Need an honest opinion for the sake of the show

Hello my fellow indie film people.

I have an interesting situation, here. A few months back I directed 2 episodes of a web series called Government Lies. To make the story really short, the producer, who was also the lead actress, and I did not see eye to eye at all. So, after I really helped direct her in some very passable performances, once we entered the editing stage, which I was actually editing the episodes, I had to walk away due to severe creative differences. Thus, she found a new editor and recut some scenes to her liking with different performances and I no longer had a say as to how the product looked in the end, which is understandable since it's her project.

OK, so, now, months later the first of my two episodes is released and she still has my name on there as the director, which scares me because of how it turned out, especially since I know it could have been much better. But I would really like your opinion. Really, I would like your most honest opinion of the episode posted as a comment on the youtube page. If you honestly like it, then definitely give it the props.... if you don't, please say so and why. I feel this producer could really learn to hone her creative skills by someone simply telling her the truth about how the final product is. The last time she had negative feedback posted on a video, she dismissed the person and deleted the comment, and I just don't think that's right to do in this creative world.

So, here's the link.

Government Lies Episode 2


[Side note, I'm not trying to bash the lady. She hurts herself with the decisions she makes. But everyone around her, who are not film people at all, tell her she is the bee's knees. Now that my name is attached, I feel like I have to defend my directing talents since I basically had no control once we hit the editing room anymore. Honesty is all I seek]

Thank you!
 
Hello my fellow indie film people.

I have an interesting situation, here. A few months back I directed 2 episodes of a web series called Government Lies. To make the story really short, the producer, who was also the lead actress, and I did not see eye to eye at all. So, after I really helped direct her in some very passable performances, once we entered the editing stage, which I was actually editing the episodes, I had to walk away due to severe creative differences. Thus, she found a new editor and recut some scenes to her liking with different performances and I no longer had a say as to how the product looked in the end, which is understandable since it's her project.

OK, so, now, months later the first of my two episodes is released and she still has my name on there as the director, which scares me because of how it turned out, especially since I know it could have been much better. But I would really like your opinion. Really, I would like your most honest opinion of the episode posted as a comment on the youtube page. If you honestly like it, then definitely give it the props.... if you don't, please say so and why. I feel this producer could really learn to hone her creative skills by someone simply telling her the truth about how the final product is. The last time she had negative feedback posted on a video, she dismissed the person and deleted the comment, and I just don't think that's right to do in this creative world.

So, here's the link.

Government Lies Episode 2


[Side note, I'm not trying to bash the lady. She hurts herself with the decisions she makes. But everyone around her, who are not film people at all, tell her she is the bee's knees. Now that my name is attached, I feel like I have to defend my directing talents since I basically had no control once we hit the editing room anymore. Honesty is all I seek]

Thank you!

I'm not going to post a comment on her page, prompted by your issues with it. You've had "creative differences" with her. Just let it go, man.

Raising a big stink about it will just reflect poorly on you. Who wants to work with
that
director who resents not getting their way 100% of the time?
 
I'm not going to post a comment on her page, prompted by your issues with it. You've had "creative differences" with her. Just let it go, man.

Raising a big stink about it will just reflect poorly on you. Who wants to work with
that
director who resents not getting their way 100% of the time?

Very good point, and I appreciate the honesty. My goal is to have honest feedback, no matter what my opinion is at all. I'm not saying my way was totally perfect at all, I did what I could within the parameters of the budget, time, etc. But what is disappointing is I, along with the majority of the professionals on set who have all continued to work with on projects since, know what could have been. I do believe that this producer could do something great if she were humbled and collaborative.

I'm not at all asking for a bashing session, just simple honesty. That is all. Like I said above, if it's liked, then great. If not, then be constructive and say why. (I'm not directing all this towards you, Zensteve. I definitely respect what you had to say.)
 
So you want us to teach your friend a lesson by critiquing her work in the Youtube comments section?

No... just an honest opinion. That is all. The only way any of us can be better is through total honesty from our peers. Not trying to bash anyone. But my film school was totally a lesson in thick skin building, which ultimately leads to creatives really trying hard to strive to be better without cutting corners.

That's why I say I need honest opinions for the sake of the show.
 
It sounds to me like you want us to go tell someone that she sucks. It's for her own good, right?

Nobody here is going to do that. If any indie filmmaker wants brutally honest reviews, they can be found on IT, but you've gotta come here and ask for it.

Besides, the youtube comments section isn't exactly a hotbed of insightful critiques.
 
It sounds to me like you want us to go tell someone that she sucks. It's for her own good, right?

Nobody here is going to do that. If any indie filmmaker wants brutally honest reviews, they can be found on IT, but you've gotta come here and ask for it.

Besides, the youtube comments section isn't exactly a hotbed of insightful critiques.

OK, totally get the point. I appreciate the feedback, guys, honest. This is why I reach out to the indiefilm crowd. I got the honesty that I needed, haha.
 
What about telling her about IndieTalk?

Well, the problem is that she really is the type of person who has been on very few actual sets, and created a few 48hr projects, and thinks that every film set should run the same way as a 48hr project. Yet, refuses to take the time to actually learn the craft. So, all of my suggestions, even back when I did all the pre-productin for her project and really gave insight on how a real/professional set runs, fell on deaf ears. She only responds to her youtube posts. That was the reason for asking for honesty from the indie crowd who eat, sleep, and breathe this industry with a passion to help her understand that this is not a 48hr production industry.

Like I said, it really was not intended to be a bash fest.
 
Well, the problem is that she really is the type of person who has been on very few actual sets, and created a few 48hr projects, and thinks that every film set should run the same way as a 48hr project. Yet, refuses to take the time to actually learn the craft. So, all of my suggestions, even back when I did all the pre-productin for her project and really gave insight on how a real/professional set runs, fell on deaf ears. She only responds to her youtube posts. That was the reason for asking for honesty from the indie crowd who eat, sleep, and breathe this industry with a passion to help her understand that this is not a 48hr production industry.

Like I said, it really was not intended to be a bash fest.

As you've asked for an honest opinion, I'm happy to give it because I've learned to deal with this issue and had to give it a lot of thought.

Specifically, I started shooting a few music vids thinking this would be an easy way of getting experience. What I realised is I was completely wrong and 'artist management' is the biggest, single issue (and a very necessary part of the film-making learning process). If they are putting up the money, they have power and power management is a skill which needs to be learned.

I thought I had skills as have been responsible for managing million dollar budgets and managing people in my business life. However, commercial situations are pretty straightforward and artists in 'power' positions are entirely different to deal with and plenty of people on IT have better skills than me.

Part of this is knowing when not to take a gig. I recently spoke to a lady who had been briefly signed by a major record label. I heard her singing in a pub, was absolutely incredible (her voice was amazing) and one of the artists I had recently shot a music vid for introduced me and recommended me to her. She wanted 'her own' music vid but when we spoke, every one of my alarm bells started to ring. She spent the entire time bitching about her co-artist, the label, the vid, the release date, circumstances around being dropped, the press etc... When I checked out the last vid, it turned out to be beautifully shot on film (not digital) etc... and her co-artist had become successful and was really good.

I ran away from that one because she would've been a nightmare and the only way I'd have done anything for her is having total creative control and a load of money. No way I'm touching her with anyone elses 10 foot barge pole (English expression) without those two elements.

From the tone of your post, I sense a little confusion as to why someone cannot clearly see what is creatively obvious and would overrule your 'good' creative decisions for stupid reasons. Well, this happens all the time and learning to control this is a critical skill. Sometimes, part of this skill is not to take the gig in the first place.

So welcome to the learning process and good luck!
 
I would like your most honest opinion of the episode posted as a comment on the youtube page.

I'm not going to post it on youtube, but feel free to copy and paste it with a link back to here.

It's won't win awards, but it's a solid effort, that's for sure.

As for the editing, I would have preferred to see the editor tighten up the pacing considerably to make it flow faster. The thing about editing is it can be hard to work out from the final product whether there was more coverage that wasn't used which could be used to strengthen the story.

What I do notice more is the story is rather cliche, the dialogue flat, very little conflict even in places where they could have been more conflict to make the story more interesting, and the characters seem to be quite flat, boring and uninspiring. I felt no connection to any of the characters.

Some of these comments may be uninformed as I've only seen the second episode of what I have to assume is a multiple-episode youtube production.

If you want to nit pick, the opening credits were rolling almost half way through and the closing credits are a mess.

If you honestly like it, then definitely give it the props.... if you don't, please say so and why. I feel this producer could really learn to hone her creative skills by someone simply telling her the truth about how the final product is. The last time she had negative feedback posted on a video, she dismissed the person and deleted the comment, and I just don't think that's right to do in this creative world.

Right doesn't come into it. I think there shouldn't be any war in the world and that money would come freely from ATM but that ain't reality.

I didn't mind the video, which really means I didn't hate it, though it didn't compel me to care enough about watching any more episodes and it definitely didn't compel me to share with my friends.

As for telling her the truth. Does it really matter? If she's the boss and she's happy with the results, who are you to tell her that she shouldn't be happy with the result? I have a young local actor who's trying her hand at filmmaking. I've asked a few questions about the production and suggested that she ensure that she gets a sound guy. She's happy to shoot without a sound guy. Who am I to say otherwise?

She hurts herself with the decisions she makes. But everyone around her, who are not film people at all, tell her she is the bee's knees.

That's on her. What's on you though is your decision of whether you're going to stay with her or not. It's really as simple as that. Concentrate on the things you can control. If you concentrate on things you cannot control, I find that life gets less enjoyable as you stress more about those uncontrollable things.

Now that my name is attached, I feel like I have to defend my directing talents since I basically had no control once we hit the editing room anymore.

See if you can get your credit changed to "Production Director" and have someone else nominated as "Post Production Director"
 
If you didn't sign something saying you get final cut then suck it up man coz it's her baby - she wrote it, produced it, starred in it. Move on to your next project.

ps: It's not that bad, the editing isn't great. Liked the FBI actor, he's got talent. Would be a great web series if it was tuned to be a comedy parody of shows like CSI etc. IMO it's one step away from such a show. For the obvious no-budget it's well done - nothing to scuff at. As long as someone else is credited as editor then what's the problem in taking a directors credit? Put it on you cv - why waste it?
 
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I don't think it's too bad. The only thing that bothers me is the lack of originality. There are 100 shows like this on TV. It's really formulaic. Nothing special. I think that the problems lie in the writing and possibly the direction of the actors.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I have directed several projects written and/or produced and/or
starring someone who doesn’t fully understand the business. My
work has been edited and cut and changed by people who I do
not think have the talent to do that. I always hate when it happens.
I know that if I was left alone the projects would have turned
out better - well, at least they would have turned out my way.

What I would never, ever do is bring my issues (creative or otherwise)
to the public square.

Here is my unsolicited advice: do your best as director. Never bring
your creative or personal issues with the team to the public. Move
on to the next project. Remember that until you reach the level of
producer/writer/director with total creative control your work will
be changed and altered. It’s okay; every, single person in the industry
knows that happens.
 
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