May 29, 2016 at 11:31AM


Advice with bad attitudes

Hey guys, how're you all doing?

So - recently, I've had a run of bad luck with people -

I've worked with a few people who's attitudes absolutely stink, no matter how polite and humble you try to be (also happened on this forum with a certain primate)

How do you deal with this if you've experienced it and how does it impact you?

I find that my confidence is dropped when you're set up for the shot.
The other week I'm rigging an A7s with samyang cines etc, so the rig is never huge but the footage is always exactly what the director wants etc (proof of low self esteem there having to justify myself almost) and a couple of actors come up saying how the camera is literally small and it'd be impossible to get good footage out of it, they only work with reds etc etc

I am never. EVER. Rude in return, I just laugh a long and do my job.

Or people have to "poo poo" your work ;
E.G "it's ameture at best" etc

Now don't get me wrong, I can take critique, I made my first film (as in my own, I wrote, shot and edited etc) last year, sent it to the person i respect the most and they said it was literally the worst film they've ever seen - They explained why and I was absolutely fine, because it wasn't malicious, it was a conversation about the genuine bad points of the film.

Why do people feel the need to put themselves on a pedestal and take you down however by just being plain rude?

Sorry if this is a TLDR scenario, just getting rather annoyed over here!


The world is full of ignorant people that are always happy to provide you with their unwanted and uninformed opinions. The only advice I can give you is to always be professional no matter what the situation is.

After many years of freelancing I eventually realized that nobody can argue with someone who agrees with your point of view, so often the quickest way to shut someone down is to thank them for their advice and just get on with your work.

The only opinions that truly matter are your client and anyone else who works directly in a project's decision making process. Everything else is just "chatter" on the set.

May 29, 2016 at 12:18PM, Edited May 29, 12:20PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thank you Guy.
You're sincerely one of the most helpful people on this website and that I've interacted with in the film community (al be it online only)

It's hard to not take this personally sometimes but as you said, just always be professional which is what I do, so thank you :)

David David

May 29, 2016 at 12:34PM

If it is for a job, ignore it and leave it all behind after you are done.
If it is art, work only with people you want to work with.

May 29, 2016 at 2:28PM

Cary Knoop

In such ignorant comments you can go with humor
e.g. "it's not the size that matters, it's the technique!"
or you can go with sarcasm
e.g. "I have never worked with such unprofessional actors. All the others had more experience, were more talented and acted much better. It's impossible to get good performances from you guys".

May 30, 2016 at 10:58AM, Edited May 30, 10:58AM

Stelios Kouk

I shot a movie on a 5D MK II around the time that it was released, and I remember how the actor's eyes just shot wide open the first time they got to join the director behind his production monitor to watch one of the scenes they just shot.
"WOW! That looks great! I had no idea you could get that kind of quality from that small camera."
After which I coughed theatrically and replied "You know, it's not really the camera", and they looked embarrassed and went "Oh, no of course not".

In the end, if you know what you're doing, it shouldn't matter what people think. I enjoy using minimal setups because it not only highlights my actual skills, but it also lowers expectations which further highlights my skills. And everything that highlights your skills as a cinematographer is good, especially in this day and age. If you shoot something great on a huge setup with an Epic or Alexa and all the accessories you can fit on there, chances are a lot of these ignorant people will walk away thinking "Man, if I had all that I could shoot something just as good, if not better!"

May 31, 2016 at 10:13AM

Tobias N
Director of Photography

There might be a chance that you're an awful filmmaker. Which is good news! There's a lot to learn and with enough diligence you'll soon be making work that others appreciate. If you don't quit you'll make it (or at least make something one day you'll kind of be proud of : )
There's also a chance that you met some jerks... they are pretty rare. Be grateful you know how to spot them.

May 31, 2016 at 10:30PM


I did consider that, I wouldn't be ashamed to admit it!

But thank you for the honesty haha!

David David

May 31, 2016 at 11:32PM

Sorry to read what happens to you.
There is a moto in french that say : be nice with stupid people and they will take advantage of you, be rude with them and they will respect you.
Sadly I have experience that it is often true. Don't be nice to them anymore, don't let them see that you can care about what the say and tell them that they have no idea what they talk about and that your camera is way better than a RED in many way (which is true).
Also put your finger where it hurt them and make them feel like shit, you will see how quickly they will become nice again.
The most important is that you shouldn't care about people who judge the quality of a work by the size of the tool.

June 1, 2016 at 6:28AM, Edited June 1, 6:31AM


Thank you very much!

David David

June 1, 2016 at 7:48AM

Totally understand where you're coming from. My little 8-bit gear gets poo-poo'd sometimes too. But I never went to film school and I learned most of what I know from messing with cameras/lenses and watching youtube tutorials. But I have consistent work and I get to tell really cool stories and have one full-time employee. That's pretty dang cool considering I started with a camcorder! I never like it when someone is dismissive, but I also love feedback from people smarter than me. Remember, you NEVER need to please other filmmakers. You ONLY need to please the people you're working for... and yourself. Best of luck on your journey to get increasingly better.

June 1, 2016 at 7:22AM

Dennis Nagelkirk
Write. Film. Edit. Draw. Paint.

thanks for sharing an answering man.

Appreciate it

David David

June 1, 2016 at 7:47AM, Edited June 1, 7:47AM

Definitely helps to share some humour. Also, I tend to try and read their personality a bit and play up to how I think they want things to go.

Also, always try and take an authoritative, but not bossy approach. Just be genuine and believe in yourself because if you know what you're doing, that will shine through anyway. If you are there in the room feeling it and believing it, that is worth more than 1000 red cameras.

I used to manage an Apple reseller before I went freelance as a filmmaker 5 years ago, and I learned quite effectively how to out-nice people who came in fuming about some shitty device exploding or whatever. Basically I would side with them, but give them a bit of my experience and a bit of my personality as well, honestly and genuinely. They'd usually calm down and we'd be on the same page and get it sorted out. I feel like I learned a lot of people skills there!

I still get low self-esteem and can be knocked off balance by people's attitude too, but weirdly I don't suffer as much from it on set. If there is someone in the room who really does know better than me, I'll listen to them 100%, and heed their advice. Most of the time though the people making those comments won't know any better than you, and acknowledging that is pretty powerful and quite important for your confidence.

June 2, 2016 at 6:22AM

Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director

Thank you sir!

David David

June 2, 2016 at 6:24AM

I have a RED and an A7s and prefer the footage out of the A7s by a long shot. If people are making judgements about the camera, they don't know anything about cameras. To be fair I did post a while ago about how powerful that A7s is but how it's too small for me to feel safe holding.

Gotta say the images out of that thing are unreal.

June 2, 2016 at 7:04AM

Clark McCauley

Ignore them, no more... it's a waste of your time...
if they are skilled to comments, they don't do these kind of comments...
remember : do your best, don't ear stupid comments about gear, learn if someone know more than you.
A red in worst hand is a terrible camera, a medium dslr, and A7 is just high end dslr in right hand can give excellent result.
If you want to answer them, but is bad idea discuss with idiots, be cause someone cannot understand difference from you to them, ask them the tech reasons that they thought a small camera give you less quality then a big camera, hwo they are skilled to comments the work of other people when they are working, to risk to ruin concentration... they would like to found a people that ask every 5 minutes if are good actors, if they are deep in role? if they follow strasberg or stanislasky method?
But my opinion is... forget them... are like troll in forum, waste of time... leave that wuor work and your result talk for you.

June 3, 2016 at 7:20AM

Carlo Macchiavello
Director (with strong tech knowledge)

Your Comment