It’s happened. You slaved away for weeks months, maybe even years. You called in all the favors, scraped together all your savings and rolled the dice on your digital dream. For the most part you seem to be getting positive feedback. You send it to a few festivals, people are laughing when they should, congratulating you. Everything is moving along, and you are epically proud of yourself. You breathe a sigh of relief. You did it.
But then one day you check your show, and see you have a new comment
“Horrible. A waste of the most minutes I watched.” Keith
This is the point where the story takes an autobiographical twist.
I would post a photo of the man I Facebook stalked and presumed to be Keith. The man I have reviewed to have “Horrible taste, and is a waste of the most terrible grammar of the minutes I read” so that we can all laugh at his decidedly ugly face, that is not that ugly, but since he hurt my feelings has become the very definition of ugly.
But the thing is… He’s really not ugly, and he’s actually not a waste, he legitimized me. Keith, who’s Amazon Public wish-list includes crotchless panties, has reminded me of something important. I’ll get to that in a minute. First… let’s examine the identity of the random bad reviewer.
Who are these people? These so-called trolls, scouring the pixelated landscape to feed on the dreams of foolish They are people that cared enough, that were moved enough to sign into their account, click a button and type their feelings. That’s like 3 to 4 steps! It’s hard enough to get your mother, (the woman who claps when you’re driving because you’re so good at it) to “check out your new show!”
But beyond have the attention of a passionate stranger, the bad review has so much to offer. It’s the fuel for the artists fire. As online content creators The more rejections we get, the less fear burdens our every move. And now in an odd and wonderful way, I feel weightless.
Because ultimately you have something to say. Something you have to convey to as many people as possible, in a way that words alone can’t express. Because you want to share your experience of something beautiful, or terrifying or a little bit sad. And that is the hope of our oversharing generation. The possibility of empathy. Recent studies suggest that watching “good” television increases your emotional intelligence. Finally, our cause is a worthwhile endeavor.
At the end of the day our biggest critique doesn’t come from anyone that’s seen our show. But from the troves of non-viewers that label us redundant, self-centered, a waste of time. Because that’s the battle we’re up against. Why would anyone watch a web series?
The only answer for that is my memories of watching tapes of Buffy the Vampire slayer, alone in my room. I was ridiculed mercilessly by my sisters, who are the true experts at psychological torture. But I couldn’t stop. Buffy taught me about love and loneliness. About hiding who you are. So many lessons in that epically gratifying way only good TV can offer. There was the moniker, TV is rotting your brain. But it wasn’t. It was feeding me.
With that I would like to invite everyone, if you have Amazon Prime and the time, take a look at the series that I am truly very proud of. And if you are so moved, leave your honest feedback, whatever that may be. (Sidebar We get $ for any clicks we get on Amazon, so thanks Keith for suffering through all those minutes)
My web series Croissant Man was recently released on Amazon Prime. I’m pretty proud of the thing, and overall it has been received well (Vimeo staff pick, 11 awards, 21 festivals)
But today I read our first bad review:
Here is the Website if you are curious and don’t have prime (I am NOT asking anyone to pay a dime)
All episodes are still available for free through Vimeo.
Any of you in New York we will be screening this Saturday October 10th at the Brooklyn Webfest along with a panel of Female Driven Web series creators. And also Friday October 23rd at the New York Television Festival.
I Would be grateful for any support you endlessly brave creators could offer.
And lastly, Keith I hope you remember, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Tulica Singh (not bitter she swears)