Movie director Kevin Smith shows us how to perfectly deal with critics and haters
I’ve always said that if you don’t have haters, you’re doing it wrong. Inevitably, if you’re trying to push and improve yourself or tell a story, somebody’s just not going to get it. Or, even like it. And that’s just fine. But what do you do when they actually confront you about it? Especially in a room filled with other people?
Well, the short answer is to understand their position and accept it. Don’t take it personally and realise that everybody’s going to have their own opinions. The slightly longer answer is this 5 minute video from filmmaker Kevin Smith.
After a New Orleans screening of his new movie Yoga Hosers, Smith held a Q&A session during which audience members got to ask their questions. When one audience member suggested that the movie didn’t live up to expectations, Kevin came back with the perfect response. Be warned, though, the video does contain some slightly NFSW language.
Before the movie, Smith gave a talk to prepare the audience for what they were about to see. The audience member said that it was a “wonderful heartfelt talk”, but that the movie didn’t seem to “have any of that heart in it”. He asked if Smith felt the same way.
Oh my god! Well, you’re totally entitled to that. I see a different movie when I watch it.
When I watch it, I’m like ‘Oh my god! This movie’s everything I’ve ever wanted to see”, because that’s me writing all these things that I’ve wanted to see.
– Kevin Smith
Photography is the same to many people. We shoot what we want to shoot for us. We’re creating for ourselves, to capture things we want to capture. Is everybody going to like it? No. No photographer has ever produced an image that everybody loves. Life just doesn’t work that way.
If you’re shooting for a client, it may be a little different. Even then, though, the only opinion that really matters is that of the person paying you.
Of course, some people deliver criticism better than others. This audience member was polite and respectful. Smith was polite and respectful in return. In the world of social media, criticism is not always given so graciously. But, you just have to learn to accept it, and not let it get to you.
What am I supposed to do? Just not make it because some people might not like it?
Each time I go up to bat, I do the exact same thing, I make the movie that I want to see. Sometimes, you want to see it too and sometimes you don’t want to see it. This is one of those cases, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made.
– Kevin Smith
So, don’t get wound up, don’t tell people they’re wrong. By definition, an opinion can’t be wrong. They simply have a different viewpoint.
How do you feel about how Kevin responded? How do you deal with criticism of your work and photography? Have you seen Yoga Hosers yet and also thought it sucked? Or was it awesome? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.