Every once in a while I find myself, against my better judgment, reading user critiques of photos on some message board. I have always found this mass critique to be distressing because I think it generally leads to more confusion than clarity. One person will say, if you had only cropped it a little on the left, and the next person will reply, no, it's good the way it is.
Or to put it another way, Ordinary People won best picture over Raging Bull.
When the writer Jerzy Kosinski (The Painted Bird) came to the states looking for a publisher, he copied a Hemingway story and submitted it to a top editor who rejected it, complete with an analysis of how the writer of the story would never get published and why.
I sat in the audience at a critique at NYU Grad School of Film where Spike Lee's film was ripped apart and to make it worse, films that were without any personality were praised.
I'm not saying that nobody knows anything -- but the key to getting advice would be -- possibly to get advice from someone who's work you like. But even there, no saying that a person who can produce images or art that you enjoy has any idea at all of how to impart that to anyone else. If you try to emulate that artist -- you are at the beginning of the stairway. It's not a bad way to begin, but the whole thing is about climbing those steps until you can look down and claim your own spot. And if you do climb to that step and no one realizes it -- you have to realize it.
The inverse doesn't really work either. If everyone you meet tells you that your work stinks -- that doesn't mean it is any good either. And even if you feel that you have reached some step of your own making -- well, the best you can say is that you feel you have made progress -- but no way to know if you are deluded or not.
In other words, this week, the two top grossing films are:
The Passion of the Christ
Starsky and Hutch
I know there is a connection between them, but I haven't figured it out yet. My team of researchers are on it though.