Criticism

A critique works to objectively analyze a situation or a product breaking it down into smaller points of focus, seeking to find ways to improve and increase performance by focusing on task, product input/output and usefulness. The betterment of the task or product is focused on instead of subjective judgments based on our reflexive feelings to the situations and the people involved in the actual task. This may at some point become a part of the discussion, but the critique is more about the specific task and product.

In film production, a successful movie production team should understand group dynamics and interpersonal communication to objectively analyze the process from beginning to end to make sure that the film stays on task and does not end up giving a completely different perspective as the process unfolds.

For instance, the people that focus on analyzing the lighting most likely will not be the team responsible for character development. Somewhere along the process these two teams will need to get together to make sure that lighting is effectively used to bring out the right qualities in the characters being presented. If the character is depressed, the character development team will need to effectively communicate to the lighting team the emotion they need for the lighting crew to focus on to enhance the experience for the viewer.

If the communication is effective, the lighting team will most likely start them out in low light and shadows. If the character is to overcome their depression, the lighting team can help show the evolution of this character by slowly increasing the lighting on and around the character as he or she evolves. A failure in communication here could cause the movie to not be a success.

The production team needs to be aware that people come from different backgrounds, status, roles, attitudes, behaviors and experiences. Therefore, choosing people too opposite in these concepts can lead to a break down in the flow of production and essentially alter the outcome of the end product. If this happens, it would be essential for the producers to critique both teams and figure out what the breakdown between them is, adjust accordingly, and bring the task back on track. The production team’s experience in these areas allow them to critique the situation instead of just making a judgement.

Having the ability to see deeper into these problems as they are unfolding and offering advice, on the spot, help keep the situation from getting too far out of control. Miscommunication and differing perspectives can lead to serious rifts in team situations. If the producer is inexperienced and unable to see these situations, the project will struggle and likely fail, leaving everyone confused as to what really went wrong.

Adversely, film critics will review the film less for the specifics of how the film was made and more from the perspective of what they feel while watching the film. They will give their personal, subjective opinion based on their prior experiences with watching other films.

Questions like did the setting make them feel like they were part of the movie? Were the characters believable? Was the lighting effective at making them feel like they were or could relate to the characters and their situations?

They are not as concerned with the precise steps the film makers used to get a specific effect. They rely more on their senses than on specific details. Did they want to cry when the character cried? Did they get the proper gut reaction in a zombie movie when the protagonist uses a sawed-off shotgun to blast the brains of the zombie running at him or her? Did the howl of the wolf deep in the woods make the hairs stand up on the back of their neck? Could they feel the cool waters around a character’s feet as she dangled her feet over the edge of a creek dreaming about possibilities?

A good film critic will be familiar with the process of film making and storytelling; however, many critics can successfully write reviews that make others stop and make time in their busy lives to sit down and watch a film just because they wanted to share the experience of the critic.

These same rules apply to other aspects of our lives. When we are communicating with others, are we using our gained knowledge and experiences to analyze a person or situation to better understand them or to help them grow, or are we subjectively relating a gut reaction that is based on our own feelings?

Consider that if your critique is based on your deeper instinctive senses then the reaction is more about your opinion than about helping the one being judged grow in some way. Before you give your opinion, think how it will make you look? If you are always harshly criticizing others, then ask yourself what triggers that reaction in you and begin to address the deeper issues within yourself that lead you to feel that way to begin with. Also, if you try to alter who you are depending on who you are around, then search your soul and find out why you feel a need to do this.

Facing fears and reactions will help you see situations and people more objectively, making you more likely to accept others as they are. You will begin to see that we are all different based on our individual experiences and you will be less inclined to go straight into attack mode as your first response.