Criticism Guidelines

Please keep these guidelines in mind when providing feedback on our Facebook site!

  • Be specific. Avoid generalizations or words like “always” and “never.” “Zombie movies always suck,” is not helpful feedback for someone who has just made a Zombie movie, for example.
  • Be helpful. Don’t focus on what’s wrong, focus on what could be better.
  • Be respectful. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Remember how much work goes into filmmaking, and try to anticipate how your comments will be taken by someone who’s invested that much work into what they’ve shared.
  • Constructive criticism is about the work, not about the person.  “You are horrible at writing dialog” is not helpful. “The dialog in the first scene feels unnatural to me” is helpful.
  • When in doubt, rephrase your feedback as a question. So, instead of “That three-headed came out of nowhere,” try “Was the three-headed dog there earlier? I may have missed it.”
  • Do not use offensive language, such as swears, slurs, insults or sexually inappropriate comments. These don’t help anyone. Another reason “Zombie movies always suck,” would not be helpful.

 

Receiving constructive criticism

  • Constructive criticism is about the work, not about the person. It can be very difficult when you’ve put a lot of work into something and it’s criticized – but remember that it’s not a criticism of you personally.
  • Remember that people giving you feedback are trying to help. It’s very hard to read tone from digital communications – if something comes across as insulting, give the poster the benefit of the doubt. Assume they don’t mean to be hurtful. We’re all on the same team, trying to improve film and filmmakers in Rhode Island!
  • Report anything that goes over the top to the Giveme5 team by email.
  • It’s ok to disregard a criticism – people’s feedback is there for you to take or leave as feels right.
  • You don’t have to respond to everything, and you don’t have to defend your work.
  • Before responding to any criticisms, it’s a good idea to take a break – catch your breath. If you find you’re feeling defensive or emotional, step back for a few minutes before you respond.
  • Be sure you understand the critique before responding – if you don’t, ask for clarification.
  • Remember what works and what doesn’t in the feedback you receive, to help you the next time you give feedback.
  • Appreciate the time people are taking to give you feedback.