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From thin to thick skinned?


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#1 David Calson

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:49 AM

I'm going to be vulnerable for a moment...this goes out to all the veteran weather worn pros

I'm an aspiring DP/videographer/producer with a thin skin, when I make a mistake it feels like the end of the world, it feels like nobody else could have made such a foolish mistake. When somebody thinks my work is garbage I'm almost tempted to believe them.

So how do you deal with it? How do you deal with it not getting you down?

Edited by Blade Borge, 25 April 2009 - 10:50 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:58 AM

I have a thin skin too so when you find a solution to it, please tell me.
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#3 Patrick Neary

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:03 AM

Hi-

I don't qualify as a weather worn vet by any means, but...

when you make a serious mistake in a professional setting it could very well impact your career (and not in a good way) so you should feel bad.

The way to deal with it is to not make mistakes. Good luck with that!
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#4 David Calson

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:09 AM

I have a thin skin too so when you find a solution to it, please tell me.


But I mean, I'm sure you've made mistakes and people not like your work, why hasn't that stopped you?
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:43 AM

i also have thin skin, and every time someone say bad things about my work i think i should look for something else to do:)

but i know 2 things in my heart that keep me going

1- i love cinematography with all my heart
2- i can't do anything else with my life

so i keep going telling myself i am good and some people will liked my work and some dont

being DP a lot of time it's not about your work but the overall impact of the movie,music video, commercial

make mistake is part of the learning processes but there things you can avoid

one is be prepare as much as you can and test test test asked questions read forms etc

the other thing is not to take project that are not in your level of experience

i mean 2-3 level jump you can handle (with shaking,and not sleeping a few nights)

but 5 level jump and you know you will get in trouble

experience is part of the game

i know i am not ready yet to shot a 20.000.000$ feature with action and effects

so i would say no even if i got an offer

hope you got my point:)
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#6 Serge Teulon

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:49 AM

Blade, what you are saying does not mean you have a thin skin. A thin skin feeling only manifests itself when you find yourself not being able to deal with the rejections or with the fact that 'they' are ignoring 'you'.
It just means that you really care about what you do and that you are also a bit nervous as you feel that one 'strike and your out' applies. Which it can do in certain situations....

Everybody, be it at the top of the food chain or at the bottom, makes mistakes. That is why you often hear the saying that, it is from your mistakes that you learn more.
Amongst others, this is also a reason why being trusted in our industry takes a long time. I mean, everybody knows that anyone is prone to a mistake every now and again but the more time you spend perfecting your job the less likely down the line you'll make silly rookie mistakes.
I believe this is why producers and directors etc...are more condusive to take some seriously who has been in the industry for 10 yrs+.

In my experience feeling vulnerable, exposed is immediately remedied by total honesty and by being upfront.

Edited by Serge Teulon, 25 April 2009 - 11:50 AM.

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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:33 PM

I have the opposite problem, nothing people say about my work has any impact on me.

Of course considering what people write on the web about my work I don't really have much choice, do I? :D

R,
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 12:37 PM

Drinking helps ;)

What I can't stand isn't getting yelled at when I make a mistake, but getting yelled at for something that is someone else's fault or for doing something that someone else TOLD ME to do.

Can't stand that, ro deal with it in any other manner. It's just so senseless when stuff like that happens. It is very frustrating to feel powerless like that, and to get yelled at for no reason sucks too.

A*sholes. . .

And it's contagious too. You tend to pass bad karma like that along, even if you aren't trying to.
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#9 Tim Terner

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 02:41 PM

I have the opposite problem, nothing people say about my work has any impact on me.

Of course considering what people write on the web about my work I don't really have much choice, do I? :D

R,


Whether or not it has any impact on you at all is iirrelevant , it won't affect the quality (or lack of) that you produce
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 03:12 PM

Well, for one thing, I tend to avoid situations where I will be made to feel bad -- as most people do. I do that firstly by trying to not be the reason something goes wrong, and to deal with problems professionally when they occur. I also try to avoid working with idiots and jerks, not always possible in my industry.

I also try my best to understand when some piece of criticism is irrelevant or meaningless, or simply a difference of taste.

But I also try to toughen myself up by looking at my own work as critically as possible, to become my own worst critic -- so at least no one is going to point out something wrong which I haven't already seen.

Ultimately it takes a certain perspective, a basic belief in yourself and your potential, to keep going in the face of negativity. You have to believe that while you aren't free from making mistakes, you have the ability to get beyond them and keep improving.

It's a tricky tightrope to walk on, this ability to be self-critical and see your work as needing constant improvement, yet believing that you are competitive with any number of your peers and have the capability to advance even farther. Too much self-belief and you stop being open to learning more and improving, but too little and you don't see the point of continuing further.
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#11 David Calson

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 04:19 PM

Too much self-belief and you stop being open to learning more and improving, but too little and you don't see the point of continuing further.



Very true David, I guess my struggle is trying to get out of the latter.
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#12 Tom Jensen

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 04:30 PM

When you are working, you are the greatest cameraman there is and when you aren't then you are the biggest pos. People blow up in this business and oddly enough it is often for a good reason. You always have to be prepared. Always be ready so when the camera rolls, nobody is waiting on you. Steve Burum calls it actor time. When the talent walks on the set, this is there time and if your are ready, things are more likely to go as planned. You can't take it personally. This business is tough. You will get fired. If you haven't been fired in this business, you aren't working in this business. It feels terrible. If anybody critiques your work, you must realize that you are not yet where you will be after you get experience. I worked more as an assistant than I did as a DP. But years of experience taught me how to utilize what I had learned up to that point. Shooting without a crew and equipment is a drag. I remember when I finally got the chance to shoot 2nd unit and finally a film with equipment and crew, your work gets better. It is so much easier with a crew. Don't beat yourself up, just accept the fact that you will suck at first but you will improve. You just have to believe that you will get better.
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#13 Richard Boddington

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 04:38 PM

I have no problem with the slings and arrows directed at me on IMDB and other sites. IMDB has yet to send out a cheque to any director praised by the IMDB crowd any way :lol:

What I do take offense to are the very mean, very repulsive, and personal attacks people have thrown at my actors. I mean good grief they are human beings that put their reputations and careers on the line when they star in a low budget movie, and few seem able to cut them some slack for this.

Ricky Jervais said it the best, words to the effect of, "responding to the personal attacks people throw out on the web is the same as responding to graffiti written on the wall of a bathroom stall."

I think he is 100% correct. I wouldn't find it so bad if these critical cowards on the web would post with their real names, instead they all cower behind silly web handles and toss out their bile thinking that their opinion will damage the entertainment people they are referring to.

R,
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#14 Tom Jensen

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:14 PM

You know Richard, I belong to a few other forums and I surf the web way too much and I have noticed that the shield of the web creates an atmosphere where you can say just about anything on the web and suffer no real consequence. It really is a self policing media. The cruelty is astonishing. It is so easy to say just about anything at all. 30-40 years ago if you got caught with what you can find on the web under your mattress, you could go to jail. Now, it's anything goes. I saw something the other day I found pretty disturbing. Perez Hilton who is an openly gay blogger was judging a beauty pageant and he asked Miss California what her opinion was on gay marriage. She said it should be between a man and a woman. She lost. But he went on his blog and called her a bitch and said he should have called her a C*nt. Now, I'm straight and I completely agree that gays should be able to marry anyone they want. I don't care, it's none of my business. But who is this guy to call her vicious names just because her opinion isn't his opinion. Before the internet, could a judge of a beauty pageant say this about a contestant? I don't think I have ever heard a comment from a beauty pageant judge before in my life. Now it's acceptable? Sort of. He did apologize, though. But, come on, now we can't even watch the news with our kids without hearing vile filth. I'm no prude, believe me, but man the web and the TV media is just going overboard. We are supposed to be evolving as a species but as technology advance, people seem to slipping backwards. Man cannot keep up with technology.

Edited by Tom Jensen, 25 April 2009 - 05:18 PM.

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#15 Justin Hayward

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:25 PM

I wouldn't find it so bad if these critical cowards on the web would post with their real names, instead they all cower behind silly web handles and toss out their bile thinking that their opinion will damage the entertainment people they are referring to.

I don’t understand why anyone feels the need to rip other people’s hard work. I guess I’m a hypocrite as I am surfing rottentomatoes.com all the time, but I’ll never understand why anyone would devote their whole lives to looking at something someone else really worked hard on and tearing it a new one. How is that satisfying? The movie’s already done, nothing they say will change that. So why not leave it alone to suffer its own fate? I’m talking about all critics, not just the wannabes on IMDB.

A friend of mine has a doc playing on the festival circuit and just a week before the last festival, a critic got a hold of a preview and posted a horrible review telling everyone to avoid it at all costs as this specific festival. Why would he do that? Does it make him feel better about himself? My friend spent almost six years working on this movie and in five minutes this guy rips everything he did. Why?

This is a bit rhetorical. I know they’re paid and criticism makes us better and the paying public deserves to be warned and all that. It’s on the personal level I’m talking about. It’s not like the filmmakers personally asked these people’s opinion. Instead they come out and totally unmotivated scream to the world what they think about a specific piece of (very, very, very, hard) work.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I think Woody Allen said it best in his explanation as to why he doesn’t read reviews (or go to the Oscars, I can’t remember), “If you accept it when they tell you you’re good, then you have to accept it when they tell you you’re bad.”

And yes, in answer to the initial post, I’m devastated by my mistakes. But, I have a healthy amount of self-delusion that keeps me going.
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#16 Matthew Buick

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:32 PM

As far as thin skin goes my skin is thinner than many. The slightest of critiscisms can really knock how I feel about myself, it's previously reached points where I've considered CBT, but since I've been submitting photographs to flickr my self-esteem really has skyrocketed, people, in life and online had really eroded it to next to nothing. Positive thinking is extraordinally effective. Every time a person or event causes your self-esteem to take a bit of downer (if you can) write down in seperate columns the negative, and positive aspects of your character, as long as you're impartial in your writing the positive aspects will almost certainly outweigh the negative ones. It can also be helpful to write in detail what, and where you went wrong, and in a separate section write down what can be done in future, and how. I say writing down in preferable to memorising, because the paper can be taped up above your bed or something, and paper can't forget fine details. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and these methods have proven helpful to me.

All the best!
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#17 David Rakoczy

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 06:19 PM

But, I have a healthy amount of self-delusion that keeps me going.


This trait is critical for a lasting career in motion picture :blink:
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 06:55 PM

This trait is critical for a lasting career in motion picture :blink:


Reminds me of this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (that artists are insane):

http://www.cooperati...te-pictures.gif
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#19 robert duke

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 07:31 PM

I have found that being self aware of your mistakes is a good thing. It allows you to strive for better and work harder at being better. There is nothing perfect.

The romans used to make a mistake on purpose to show the gods they could not achieve the perfection of gods.

I am a grip. In my heart of hearts there is nothing I would rather do in life. I feel a sense of art in what I do, not the final product but in every flag I set, every mount I make, every dolly push. I make art no one will ever see, except those people around me. when I f up I will be the first to admit it. I will make that next flag better set, I will strive for better artistry in what I do. I have to. I love it. I fear the day I have to give it up. My mentors have started to retire, and pass on. To see them stop breaks my heart. I want to give them a cstand to set in their living room and cut the shadows of the sun for fun.

I know each mistake I make shows the gods of film I am not perfect and cannot achieve perfection. I can only strive to make better art. on the Next moment.

People are critics. I tend to not trust people who shower praise. I tend not to trust people who are critics either. Critics see more wrong than good. you know good in yourself. who cares what they say, as long as you see how you could have made it better.
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#20 Jason Debus

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 07:35 PM

Reminds me of this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon (that artists are insane):

http://www.cooperati...te-pictures.gif


Classic! I found a better quality version that's a little easier to read:

Posted Image
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