“The Barrier” Criticism Considered

Scene24_02_1685A few years ago, I saw an interview with the Smother’s brothers. Tommy talked about some musicians who would practice for years before they went on stage. He felt that was wrong. He said that you really don’t learn how to perform in public unless you perform in public. The audience will tell you what is working and what isn’t. On your own, you’ll focus on the wrong things.

When I posted “The Barrier”, I knew that it wasn’t a final version. But, if I didn’t show it to anyone, and in particular people that didn’t know me, I would lose out on some important lessons.

I’ve had a range of responses to “The Barrier” so far, from very positive to very negative. I am pleased that most of the responses have been positive. Even some people who had criticism did have positive things to say.

I was disappointed when people didn’t like the movie, but you can’t expect everyone to like what you do. If only one person in 1,000 like your work, that is still 7,000,000 people.

It is tempting to get snarky with some commenters, but that isn’t a good way to build support for my movie. Not only will it put them off, but other people who see the posts will be discouraged as well. I used to say I wish my word processer had a diplomacy checker.

I knew that my movie had some problems, but I’ve been surprised that people pick up on things I hadn’t expected, and don’t seem bothered by what I thought were the “real” problems. A lot more people were put off by the animation and computer generated voices than I expected. In part I think that was because, in my mind, I imagined the film with live action and live actors. On the other hand, some people really liked the animation.

Another comment I got was that it didn’t seem like very much was at stake. Strictly speaking, the stakes are quite high, but that isn’t made explicit until the very end. I can see that as a problem from a pure story telling perspective. However, it has to be that way to express a specific  idea, which is one of the main reasons I want to tell the story. I’ll need to think about how I might address that.

I still want to hear more about what people think of the movie. Please take the time to watch it and tell me what you think. If you already have, please encourage other people to watch it as well.


If you have any suggestions about where I can find people who might enjoy the movie, I would like to hear that too.

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