Whenever people ask me what I do for a living, I get the same reactions:
"Wow, that must be great!" and "I bet you get to see lots of movies."
I run a movie theatre, and most of the time, yes, it is great. And I do get to see a lot of movies.
But, it's not as great as people might think. I see a lot of movies, but not necessarily a lot of good movies. In fact, I have to say, the vast majority of films I have to watch are mediocre at best. And sometimes, they're terrible. This week, I watched an absolutely awful film that I won't name in case the film makers ever find their way to my blog. Suffice to say, after the opening scene I was tempted to turn it off. I gritted my teeth and kept going. I'm not a quitter. I tend to keep going even if I'm hating a film - or a book for that matter - in case things improve further in. Sometimes I've been surprised like that. This time? No. I had to give up after forty minutes. I just couldn't watch any further. The plot was laughable, the acting terrible and the mechanics of the film making were clumsy and uninteresting. Needless to say, I passed on this one.
I wonder who, if anyone is going to screen this particular film. I'm terrifically supportive of local film makers and will usually do some kind of deal with them just so they can get their work on the big screen, even if it is only for one session. But sometimes something is just so terrible, I know it won't find an audience, and putting the film on screen will be humiliating for everyone involved. Better to kill it before that point.
So, in that case, I am the gate keeper. With my writing, I'm approaching gate keepers too. Publishers and agents. It's exactly the same thing. They read my work and decide whether or not it's worth taking. If they pass, are they trying to save me the humiliation of publishing a book no one wants to read? Hmm... Worth thinking on. I'm sure the film makers believe as passionately in their vision as I do in mine. I hope someone else manages to find whatever spark of genius might be in their work, because I sure couldn't. I hope someone manages to find the spark in mine...
Don't forget the contest! Only one day to go to win a substantial full manuscript edit from the lovely Cassandra Marshall. http://www.camarshall.com/2010/06/celebrate-with-me-free-substantial-edit.html