Thursday, 24 February 2011

Hit the Big Time - Episode 8...

Here's the final episode of Hit the Big Time, the short-film-turned-web-series what I wrote...

Hit The Big Time Episode 8 from Hit The Big Time on Vimeo.

If you missed any episodes you can find links to them all on the website. You can also support the film and keep up to date on any further developments by joining the Facebook group.

Anyway, it's a project that's about as old as this blog and it's nice to see it finally come full circle. I'm really glad it exists and I think everyone involved did a great job. It certainly looks very slick and professional and it definitely has high production values for something I assume cost next to nothing to make.

I'm not entirely happy with the film as a showcase of my writing. On the one hand that's okay because the credit is split four ways, but at the same time I've improved a lot since 2008 and some of the stuff I don't like is definitely mine. I do remember my first draft being a lot neater - originally the whole thing ended with Cooper and Crouch being chased by the gang they ran into earlier. The narrative was split, so it cut to the 'I've got an ending for you' line but this time being delivered to the producer character, Lenny Rosenstein, then cut back to the present where Rosenstein is about to run them over as they escape from the gang. When he stops, they steal his car and toss Rosenstein out the back as a distraction to make their escape. Cut to the hotel room where they're frantically packing their stuff to leave town when Rosenstein's assistant (and Byron Richmond's nephew) Martin shows up with a suitcase full of cash for killing Barry Brutowski. They then realise the old guy they hit in the opening scene was Brutowski and the final lines were 'It was all planned. We're professionals.'

Not that the above is necessarily better, but it did tie up all the loose ends in a much tider way and I think some of that has been lost. Yes, the Park City location certainly adds more production value but I think ultimately it was at the cost of the narrative and it feels a bit tacked on. To be fair, I could've fought harder for my version, or I could've worked harder to make the Park City scenes work. I didn't. By then I knew I was sharing the credit with three other people and I couldn't be bothered. I know that's not necessarily the most accommodating attitude but nothing that's happened to me since has really changed my opinion. I recently heard Aaron Sorkin compare a script to a car, in that your structure is the engine and the thing that makes it go, while everything else basically comes down to what colour the car is. Someone else can always come along and change the colour, but I think that the writer's credit belongs to the guy who built the engine. In this case that was definitely me, but I guess at least my 'story by' credit comes up first at the end so I can't complain too much.

On a slightly different note, had I had completely free reign over the film from the start I would definitely have made them gay. I considered this briefly when I started, but figured those involved would never go for it so I never brought it up. But when Ten Dead Men was released everyone I spoke to about the Parker and Garrett characters (whose dialogue was mostly improvised) referred to them as the gay hitmen. Most assumed this was a deliberate reference to Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd in Diamonds are Forever. It wasn't, but watching the short I think maybe it should've been. As it is, I think there's something a little unsettling about the treatment of the Martin character (whose extreme campness was an invention of the actor) that reminded me a little of the scene from Vanishing Point when Barry Newman beats up the two gay car-jackers and I guess we're supposed to cheer. At the same time, the film itself is so camp and over-the-top that something doesn't quite sit right with Cooper and Crouch leering over the women in the film. It feels like the whole thing is in denial. Had I been in total control of the script I would attribute this to my reluctance to write the characters the way I really wanted to write them, only I wasn't so I am using the only advantage of sharing the credit and saying that the odd tone of the film is not my fault.

It's been so long now none of this really matters. The film exists and is out there in the world which is the main thing, because now at least all the work everyone put in means something now. I think JC, Jason and Helen all did an amazing job to get it this far, especially considering the long and arduous post-production process. It is certainly a lot of fun, and I am proud of the fact that it is at least a short that tells a big story and is not, as Brother Pete puts it, 'about the death of the world, juxtapositioned with the lack of Wheatabix left in the box on a Monday morning.'

And that reminds me, I really must get my short finished...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The reason I can't hear anything this morning...

Went to see Rob Zombie in Brixton last night with Brother Pete. It was quite possibly the best gig I've been to - certainly up there with my favourites. We were at the front on the left, where the bass player is.

Part of the reason it was good was that he had monsters and fire and balloons and stuff...

The band were amazing. I loved it. That is all.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Stop complaining...

I hate looking at my blog after a few days and seeing that the last post is me complaining about something. I like using the blog to complain about stuff and it certainly helps, but it would be very easy to only ever use it for that. The internet seems to be mostly used by people who want to complain and I don't want to end up like the rest of the internet - except I'm now just complaining about the internet. Yesterday I even started writing a post about how much I loved The Social Network but it somehow turned into a complaint about script feedback. Sometimes not complaining about anything is really difficult!

I could talk about exciting real life things (instead of writing and film stuff which occupies a space that isn't quite in the real world) like the fact that my sister-in-law is getting married this weekend and I'm going to see Rob Zombie tonight. She's not getting married to Rob Zombie - those are two separate exciting things.

Actually the writing stuff isn't looking too bad right now. I'm working on two potentially/almost definitely paid projects at the moment so it looks like I might get some money for my writing this year after all. The trouble is finding the time to do the actual work, but I'll figure that out. I've spent a couple of evenings this week sorting out the line-up for next month's MovieBar which is looking pretty good. Sometimes I think I may have taken too much on with MovieBar, until I actually start organising stuff and I remember why I took it on in the first place. It's fun organising a mini film festival every month. What I'd like to do is figure out how to get more people to come, but there will be time for that.

So things aren't that bad after all and when I'm not angry and frustrated with film development problems and the amount of work people seem to expect me to do for free I'm actually pretty happy.

Which means I can now complain about the BAFTAs.

I like film award shows. I know it's all daft and incredibly self-indulgent, but I am the kid who grew up wanting to get an Oscar someday and I think they do a lot to inspire ambition. Plus its nice to celebrate the film industry every now and again. And I like the dead people bit.

Anyway, this isn't a moan about who won what. If it was I would argue that Christopher Nolan should win everything ever. This is about the televised BAFTAs themselves which every year becomes more and more celebrity orientated. On one level this is fine. The film industry needs stars, the star system has been keeping the wheels turning since the days of silent cinema and I appreciate that seeing the stars talking about how awesome they are in pretty dresses is part of that. The Oscars pushes this to the limit, but at least there is some sense that the less glamourous aspects of film-making are important.

With the BAFTAs the closest we get to this is the award for Cinematography and we're lucky to get that. Everything else unlikely to be collected by a star is pushed into a summary in the last 5 minutes. Yes, the awards are still awarded and I am only talking about what is actually shown on TV. But if you push Editing and Short Films and Foreign Language Films into that last throwaway segment when people are already switching channels it's like saying those things are not as important as Acting and...well mostly Acting - that seems to be the only one anyone cares about. And the kids inspired by watching this will all grow up wanting to be actors and we'll have a generation made up entirely of actors only there won't be anyone to make the films and they'll all be putting on one-man shows about the grieving process in the back rooms of pubs (I made that up - if you have a one-man show about the grieving process that you're putting on in a pub right now then good luck with it, I'm sure it's great. It would be less great if everyone was doing it). And yes, I'm exaggerating and none of it really matters anyway - there are already too many writers in the world so they don't appear to have been put off. But you can't present a world in which Editing is not as important as Acting. That just seems ridiculous.

And that wasn't even what I was going to complain about! The real problem is that after all this focus on celebrity and trying to compete with the Oscars, only a third of those stars turn up to collect their awards. The Oscars takes place in Hollywood, where the majority of them live and work. The BAFTAs takes place in England, where it rains a lot and no one is doing any work because no one has any money to pay writers with. I mean, no one has any money to make films. Because the system doesn't work here. We want it to be like Hollywood. We want to make films ourselves and show those films in cinemas. But we can't and we don't. Because ultimately it's still Hollywood that people will pay to see.

I don't want to turn this into a British vs. American thing because then it gets really complicated with money and talent coming in from all over the place. But I do think there's a real opportunity with the BAFTAs to showcase a few films that may not get the attention otherwise. No one is going to rush to see True Grit because it got nominated for a bunch of BAFTAs. They'll have already seen it because it got nominated for a bunch of Oscars. Meanwhile the more interesting British films of this year have to compete for attention in made-up categories like Best British Debut or Best British Film That We Think Deserves Some Attention But Won't Be Nominated For An Oscar Because There Is No One Famous In It. The BAFTAs can't compete with the Oscars in terms of star attendance so I don't think they should even be nominating the same films. Why not do something different with it that might actually help our film industry?

That said, I'm glad The King's Speech did win so much because they had actually turned up, it was good to see Aaron Sorkin win for The Social Network (my other favourite awards film this year next to Black Swan) and it was fantastic to see Christopher Lee being alive and stuff.

That's it. I'm done complaining for this week, I promise.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Hit the Big Time - Episode 7...

In which I realised while watching that I can't actually remember how it ends...

Thursday, 10 February 2011


This is a long overdue rant about a very boring subject. Sometimes this blog is about me trying to get attention for cool stuff I'm doing, sometimes it's a platform for me to ramble on about things I feel strongly about, and sometimes it's therapy. Today it's definitely therapy.

So on Tuesday I was on a bit of a high from MovieBar (and also a bit hungover) and was checking my e-mails all day for any feedback. And at around 3 in the afternoon I see an e-mail that makes me furious.

Earlier last year Brother Pete and I had a meeting with a production company in London about a script we had written. The script was written for a director friend. It was not a spec script that we wrote because we were in love with the idea - it was technically a commission, only for no money (and yes, that was the first mistake - I'll come to that later). So the meeting goes well, we discuss the script and take their notes. They're not prepared to option the script until we implement these notes. I have a bit of an issue with this because in my opinion the notes are a bit vague and we don't necessarily agree with all of them. They were the type of notes I am now really sick of getting - a request for the 'explain absolutely everything' draft.

I have been asked to write the 'explain absolutely everything' several times before. Someone gets a script and for whatever reason they decide that the fact that certain actions and events that are self-explanatory to anyone who's ever seen a film actually need 30 pages worth of explanation. So you put in the explanation and the script is suddenly 30 pages longer and unsurprisingly feels a lot slower! Then you get more notes saying it's all wrong and the script has taken a step back, only it's now your fault and you need to fix what they asked you to do.

This has happened with almost every script I've written and on every occasion I've had to go back and strip out the useless stuff I was asked to add. Why does this happen? Because the people telling you to add that stuff aren't writers. Funnily enough, most writers know what they're doing. That's why the script wasn't overloaded with exposition in the first place. But for some reason every non-writer involved with a project seems to have the right to tell the writer how to do their job...

Sorry, that's another rant for another day.

Anyway, as there's a possibility of an option at the end of this we decide to put the work in and do another draft based on the notes provided. And to be fair some of the improvements we do are good and help the script. It's the exposition and backstory we add that doesn't help. The once 90 page script is now 120 pages. I know there will be more work required, but we did what we were asked so we send it on.

Guess what? The draft isn't good enough. We're told it's a significant improvement which is nice, but it's not quite there. And we get some more notes. There are a couple of points in these new notes that really bug me. The first is a whole paragraph dedicated to the overuse of exposition in the script (the exposition we were asked to put in). The second is a paragraph questioning the whole third act of the film. I don't want to talk specifics, but let's say the script is called Giant Umbrella Men. The third act would be where the Giant Umbrella Men appear. Without it you may as well scrap the film and write something else instead.

This was back in August last year. I was disappointed to say the least, but no one had been misled and there was always a danger that things might go this way. I was working on Jenny Ringo at that point anyway so doing further work wasn't really going to happen. I discussed it with Pete and decided to try and make a stand. We said we wanted an option agreement before we did anymore work. My fear was that we could do another twenty drafts and they could still turn around at the end and say they were no longer interested. And the script we would have by then would have gone through so many changes and amendments that it wouldn't be ours anymore. If they didn't take it most of the work would be useless. I wasn't prepared to waste that much time on it.

One difficulty here is Brother Pete and I both have dayjobs. This makes being a professional screenwriter very difficult because you can't get to meetings very easily. I think this whole thing might have been easier if we'd been able to attend the meetings ourselves but unfortunately this is a bit impractical.

The response is a draft option agreement, for what I think is a pretty standard option fee. Only they're not going to sign it until we do another draft addressing their last batch of notes. Not only that, they are also now saying the latest draft was a step back in quality. We messed up and they won't pay us until we sort it out.

I am now slightly angry. For a start I don't understand the point of showing us the option agreement in the first place. It feels like they're saying 'look, this is what you could have won!'. It feels a bit insulting to be honest, although I appreciate that this wasn't the intention. But most annoying is the suggestion that we've done a bad job. I'm not saying all of their notes are wrong, it was the fact that Pete and I had just spent a good couple of months working on the draft based on their suggestions. Like I said, slightly angry.

We discuss it. Part of me wants to say forget it, we've wasted our time. Part of me thinks we've come this far, no one else is interested in this script so why not do one more draft? We decide on the latter, but not on their terms. The new set of notes ask a lot of questions. Questions mean the script could go one of several ways on each of those points, which means we're onto the 'exploratory what if' draft - something else I've done several times before. The 'exploratory what if' draft isn't always as much of a waste of time as the 'explain absolutely everything draft'. But it is something you do early on in the process, when you're still figuring out what the film is about. We did all the exploring we needed to in our first few drafts. Following the new batch of notes isn't going to get us very far and it certainly won't get them a script they're happy to option.

We decide on a compromise. We'll do another draft, but we need to discuss it in more detail first. We want a conference call. We'll decide on a way forward and go with that.

Here's where I'm not really sure what happened. I think meetings occurred but we didn't get our conference call. I bumped into one of the producers at a party and got the impression nothing was happening. I was copied in on several e-mails saying more meetings would happen soon, but no mention of our conference call. And to be honest I was getting a bit tired of the whole thing and didn't really chase it up or put forward my suggestions when I should have done. I thought all this was being done for me.

Then last week another meeting goes ahead and we get another option agreement. This one is for less money and also stipulates that we produce another draft before we get the full amount. Because of the additional conditions, the reduction in the fee, and the fact that the project had otherwise come to a standstill I make the assumption that this is a compromise. That's also the impression I get from the e-mail that the document is attached to. Pete and I discuss, and decide that some money is better than no money and we'll happily sign it off and work on the next draft on this basis.

This is a significant moment for me. It will be the first time I've ever been paid for writing. After all the promises of payment and the times I was actually supposed to get paid and then it never came through, this is the first time it looks like I might actually get some money. And I decide that from this moment I'm not going to work for free anymore. That the basic amount I was due to get in the first installment from this option (not a significant amount - less than I earn in a week of the dayjob and my dayjob is not very well paid) will now be my basic fee for working on anything.

Then on Tuesday I get another e-mail from the production company. They are not optioning the script. There has been a misunderstanding. They sent us this new option agreement on the same basis that they sent the first one - as an example of what we will get if we do the draft. What we will now get is apparently less than we were offered before.

Needless to say I was confused and mostly furious when I got the e-mail. 6 months ago we agreed to do another draft and asked for a conference call to agree a way forward on our own terms. 6 months later and we're no further forward but there does seem to have been a lot of messing around.

After some discussion with Brother Pete I responded to the e-mail with a plan of action. I did express some dissatisfaction about how this has been handled, but I'm not necessarily angry with the production company. I'm mostly angry at myself for getting into this situation again. I have a lot of stories like this. Too many.

Recently I listened to an interview with Neil Gaiman in which he said that all the times he's tried to work on projects for money they never really worked out, and after a while he learnt that when he worked on his own stuff he would eventually get paid for it so he may as well just work on his own stuff. I think this is something I maybe would have learnt, if I hadn't spent the last ten years working on projects for other people I thought I was going to get paid for. I sometimes feel like I'm having career-related epiphanies without having the actual career.

I don't think of that work as a waste. Every script I've written is an improvement over the last. But my free time is becoming more and more precious as I get older and I'm not sure it's being put to best use. Though this may sound arrogant I am good at writing. The times I'm not good are when I don't get enough time or when I take too much on. When I get the time and the inclination I'm really very good indeed. But I've started to realise that the more I do for free the more I devalue my work. In monetary terms my writing is worth nothing. So when I get into situations like the one above and am actually made to feel like my writing is worth nothing I can't really argue.

What I've decided from all this is that the decision not to work for free anymore has to stick, even though I didn't get paid. I've talked about doing this before, then someone comes along with that one project that sounds too good to be true and I do it. Then it's only after five months work that I realise it actually was too good to be true.

So I'll see through the projects I've already started, but anything new has to be paid for. And if I lose out on projects because people refuse to pay me then that's fine. I'll have more time to spend with my wife and see my friends and play Xbox, all of which are a lot more fun than sitting alone in my room for hours at a time writing someone else's projects. I'll also have more time to work on my own stuff, which may never get produced and may never exist outside my head, but at least I'll enjoy the process. I might even remember why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

MovieBar Launch's how it went down...

So I just got home from my first time running MovieBar. Loads of people came. Everything worked, although one of our technical glitches resulted in half the pub having near heart-attacks and the other half losing 80% of their hearing. But otherwise it went really well.

I'll post full details on the MovieBar blog in the next day or two but I thought I'd write about the immediate and still slightly Guinness-fuelled reaction here.

First of all, I have to say I was ridiculously nervous. This was a combination of not knowing how the technical stuff would work, not knowing how many people would definitely turn up, not being too sure about how well I'd do at introducing the films and talking to the filmmakers (public speaking is not something I have ever been particularly keen on) and so on. I was nervous to the point that the night before I had a very vivid
nightmare in which for various reasons my team and I didn't arrive at the pub until five minutes before we were due to start, and then everything started to go wrong. This was so cripplingly terrifying I then had to lie awake in bed figuring out exactly how I would cope in this situation if it should happen in real life.

It didn't happen in real life because I made sure we arrived over an hour and a half before we were due to start. Also, my team were super-awesome and sorted out all the technical stuff while I sat and worried about what I was going to say.

Then we started, and I realised that having been to almost every
MovieBar that's been on before this I knew exactly how it should work and there was never really anything to worry about. We had a couple of technical issues. My DVD player cleverly remembers at which point you stopped each film the last time you played it, which meant all the films started about 30 seconds in because that's when we stopped when we were testing them. The very first film came on extremely loud and nearly deafened/killed everyone as mentioned above. But otherwise it ran pretty smoothly.

Lots of people came which was ace and I don't think there were any spare seats in the place when we started. A good chunk of the audience left before the end and a few people didn't make it but I couldn't really have asked for a better audience for my first night.

The Q&A's went really well. I sometimes fell into
auto-pilot and started rattling off questions without really thinking, but for the most part I think I did okay and we got some really interesting stories. My two favourite moments were the Q&A with Sam Milletti who has an infectious enthusiasm and is annoyingly young to have made a film as good as Daisy (yes I am jealous), and the Q&A with Brother Pete which teetered on the brink of becoming an Abbott & Costello-style double-act.

Thanks to Ross, Rich, Pete, Charlotte and Andrea for their ultra-hard work which meant I really didn't have anything to worry about other than standing up and rambling every now and again. Thanks also to all the filmmakers who came along to talk about their work, thanks to Helen for putting up posters around Brighton and to Terry for coming to the rescue with that rather essential audio cable, and thanks to the staff at the Cornerstone who helped things run very smoothly indeed. I've got a plan sorted out for next month so if you are in the vicinity of Brighton and can make it along please check out the MovieBar blog in the next few days for more details.

On an unrelated note, Manor Hunt Ball got a mention in The Sun today. Look, it's here! That's a film what I wrote being mentioned in an actual newspaper! Yes, it's a film that doesn't exist yet, but it's a start! I was, as you can probably tell, disproportionately excited by this.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cables, cables everywhere...just not the one I need!!!

So yesterday I hired a projector and gathered my team together for a rehearsal for MovieBar on Monday. I just wanted to make sure everything worked, all the films played okay and everyone knew what they were doing. We hit two major problems...

PROBLEM 1) There was no audio cable. It's probably not called an audio cable, it's probably called a DH54b or something, but that's my point - I don't know anything about any of this stuff. Brother Pete knows a bit more about this stuff and knew we would need something to connect the DVD player to the pub's sound system. That something was what we didn't have. Faced with the prospect of screening several narrative short films without sound I did what any sane, rational person would do in this situation. I panicked.

What were we going to do!?!? The place I hired the projector from closes for the weekend so if it was something they were supposed to give us there was no chance. We could buy a cable but we had no idea exactly which one we needed. This was a disaster!!!

After leaving messages and sending e-mails to everyone I knew who might be able to help I finally got the answer and made sure we'd have the right cable on Monday. Brother Pete also connected everything up to his amp as a back-up which worked fine too. Panic over...

PROBLEM 2) So we connected the projector up to a laptop to watch some of the more recent film submissions. This was fine, until we got distracted by Yor...

Barbarians + Dinosaurs + Robots + Lasers + Spaceships = AWESOME. Especially when projected onto a large wall. Then we became slightly obsessed with the theme tune...

And from that point on our collective review of every film we watched to potentially screen at MovieBar became 'Okay it's good, but it's just not Yor'

We managed to get back to the rehearsal in the end. It should be a pretty awesome night. Unless I get distracted and make everyone watch the Yor trailer on a loop. Which would also be awesome...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Hit the Big Time - Episode 5...

Sorry, almost forgot to post it this week. Just three more episodes to go...

Hit The Big Time Episode 5 of 8 from Hit The Big Time on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Jenny Ringo Video Diary 1...

So I did this around a week ago then debated over whether to post it or not. For some reason I thought doing a video diary would be easier than writing a blog post. It wasn't, and that seems obvious now. I almost didn't post it on account of realising I mumble too much, then decided if I didn't post it at all it would have been a complete waste of time. Also, if I'm ever going to learn to talk proper in front of a camera then I should probably put myself through such things...

If you can put up with me mumbling incoherently for three minutes there's a really short clip from the film at the end which I introduce really badly (I honestly thought I'd re-recorded that part but clearly not). It is supposed to be completely out of context - I don't want to give the whole film away right now. It is also ungraded and the sound hasn't been mixed so it's in a very rough state, but I figured I've been going on about this thing for so long now it seemed wrong to post a video diary without some proof that the film actually exists.

Anyway, here it is...

Also, I listened to the first version of the score last night. It's amazing and I'm really happy with it. Plus it's given me a bit of a boost seeing the film with music and it feels a lot closer to being finished now. I will do a proper post about the music at some point soon...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Black Swan Conspiracy and other updates...

It's been some time since my last short film diary. I assure you Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw is still happening. Tonight I'm meeting the composer to check out the music which should move things along a bit. I was going to write a full update on here, then decided I would try to be clever and do something different. The something different took a lot longer than it should have done but I will post it soon.

You know that
MovieBar thing I keep going on about? It's still happening next week, Monday 7th February at the Cornerstone pub in Brighton. 8pm. Free entry. Just saying...

My wife has started a blog! Thinking about it she probably wants to remain anonymous, so ignore that first sentence and just check out this
awesome new blog! And then follow it and link to it and stuff so she keeps it up!

As she mentions, we have been on an Oscars mission recently. The plan is to see as many of the nominated films as possible so we can shout at the TV with some conviction when people we don't like win stuff. I've really enjoyed the films so far - The King's Speech was enjoyably perfect, 127 Hours was surprisingly fun, Black Swan was amazing and could be my favourite film ever (despite the fact that Andrea did indeed have to tell half the audience to shut up when the film started), Exit Through the Gift Shop was brilliant and funny...those last two actually have something in common.

Black Swan seems to have divided audiences and that's kind of exciting and I think makes it way more interesting than something everyone universally agrees is fantastic. Certainly makes for some interesting discussions anyway. I respect everyones' right to an opinion and I have no problem with people telling me they hated something I liked. I have a bit of a problem with someone trying to convince me I'm wrong for liking or disliking something - I'm happy to exchange opinions but I'm not going to change mine because someone else says so. But what I have a real problem with is people telling me I don't know my own mind; that I've been conned or brainwashed into thinking something is better or worse than it is.

There is a large faction of the internet (and some people in real life) that seem to see Darren Aronofsky's success with Black Swan as being exactly the same as Thierry Guetta's success in Exit Through the Gift Shop. These people seem to believe that Aronofsky has conned us all into thinking he is a genius and that the reality is far from the truth. I'm not even exaggerating - I've seen people actually put it in these terms. Yes, I'm sure the marketing department for the film do want us to believe it's the greatest film ever made, but so does the marketing department on any film. This isn't a conspiracy, this is the film industry. No one is making anyone like or dislike a film. Only apparently they are, and those rebellious individuals who have uncovered this conspiracy are more than happy to tell us all about it in one unified and now quite repetitive voice.

Who cares? Who really cares whether I like a film or not? Why is it so important?

To me, it's really not important. I'm not saying I don't care what people think because I really do. I just don't really believe in the concept of good art and bad art. Cue my overly pretentious rant about art -

Art exists to make you as an individual feel something. That's all. You don't have to like it, you don't have to dislike it, it's got nothing to do with the intentions of those who made it, it will either make you feel something or it won't. And if you don't feel anything, if it's dealing with subjects outside your experience, or does so in a way that means nothing to you, or maybe you're just not even in the right frame of mind to engage with it that day, that doesn't make the art bad. And if you hated it, if you didn't get anything from it at all and despised the experience, that's fine but that's your reaction. You as an individual. You don't have to convince everyone else to feel the same way, that their positive reaction was wrong, that there is some malicious design here; some kind of conspiracy to make us all like something rubbish.

As far as I'm concerned, even when there is a lack of artistic intention there is still value in the art itself. It may be an abstract value beyond that which the artist intended, if he/she intended anything at all, but if someone, anyone, is made to feel something or even understand something as a result of that work then it's done its job.

This is how I watch films. I don't expect anyone to agree. But it is for the above reason that you won't convince me I'm wrong about a film I liked, conspiracy or no conspiracy.