Feedback or constructive criticism is a tricky thing. On one hand it’s a necessary process to push a project forward, but on the other I like to finish things, not to hear that the project I’ve slaved over still has go a long way to go. That there are holes that need filling, structures need to be fixed and large sections cut out and replaced by completely new parts. When the amount of work that needs to be done is daunting it’s easy to forget that it is better to receive helpful feedback on a work in progress than negative criticism on a finished piece.

The one thing I’ve learned about receiving feedback is to try and listen and take in all the advice that is being given. It’s easy to rush into defensive mode when the work gets scrutinized, but then it’s impossible to take in any advice and make use of the feedback. I recently had a session with Kate Leys going through the first draft I cobbled together during the summer months and I’ve had some time to digest and reflect about the advice that she gave. There’s so much to do and such a long journey ahead, but her feedback was sharp and precise and it will have a lasting impact on the project.

My RISE journey has offered me a series of feedback sessions during the last ten months and I have received advice on the project I proposed from all kinds of aspects of filmmaking. The advice has been both good and bad, encouraging and discouraging. Some of it I have taken to heart some I have decided to reject, but through all of this process I’ve tried my best to listen to all of it. It has definitely helped me to push the project forward but more importantly it has helped me to better understand the process of development and about how far I’ve yet to go. The good thing, I guess, is that I am still determined to continue on this journey.

The RISE experience has also given me is the chance to get to know five other fantastic filmmakers; Lou, Adina, Jane, Lizzie and Isabelle. All of us are very different filmmakers and at different stages of our career and projects. In a sense we are competitors, as we will be going for the same opportunities, pots of money, and attention in the future. I know that I am not immune to the occasional bout of professional jealousy as I am sure my fellow RISE colleagues aren’t either. Despite that, I am sure that once this is over we’ll still remain in contact as we continue on our individual journeys.