What If Nobody Likes It?

(Barbara Mc Thomas) #1

The first episode of our web series officially goes live tomorrow and I’m a bundle of anxiety. I’ve never felt this way about a script, or a about a project I wrote but someone else directed. I’m afraid people won’t like it or think it’s funny or look askance at the production values. I’m afraid the cast and crew won’t be proud to have been in it, I’m afraid people will leave mean comments on youtube, I’m afraid my friends will only say nice things about it to be polite…basically I’m a mess.

Anyone else have this problem?

(Emma Drewry) #2

100%. I’m terrified for my show to air. absolutely terrified-- and i was terrified to post the teaser, i was terrified to launch our crowdfunding campaign, i was terrified to send the first cuts to the executive producers who funded the show. it’s scary, it’s personal, and also probably going to be okay.

(Jonathan Kaplan) #3

Yea, we have had this feeling. I don’t think it goes away either, you always have anxiety about how anything you do will be received by the public. But you also have to be proud of yourself for putting your work out there, for seeing a project through, and fearlessly committing to your own artistic impulses. Most people never even make the attempt or get scared off by the very thing you’re experiencing right now.

(Herman Wang) #4

I’ve been there, and gotten the mean YouTube comments too. It’s not the end of the world.

I usually just grit my teeth and remind myself that I didn’t put in all the work just to not release the thing.

(Barbara Mc Thomas) #5

I’m worried my filmmaker friends will judge it as too low brow or too poor production values (they have a lot more resources than I do). And I realize this says more about them than my show.

(Bri Castellini) #6

I definitely have these fears as well- you are absolutely not alone. This (and your comment in this thread) reminds me of a post you made a while back, worrying about the content not being “important” enough because it was “just a comedy,” and I think that that’s something you need to really sit with yourself about. First of all, Shakespeare was considered low brow in his heyday. Lowbrow doesn’t mean anything about anything except for people who label things “lowbrow” or “highbrow.” Those people are boring. Leave them to their 12 hour foreign films about contemplating nothingness.

Second, why did you write/make this project? I imagine it was because it seemed like fun and like something you wanted to watch (which, I would argue, is why a lot of us make content. It’s why I made a zombie comedy set on a college campus with made up slang terms that Google auto captioning was completely confounded by). So why isn’t that enough? Not every audience likes every piece of content, but there is AN audience and a need for every piece of content. Maybe it’s not world-changing, maybe it won’t end global starvation, but maybe it will lighten the load for someone. Maybe it will give them a break from the world, or a break from their struggles, or a reason to enjoy themselves in an at-times thoroughly unfun period of American politics. Or maybe they just want to watch something funny for no big reason- they just want to laugh. Is that not equally as valid? I think it is!

My final thoughts: it’s good that you acknowledge that the judgement of some of your film friends are just that- judgement that reflects more on them than on you. But there’s a difference in intellectually understanding that and emotionally believing that (which is the hardest distinction in the world- I completely understand). But you need to really take to heart that you made something because you wanted to make it and that has to be enough. Especially if your concern is with how people will like it who aren’t even in your target audience. It’s tough- it’s really tough. And not everyone is going to be kind in their dismissal. But art is hard, and putting your art in front of people is even harder. We’re here for you through the thick and thin, to celebrate the highs and commiserate on the lows. Congrats, seriously, on your new show :heart:

(Marc Unger) #7

Making art is a very schizophrenic thing. The highs are unimaginable to those who don’t create and the lows can drive you under the covers for days. But, man, those highs… Good luck with your project and more importantly congratulations for making it to the finish line.

(Barbara Mc Thomas) #8

Thanks for the pep talk and empathy, everyone. Bri, you are so right. I need to remember why I made this project. I made it because in all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve had scripts rejected, optioned but not sold, sold but not produced, produced but not released or released but I wasn’t involved in any way beyond the writing. I wanted to see a project through to completion and be a part of production. So no matter how it’s received that goal was accomplished.

(Bri Castellini) #9

And that’s one hell of an accomplishment!

(Amen J.) #10

Creating a web series is SO much work. You have a lot to be proud of and maybe before your series goes live, sit back and recollect all the hurdles you faced and overcame to get this far. Very few people see projects through to completion. Focus on the positive and lean on your close friends and support networks. I think you are just preparing for the worst, which is totally fine, but don’t let those thoughts/anxieties overwhelm you either.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #11

Story of my life!

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #12

I just got a mean comment on my YT channel. When I see them I tell myself, “At least my show is discover-able!”

(Reese Hayes) #13

I struggle with this near the end of every project I’ve ever worked on. Usually, it gets so bad that I want to scrap the thing entirely. But then I just kind of let go and hit upload. If people hate it (which has happened), I try to glean as much constructive feedback as possible and learn from it. I also get really angry. But not the bad angry, the motivated angry. It can be a real asset if you use those emotions properly.

Then, I forget about it because I’m already working on the next thing!

(Alex Barbag) #14

At least you get comments.

(Alex Barbag) #15

Yeah, I’d kill for any type of comment.