Sadly the web-series “Critics” has run it’s course and will no longer be produced by Zacuto. I’ll miss the banter between Steve Weiss and Philip Bloom as well as their critical feedback of short films. Honestly, I looked forward to each episode mostly in hopes of seeing my own work being critiqued. In the final series Weiss and Bloom opened submissions from anyone and everyone willing to submit their posted films on the internet. From there a few-hand selected films made the final cut for their review. This is the story of how my work almost made it on Critics.
Last year I went to Chicago for a Bloom meet up. I had a great time connecting with other shooters and meeting the man himself. I ended up sitting at the VIP table with Bloom, Steve Weiss, Susan Rapp, JJ Kim, Karen Abad, Kevin Otterness, Kim St. Aubin and more. It was a very cool experience. I watched Bloom and Weiss argue over techie camera stuff, chatted with Karen about the pain of pre-production, and J.J. filled me in on how his equipment was stolen at a church when he was shooting a wedding.
The irony of all of this is I didn’t know I was sitting at the VIP table. I came in early and grabbed a seat with Bloom because I shared a taxi with him (he paid for it so I guess it wasn’t really shared). In some ways my ignorance paid off. I actually felt horrible once I realized my mistake and later apologized to Kevin and Kim. They were very kind to me and didn’t think anything of it.
So the next day before checking out of my hotel room, I direct messaged Philip one of the videos I submitted to Critics. I had asked him the night before if he and Steve reviewed my video earlier that day (they were in production at the time). He didn’t remember so I thought I would send him the video I had submitted so he could connect me with my work.
Now this is where things got really exciting for me. I may have peed my pants a little to be honest. I got a message back from Philip that he liked my video. At first I was shocked he watched it. Then another message from Philip: “I’m going to try to get it on Critics today.” It was the last day they were shooting. I couldn’t believe it!
So as I drove home from Chicago all I could do was daydream of what Steve and Philip were going to say about my piece. Did they think it was good? I bet Weiss wanted me to use natural sound. Was it too long?
Of course I also kept telling myself there’s no guarantee it will make it on the show. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. When I got back to Evansville I stopped by my office. I got a DM from Bloom again telling me they needed some more quality stuff and he was trying to convince Steve to watch it.
The story I had shared was a tough piece. It’s a brief story of a couple that lost one of their twin girls after only 74 days of life. Philip warned me that Steve would have issues watching it because he didn’t like watching that type of stuff. I totally understood so again I tried not to get my hopes up.
So each time a new session of Critics was released I watched to see if they reviewed my video. And each time no review. I was beginning to lose hope.
A few months later I was attending CFLive in Nashville and had to know. Did Steve and Philip give my video a review? I finally asked Philip if the video made the cut. Philip was nice enough to tell me it didn’t make it. Steve couldn’t bring himself to watch the video. At least Philip told me it was quality work, and that meant a lot to me. So there’s the story of how I was so close to getting my video on to my favorite web series, but didn’t make it.
This is the video I submitted to Critics that didn’t make the cut.