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Negative criticism of work doesn't always mean someone is ''hating"

It’s so easy for an actor, producer or director to go on a venting rampage after a negative review of their work. But then are fans expected to sit through a bad movie or performance and not "hate"?

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It’s so easy as an actor, producer or director, to go on a venting rampage, rebutting a reviewer’s negative thoughts of your movies. But the key thing every creative person should never forget is that, it’s their opinion, and they are entitled to it.

Here in Nigeria, it’s almost difficult to give a negative review without coming off as a ‘hater (our entertainers have a thing for that word). Every negative review means you're hating - hating on what exactly?

Few years ago, I remember seeing a movie in a cinema, and thought it was extremely horrible. A certain celebrity took to Twitter to share his opinion on same movie, and just like that, the producer attacked right back, asking “who is he?.” But then, apart from the fact that he’s actually “somebody,” he doesn’t need to be anybody to comment on a movie he spent his time and MONEY watching.

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I also remember an AMVCA award winner commenting on a review of his work by a blog in 2014, describing the writer as a ‘low life.’ A low life for sharing his thoughts on your movie? Brother, It’s just not that serious!

Thanks to social media, everybody is now a movie reviewer. Everyone can say anything they feel about a movie, worse is that, they would tag you and make you read it by fire by force.

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You can’t make everyone love or accept how ‘creative’ you think you are. That I found film A to be bad, doesn’t mean I consider the director generally artistically bad. You could fail to prove your talent as a director in film A and succeed in B.

To hear someone berate your work is never easy to take, but it's an opinion that you can either let affect you positively or you can ignore. Most filmmakers will tell you “I love getting feedback from my fans, so please send in your reviews.” Just wait till that feedback is negative, then you will see them defending every line of article – It’s a review, not an accusation.

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Most times, there’s always actually some value in a bit of criticism. Take the important lessons that are being offered. Always remember that just because someone feels a certain way about your work, doesn't mean that you’re not creative or generally good at what you do – it’s their opinion, don’t fight them for airing it.

Ok, let’s assume the person is just being a ‘hater,’ there’s actually no need trying to change someone’s mind who’s already decided against your creative skills, or who can’t stand your style of performance. Learn which battles to fight and be careful not to sound arrogant or vindictive simply because you want to discredit someone’s opinion.

If you suck at handling critics, then don’t read your reviews. Release your movie and don’t bother going online for reviews – but then, every entertainer wants to constantly receive approval or validation from their fans.

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Re-read your numerous or even few good reviews whenever you read the negative ones. Remind yourself that some people out there actually thought you brought you’re a-game to the work, that way, you would be boosting your ego, and growing at what you do.

There are filmmakers I can’t for any reason see their movies in the cinema, no matter how star studded the cast is. That is because I get upset each time I see their movies. These filmmakers still have their fanbase, there are still people who keep applauding them and saying I’m probably one of those ‘haters,’ but my ‘hating’ doesn’t count because certain people are still encouraging them, and they have chosen to focus on the positive reviews, and skip the negative ones, and for that reason, they are still producing and screening mediocre movies – because they have chosen to stick to the good reviews.

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No matter how bad you think a review is, it would only affect you how you want it to. Bad reviews bring growth, they might be discouraging at the moment or for a while, but if you really know why you are in the creative industry, and who you are, then it would push you to becoming a better person.

After a negative review, try to improve the weaknesses and apply the feedback to the next production, or just ignore the reviews all together, but quit thinking anyone is‘hating’ on your career.

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This is 2016, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, and unfortunately, they all can't be constructive. Be encouraged by the positive ones, learn from the bad ones, and save us some social media rants.

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