'There is more to the illegal viewing point to be made though: How have they seen the film, have they seen it in its entirety, or out of sequence? That in itself is an important issue. You can't review a book by reading chapter three and the last page and hoping that it will all make sense. I stand by my review, it is not wholly glowing, it is fair and I was not involved in the making of it. I never even read a draft of the script.'
My overlong reply:
'Yeah, unfortunately it's not too hard to see the film illegally. I'm not going to detail how here, but one day it was unreleased and unavailable, the next it was a couple of clicks away. Pretty shocking at the time - now I kind of take it for granted.
Good point about whether people are watching the whole thing. I'm pretty sure most people haven't been. I know from the feedback we got that it's pretty hard to get into for the first 10-20 minutes as the narration and jumbled narrative are a bit jarring. In all honesty I think it's more like an art film than an action film, but people don't approach it like an art film, so 15 minutes in and they're struggling, they didn't pay for it so they switch it off. Then go complain about it.
You remember when we watched Driller Killer at uni? We sat in a big group all expecting it to be this ultra gory slasher film. But it's not, it's more interesting than that. And while the two of us realised that the rest of the room were chatting and complaining about the film. I think that's probably how this will go - 80% of people will give up when it's not super slick and the plot requires a bit of work. But that 20% will hopefully embrace it. I can but hope.
But yeah, from the people I know who watch films in this fashion, they'll watch the first ten minutes, skip through to see if anything interesting is happening and then quit.
I think all the ten positive reviews are really good - none of them are gushing and none of them are wholly positive. Everyone did what I asked them to do, which was be honest. Even better, they're all intelligent criticisms of the film as a whole, including the characters and story as well as the effects and action.
One thing I regret is that I reported the two scathing reviews that started this whole thing to imdb and they removed them - they were in breach of several of the guidelines so I thought why not? But suddenly there were a load of good reviews and nothing to balance it. And I think that's contributed to some of the reactions we've had since because people have suspected some kind of foul play. Anyone looking closely at those reviews that are there now, or even finding their way here to this blog, will see that there is none. And although I'm not going to go on the forums and argue the point, I can say with full confidence that not one of the people who've written those comments were involved with the making of the film in any way.
One final point - I think the thing that's really working against us is not being able to say how much we made the film for. The reasons for not saying it make sense, but a film like El Mariachi really played on the fact that it had a super low budget and I think we could've used that to our advantage. Then again, I guess all it would really mean is we could respond to people saying 'you make a better film on this much money then' which is exactly what we've avoided so far.
Anyway, I'm sure this will carry on. I hope some of the people who see the film when it's released approach it with the same open outlook that the people who responded to my comment appeal have done.'