Wow, it can sting a bit, but can actually be pretty helpful. Got the critique back from the Sydney Underground Film Festival (which didn’t select “The Bet” for viewing). Not as nice to read as the one from the International Horror and Sci-Fi FF, but definitely more useful:
Firstly, we would just like to state that all entries were put into a tough competition for limited programming time. In regards to your film, “The Bet”, the selection committee would like to commend you on the good use of the digital medium and for making a film that is nicely shot with good grading and nice use of textures visually. It was also a nice touch with the ‘puppets’. There were great locations used, great design and a good build up of tension. However, the committee felt that the film loses the viewer at the point of the piece to the camera. It was a little ‘cheesy’ for lack of a better word. Also, the film could have benefited from being a little shorter and less derivative at times. Overall, a very good achievement, demonstrating high potential for Michael and the “The Bet” team and we look forward to seeing more work from them in the future.
I was confused on the “the film loses the viewer at the point of the piece to the camera” but think they mean when James is giving the “Always the same thing…” monologue. Too long? Derivative? Yeah, I can see that too. Mikey make sad face. But, hey, there were good points, too.