The Film Maker vs. The Film Spectator & Film Critic

Something should be said about the role the filmmaker plays in society. He or she is an artist in every right of the word—a person who maintains a living occupation with creative vision and artistic integrity. But more or less—the filmmaker is just that—a maker, a doer, an active achiever and not merely a critic or spectator. The filmmaker whether his or her artistic platform of creation is documentaries, experimental film, art house projects, or independent filmmaking is motivated to accomplish and complete and inspired to achieve and create. Not that filmmakers do not hold an opinion one way or another on other film works like that of a spectator and film critic but that their goal in life and in their career is not posited solely or largely on critiquing, analyzing, or providing constructive or literary criticism for classic films and currently released ones. Just like a chef who eats out from to time and makes varying critical notes to various dishes he sees prepared or he has served to him the filmmaker responds the same way sitting in a movie theatre watching someone else’s film.

An artist as Charles Bukowski put it in his poem, “so you want to be a writer?” is moved by passion and nothing else. He writes, “…unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it…” Passion is what moves the film artist to create, pursue, and accomplish something not found in movie critics and film spectators. The true, motivated artist not just with filmmakers but musicians, poets, and writers is so inspired in his or her rendition in creating that they have little to no time in keeping up with the latest movie and contributing it with the latest opinion blog or critique. They are wholly concerned with the absolute challenge that all artists are compelled with—perfection. Perfection is what takes most if not all of their time. It’s here in the pursuit of perfection that keeps the filmmaker only active in his or her pursuit of making films rather than just criticizing, commending, analyzing, and watching films.

Satisfaction is the highest reality that a filmmaker aims for. Seeing his or her creative vision accomplished through the medium of film on a movie screen delivers the highest degree of satisfaction. Critics and spectators are satisfied in talking, commenting, providing criticism for debate and discussion all on the sidelines—literally. Filmmakers are only satisfied in accomplishing in the ring, on the field, on stage in their performances of producing, directing, and writing film works. Bent for the inspiration to bring something from nothing filmmakers move through society with an artistic outlook. They, in fact, do not watch a film the same way as a film spectator. Most film critics do come from a film background either through theory courses in film schools, judges/panelists for film festivals and awards ceremonies, or even on set as a one-time producer and director. Satisfaction may be interpreted as the ego of the filmmaker or a filmmaker being arrogant about his or her work but this is erroneous and a misunderstanding of the role the filmmaker plays in society through entertainment in one degree and activism/informer in another. The filmmaker wants to move in the reality of progress and achievement with the thinking that their artistic work is nowhere to be seen in the world. Such the audacity to accomplish and plan for such creative accomplishments appears to others as arrogance and egotism but it is the very drive that propels him or her forward. This is the same drive that separates the true film auteur to the constant moviegoer, film critic, and spectator of such works.

One thought on “The Film Maker vs. The Film Spectator & Film Critic

  1. Josephine

    Hi, your article was very informative thank you.However am writing a term paper and i would like to seek some clarifications from you. Does a spectator perform the same roles as the film critic? If not, what are the roles of a spectator in film industry? I would really appreciate if you enlighten me on this.


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