…when people actually buy “The Bet” on DVD. Why? Shouldn’t I just cash the checks and smile? No. I wanna know WHY they bought it. I wanna know WHERE they heard about it. I wanna know WHAT they thought of it. And I have no clue most of the time. Of all the DVDs that have sold (as opposed to the ones that were given away as a “thank you” for working on the film) I probably only know ONE of those people, and even there it’s not really on a personal “I know you, we’ve met, had lunch” sort of “know” that person (Vixx, you know it’s you). So it drives me crazy with all the mixed reviews from CineVegas (where I was told I should be making porn) to the online reviews (where people are practically gushing) to know what people, the real people who are spending their $12.99 plus shipping to see the film without even really knowing what it is, what they think.
And when I check the IMDb page and there’s another rating, but there’s no comments. It bugs the hell outta me. Who took the time to vote (which it seems it was a high score) and not take the time to comment? I don’t wanna comment myself either on IMDb nor Amazon since I think it tends to be a bit goofy for the filmmaker to comment. But it really, well, irks me when people don’t say what they think about it.
Why does it bug me? Cos I wanna know what people think. Will the bad comments hurt my feelings? Yes and no. I got a very valid response from a festival which I took to heart. They said a point in the film they thought it became cheesy, but thought the ending was “awesome.” Why would I pay attention to a comment that said it was cheesy? Because I knew what they meant and thought it myself during filming, but time and budget forced us to push forward. Constructive criticism is always appreciated and taken into consideration.
And beyond that I am a total film geek. When I read a review that says the film is good, I get giddy. When I get a message on MySpace asking who did the transfer or why was there a red square at the end of the hallway, I fully geek out. I’ll gush for hours (and I have) about the most seemingly minute aspect of making “The Bet.” I love explaining how we built the set and learning a better way of doing it. I live for hearing how other filmmakers ran into the same problems we did and finding a solution to make the next time (and other filmmakers’ next time) much smoother. I. Am. A. Film. Geek. Full stop.
I won’t buy a DVD that doesn’t at the very least have a director’s commentary. I gotta get the widescreen version. I can tell you, in-depth, what Academy, Cinemascope, soft and hard matting mean and the films that use them and which are most effective in their decisions. I’ll spend hours debating the uses of said formats. I’ll tell you why I love film and vinyl, but use HD and mp3’s. I’ll tell you why the tennis shoe in Return of the Jedi made me know my wife was the one to marry.
So, if you’ve seen the film, talk about it, because if there’s one thing I like more than talking, it’s listening. Either at the film’s IMDb page or Amazon or on the official forum. I wanna know what the audience is thinking.