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Sunday, August 30, 2009

What They *Really* Mean About Your Film...

With so many of us in the Blogosphere making our own films and pilots, I thought now was a good time to take a strictly tongue-in-cheek look at what peeps *might* say about your efforts and what they *really* mean... Enjoy! ; )

1) "The production values are really good".

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "I have no idea what the story is."

2) "The story is really good."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "The production values are crap."

3) "[So & So] was an interesting casting choice."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "Was s/he all you could get?"

4) "The surreal aspect of the plot/arena was an intriguing addition."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "WTF was *that* all about??"

5) "I thought the protagonist/antagonist/best friend/etc really stood out."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "This is not necessarily a good thing by the way."

6) "Your dialogue was effective."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "I didn't really notice whether it was good OR bad."

7) "The comedy aspect seemed very contemporary."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "I didn't think it was very funny."

8) "It was a bold choice to do [whatever]."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "If "bold" actually means 'odd and ultimately daft'."

9) "You really made the most of your budget."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: "I can't think of anything else to say."

10) The horror/thriller aspect was very horrifying/thrilling."

WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: I'm just hoping now you're more interested in the canapes and free wine than my feedback - I know I am!"


Nick H said...

No comment.

Lucy V said...

Let me guess...

The comedy aspect of this post is very contemporary, Nick??


Lucy V said...

Just got this on Twitter:

"wlmager @Bang2write Should also mention the questioning strategy - 'How did you do that?'; 'What was your budget?' in order to avoid comment. Sob."


Follow filmmaker Will Mager on and check out his links, STAT

Anonymous said...

On a completely different topic:
You may find that the following article on screenplay structure helpful:

Janet said...

Hi Lisa,

Does anybody ever say what they really mean in Hollywood? Or anywhere? And do most writers really want the truth? As Jack Nicholson said... well, we know what he said... about truth.

Great blog. Hope your readers will visit mine at

Write on.

Lucy V said...

Nice one John, haven't seen that one before - it's a nice little checklist, will put it in THE LIST OF WONDER! Thanks.

Janet, I think writers want the truth - within agreed limits of propriety. For example, it helps no one to say you hated someone's film or script just because you did on a personal level. If however you can be constructive in your criticism or even justify why you hated something on a personal level, then why not? I rmbr some feedback I got once:

"I hate this script. But I love your writing."

It was honest and I appreciated that - the person involved hated religious stories, but he invited me in for a meeting on the basis of HOW I had written it. As long as readers understand they have personal prejudices and don't "blame" the script or film for it (unless it's irresponsible in some way) then I think the truth can work, defo.

BTW, whilst we're on the subject of truth: my name's LUCY, lol ;)

Marsh But True said...

Haha, I'm a cinema usher and we have 'film notes', which I always use to judge how good the film's gonna be.

The most commonly used phrase is 'beautifully shot' and nine times out of ten, it means 'no story here!'.

Tim Clague said...

For more hints see my old post -

Gavin Williams said...

Nice one, Lucy.

As it happens we're just finishing up the sound design and score for *my* first short film, "Breath".

Reckon I'll print up a score card and see how many comments from your list I can tick off at the first screening! ;-)