Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Find Your Audience and Ignore Complainers

My wife's new favorite movie is Fighterman Singam:

It's in Tamil. There are no subtitles. She used Wikipedia to learn the plot. She thinks Suriya is attractive and super cool.

The movie is ridiculously over-the-top in a distinctly Indian kind of way. The violence is predominantly hand-to-hand where a slap to the face sends grown men flying through the air. Rather than cutting through some scenes, they simply speed up the shot to get to the next important line of dialog; it's almost as if you're fast forwarding through sections of the film. I wouldn't be surprised if they did this because they didn't have enough "coverage" of the scene to edit. They simply used what they had.

There is an important lesson here: This is not my kind of movie. I could write several blog posts about all the things they do wrong and that don't work. But my wife enjoys the flick. She's part of the "audience" for this movie. And me? Why try to cater to me? I'm not the demographic. Ignore my complaints and keep making movies that others find awesome.

I, personally, had a ton of fun watching Sucker Punch (though, apart from the first five minutes, the film is already showing its age). One of my friends didn't enjoy it at all. And there are many more examples where I disagree with others about a movie. And that's okay.

As you develop your skills, it's okay if you make a movie that only your mom likes. I often critique Christian films for their horrible execution, but there is an audience for these preachy, lame excuses for a story. And while growing in our ability is important--and I think Christian filmmakers should strive for excellence--it's probably best to ignore complainers like me.

Keep making movies for your audience because the best way to improve is to practice.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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