Monday, 22 June 2009

Shooting myself in the foot?

It did occur to me, even before writing the last Things we noticed watching TV this week segment, that I might be shooting myself in the foot. What if I criticise a show, and then get a meeting with the person behind it, who then reads my blog (cos it's linked to the end of my emails) and sees what I've written. Sounds a bit pretentious, but then when the Primeval insider commented (and no I still don't know who it was) it made me think about it again. Maybe it was Adrian Hodges himself, although I doubt it. Maybe it was one of the writers, a producer, someone who works for Impossible Pictures? Maybe it was someone I'd really want to work with? Would they take offence? (I must say I am just using this as an example cos they seemed pretty cool, pointed out a couple of errors I'd made, and after all I do really like the show and still annoyed it was cancelled.)

But the thing is this. I speak my mind and I tell it like I see it. About a show I've watched, a movie I've seen, or work I am giving feedback on. But not once, to my recollection, have I ever said this is crap, full stop. Or I hated this, end of story.

Right from the word go, at the beginning of my MA, that sort of thing was outlawed. Why? Well firstly because it's rude. And secondly who exactly does that benefit? We were told, in no uncertain terms, that if you didn't like something, or if something wasn't working for you, you of course had to say so, but only if you explained why. (And I would add, in the nicest terms possible.) The writer is then free to either agree, or not. Because any one persons opinion, and that's all it is, may not necessarily be right.

And you have to be pretty thick skinned in this business as it is, perhaps more so as a writer. When I get the chance to ask a writer about their show, I always ask were you happy with how it turned out? And it always amazes me how candid they often are. Usually some things they liked, and were happy with, and some they weren't and will try to put right in the next series. Because words on the page don't always come out as you imagined on screen, even for the biggest writers in town.

One day, hopefully, loads and loads of things I've written will be on screen - and then it will be open season for anyone to say what they think of them! That's freedom of speech isn't it? And as long as it's constructive and remotely intelligent and analytical, (not just YOU SUCK) I am big enough to take it. Ask anyone who has ever read my work and commented on it and I think they will all say I took what was said in good grace, even when I didn't agree.

So, I will continue to talk about TV shows etc, because it's as much for me and my own writing, to analyse what is working and what's not (in my opinion!) I recently watched Occupation, May Contain Nuts and am still watching Hope Springs, so come back soon if you wanna know what I thought of them.

4 comments: said...

I think you do a fantastic job. You're always fair, well-balanced and you always explain your choices. I don't think any writer could ask for anything more - better than some of the so-called critics in the papers and wotnot who just slate for the sake of looking clever.


Yehudah Jez Freedman said...

aww thanks lisa

Anonymous said...

Jez as long as you keep watching TV and noticing things I don't have to. Long may it continue!!!!

Yehudah Jez Freedman said...

I'm still not speaking to you - 3 wks for the 24 finale review! Anyone would think you'd been in Cuba