Your Opinions Matter

By Daniel Johnson

Opinions are crazy, you do realise this right?

Everyone has them. Everyone thinks they know if your film is good or not. They have strong opinions about the actors. In fact, they have opinions about who you should cast and what the ending should have been.

They'll tell you where you should have shot the first scene and what you really should have done for a career, all under the same breath.

Opinions come flying out of people with the authority of a teacher. But do you remember your teachers? They didn't know anything!

Film is an art form. The goal should be to answer to yourself; criticisms and opinions should be used only to figure out, "did I do my vision justice?"

The more success you have, the harder it gets. You have producers and studios and investors to answer to. Yet this doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, it doesn't mean they know how to make a good movie.

Directing films isn't about grabbing everybody, it's about grabbing somebody. I know a woman who thinks "Never Been Kissed" is the greatest movie ever made. Turns out she's not alone thinking that. What purpose does it serve anyone if I criticise the hell out of it? Do you think the director of "Never Been Kissed" cares? No! He's too busy working on his projects.

What matters is creating work that resonates with people. You can try to please every friend, crew member, and critic, but you'll never succeed. All you can do is stay true to your vision. Fight for what you believe. Be open to people's opinions but don't trust their authority -- because nobody knows anything.

A festival rejects your film? There'll be another one. An actor turns down your movie? There are others who can do a better job. Your best friend thinks you should give up filmmaking? They're dead inside.


Fade Out

Opinions roll off people's tongues, they're automatic, and they're charged with belief and certainty. If it doesn't resonate, ignore it, carry on. You'll succeed by being yourself.

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About The Author

Daniel JohnsonDaniel Johnson is a 27 year old Writer/Director from London.

He recently released the short film "Can't Commit" (starring James Redmond and Nina Hatchwell, which you can see here:

His screenplay 'The Toilet Attendant' is currently in the semi-final of the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest in LA.

You can see more of his work at

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