul and effort into a production.

Critics don’t care about your feelings, your career, the time you spend or who you are. And that’s ok because their critiques are not personal. Most of us in film school learn that a critique can contain some harsh doses of reality, but it’s fulfilling to hear sometimes that your work is not amazing.

When you accept that you will always need to improve, you will be free to bring audiences along on your vision instead of just making a movie. The great directors of our time made films grew alongside their careers, making films that captured the essence of their experiences.


Bio: The Matthau Company is a film and television production company based out of Los Angeles. The Charlie Matthau Company is best known for the adaptation of “The Grass Harp,” and Charlie Matthau also directed “Freaky Deaky.”