Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Ten Dead Men IMDB User Comment Appeal

So we got our first negative IMDB comment before the DVD has been released, from someone in Greece (where I'm not even sure it's legitimately available) who only watched ten minutes of the film. This was inevitable - everyone is entitled to an opinion and the internet gives everyone the chance to publish their opinions, like this blog. Unfortunately not all those opinions are positive. However, I was hoping the film would actually make it to the US release date before this happened.

I do sometimes comment on IMDB titles, and when I do it's to point out the films I really like and that may otherwise be missed because of comments from people who couldn't get through the first ten minutes. I've made a point of doing it for low budget genre films that I've enjoyed - films like Soul Searcher, Infestation, Dead Wood, and Contour that should be seen but won't get the exposure they deserve due to incredibly low budgets. I've never commented on a film that I didn't like - I don't have the time and I don't see the point. But as I've seen so often on IMDB, other people clearly do. Sometimes it seems that IMDB exists solely for the enjoyment of people who would like publicly express their dislike of the films they see.

At the same time it is an important resource for film-makers, particularly for low budget films that won't get the usual press coverage. I often check the IMDB user comments when choosing a film to watch if I don't know anything about it. And it doesn't matter if there are a hundred 'worst film ever reviews' - as long as there are one or two intelligent views of the film that suggest there is at least something to enjoy, then I'll watch the film. 

A film like Ten Dead Men is one that people are likely to want to check out first before taking the risk. This is why what I'm about to ask is important.

We need more user comments. So far we have two - one bad one from our friend in Greece, the other posted by our producer (admittedly it is a reprint of a review from an outside source, but it has still been posted by the producer of the film, which makes it almost useless). We need user comments from independent viewers who have no direct involvement with the film but have attended one of the various screenings we've done over the past year. If this is you, then keep reading. If you were directly involved with the film that obviously rules you out, but please do refer this on to friends, family...anyone you know who came to see it.

I'm asking for as many people as possible who have seen the film to add a user comment to the IMDB page here. I realise this is a big ask and may take a chunk of time - there are guidelines you have follow and the comments have to be coherent and be a certain length. I'll put full instructions below. But once it's done they stay on there and you need have no further involvement.

Also, I'm not telling you what you have to say about the film, or suggesting that everyone goes on there and says it's the best film ever. Please do be honest otherwise there's no point. Feel free to point out its flaws, don't pretend the film is something it isn't and if you really didn't like it then please criticise in full. What I want is intelligent criticism - otherwise we'll be overrun by people saying it's the worst film ever because they watched ten minutes and it wasn't anything like the last Michael Bay film they saw and loved. Perhaps that sounds unfair, but people do seem to have a hard time giving low budget genre films a chance and I don't want to let those people stop our film from being seen before it's even been released.

If I can make one suggestion it's that at some point in the comment you mention where you saw the film, just to give it a bit of legitimacy (and to make it look less like the writer of the film begged everyone to do it!).

At the risk of sounding desperate, the reason for this appeal is that a great number of people (myself included) gave up a lot of free time and more importantly put a lot of hard work into getting this film out there. That doesn't automatically make it brilliant, or even any good, but it does deserve a fair chance to be seen. If we get too many comments like the one we have so far then it won't get that chance.

Here's how you can help.

First off, you will need to be registered on IMDB. Just go to www.imdb.com and click 'Register' in the top right-hand corner. It won't take long and they pretty much leave you alone once you've registered - you won't start getting loads of junk mail or anything. Once you've registered you need to do the following:

1) Go to the Ten Dead Men page by either searching for the title or clicking this link.

2) Scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says 'User Comments' and click the link in brackets next to it where it says (Comment on this title).

3) Tick the 'Contains spoilers box' if you're giving away any plot points in your review.

4) Give your review a title in the 'Summary' box.

5) Give the film a score out of ten in the 'Vote' drop-down menu.

6) Write your comment. The comment must be a minimum of ten lines long within the box provided and can't be any longer than 1000 words. There are further guidelines here but most of it's pretty obvious - no swearing etc.

7) Click 'Preview' at the bottom of the page and you get to see what your comment will look like, plus any spelling errors will be flagged (apologies if this is really patronising but I don't want to take any chances).

8) Click 'Submit' and you're done!

You should then receive an e-mail in the next day or two letting you know whether your comment has been approved or not.

For everyone who does this, thank you very much in advance. I shall try to track the progress of the user comments on here and will also endeavor to create some kind of Facebook group. Be warned, I will also probably be sending out e-mails to people I know have seen the film.

Also, if anyone reading has made or been involved with a low budget film that is available in the UK and would like me to add a user comment on IMDB let me know and I will rent it and return the favour.

5 comments:

reelcitizen said...

I've submitted a link to my Close-Up reivew in the 'External Reviews' section. So it'll probably appear late 2010 sometime...

Chris Regan said...

Cool, I'd forgotten about external reviews, thanks. Ideally I think that's what should've been done with the Combat review rather than it going in user comments.

gerdarcy said...

done

Richard Hawes said...

I think this is a great idea. To be honest I took a similar approach when I reviewed the film on Facebook. I focused on the positives because films like this need support and not intense criticism. I had a few problems with the movie but really do admire the hard work that went into making it.

Chris Regan said...

Thanks to everyone who's commented so far, I really appreciate you taking the time to do it. We've got a really strong and balanced collection of comments on there now which is great, and there are hopefully a few more to come.