So you've got a film you want me to review? How hard can it be?
J.C. Mašek III The World's Greatest Critic! and Friend to the Indies!!!
So you've finally completed that film and you're ready to join the scores of Independent Film Directors, Producers and Writers who endure the tenuous and ill-advised ordeal of submitting their films to WorldsGreatestCritic.com for review?
Well, we've all had our moments, haven't we? Relax, though, it's easy to do. In just a few simple steps, you too can experience the textual equivalent to a PIE in the FACE.
Let's get started:
This is the WorldsGreatestCritic.com answer to a "Disclaimer", "The Fine Print" and those rapid-fire mumblings at the end of radio commercials for auto dealerships.
As long as you agree to all this, we're good:
Please be familiar with the content of this "Crazy Cult Site" before you submit your film. This is primarily a comedy site packed with irreverent humor and occasional gonzo silliness. If you're expecting a dull, flat review, try sending your flick to Entertainment Weekly!
I can't and don't promise a "Positive" review, though I can guarantee a FAIR review with full consideration to the intent of the artist. The highest rated Ultra Indies on this site have achieved the full Five Stars, the lowest have received DOGS and I've had every rating in between.
All reviews will be constructive (though there may be a good deal of sarcastic wit therein), as I do understand what it takes to make an independent film... and I know it's not easy!
The review can (and usually will) be funny, but the critique will not be mean spirited. On the other hand, blanketly providing glowing reviews doesn't do the film maker any good and does even less for my integrity.
The Independent Filmmaker (or whoever-the-hell submitted it) is always given the opportunity to read and respond to the review before it's posted for public consumption. I think this is only fair and it's what I would want if the shoe were on the other paw.
Once we've conversed (this goes hand-in-hand with the previous item above), I can't change a rating simply because the filmmaker dislikes the review.
If I don't hear back in a reasonable amount of time (say, a week or so), the review is posted as-is.
Lastly, please understand that I do tend to get a lot of films submitted and I do review a lot of films that aren't Indies as well. I also have a job, a commute, a wife, a kid, a turtle, seven guitars, a lawn, laundry, porn, two cars and a workout schedule to attend to. This means that I might not be able to get to your film "right away". You may feel free to email and inquire about your review, but I do request your patience. Usually it's worth the wait.
If you have a specific reason that a review needs to be complete by a certain date, please illustrate that reason to me via email or in the package you send. I can't promise that I'll be able to comply by a certain date, but I'll do my best.
If you're cool with all of the above, then read-on!
That's easy, huh? The movie, right? Well, that's most important, but there are some other things to think about too.
A. What's in the Basket?
Movie? Most importantly, send your film. Don't forget that. I prefer to be sent DVDs, but I can also accept VHS and other formats.
Email if you have questions.
Please be sure that, regardless of the media, what you send is operable. There have been cases in the past in which a DVD doesn't work, or a file is corrupt. I don't care much about how it looks on the outside, I care about the content of the film itself. Some of the best films I've reviewed have been cheap DVD burns with hand-written titles. Some of the worst have been fully professional with painted discs and glossy booklets, all shrink-wrapped together. When in doubt about whether to make it pretty or functional, go for functional, please.
Release Date!!! It's vital that you provide me some sort of date with which to order your film on the Main Reviews Page!
I realize that by the very nature of Independent Films, most of these will not yet be released commercially (and I stress the "yet"). I'll accept any date that could be applicable to "release date". Examples might include, obviously, the actual date this was released in Stores or in Theatres; The Premiere Date at a Film Festival; The date of first availability on your website; hell, if it comes down to it, I'll accept the date you first got your friends, mom, dad, Grandma and Walt the Postman together to watch your finished product.
Please don't forget that release date.
How about that Press Pack? Again, many, if not most of you won't have any promotional materials yet for your film, which I understand. By no means is this a requirement. However, if you have a press pack or other promotional material, be it a big, huge glossy poster or just a mimeographed hand written cast list, or even just something you'd like me to see, send it on!
Poster or Cover Art? Again, not a requirement, but it definitely makes the review look better.
Naked pictures of the Actresses? Sure! Definitely. Hell, send me naked pictures of just about any women. It might not help your review, but... YES, PLEASE!
Cast and Crew! I would be grateful for information on the cast and crew so that I spell everything right and refer to the right actors with the right character names and all that. I don't expect you to have a full IMDB.com listing, but if you could send me something textual I can use, please do. On the other hand, if this information is on IMDB or any other website, just refer me there, I'm easy.
NO BOOMERANGS! Unless you literally want to send me a Boomerang as a gift, which would be okay (but see Other Questions below). What I mean is, don't send me anything you expect to get back. That is, unless your name just happens to be Julian T. Netflix.
I tend to hang on to the films and materials I'm sent, mostly because I like watching them again, but partially because when you get famous and forget all about my dumb ass, I'll want to be able to sell all your "I knew them when" crap on Ebay!
B. What's in the Movie?
As for the content of the film, feel free to send any genre, so long as it's legal. I've reviewed animated Indies, Action Indies, Dramatic Indies, Horror Indies, Indie Shorts, Foreign Indies, Indie Documentaries, Sci-Fi Indies, Indie Comedies, Indie Anthologies, and even one surreal gay romance.
I'm cool with anything.
Okay, okay, okay, I'd prefer not to watch Gay Porn, but, hey, if it's got artistic merit, I'll try... try.
On rare occasions I've agreed to review Re-Edits of existing films. If I agree to review a fan edit of another film, there may be certain restrictions attached. Please don't send me some YouTube.com compilation of your favorite Breakfast Club bits. Hell, I've made those videos myself and I won't even review MINE! This has to be within the realm of legitimacy or I'm walking!
P.O. Box 4335
Mission Viejo, California
Attention: J.C. Mašek III
Yeah, it's a Post Office Box!
So this means in case you hate your review and decide to come to my house to hold my wife, kid, turtle, seven guitars or porn hostage, you will instead be greeted by a long wait in a hallway lined with tiny metal doors, which is sure to not quite be worth the trip.
Okay, actually what this means is that you can't send me anything via FedEx, UPS or those other clowns... only parcel post. Don't even wait in line at FedEx, UPS or those other circuses to shove your package in that rectangular hole.
In short... this way, you know where you can stick it.
Include (in the email) any other information you might like me to know, any images, links and documents you want seen or used (see "What to Send" above).
Let me know of anything you want included in your review. No, this doesn't mean you get to shape the review, but if you want me to feature a link to your website or any special announcements, please do let me know. It's all about the Indies, after all!
Wait. Refer to "The Agreement" above. I'll get to it as soon as I can, I promise. Sure, by the time you get your review, you may be an old lady with a long beard, but think how great it will be to finally get your review!
That's about it... Here are just some odds and sods to roll around with. After all, if you've read down this far, you've probably got a lot of time on your hands... which hopefully translates to... SEQUEL!!!
If you have something besides a film you want reviewed, Email me to let me know what it is before sending. I do review Literature, Television and Music also but what I don't want is a flood of manuscripts, demo tapes and audition reels stuffed in the old PO Box. After all, I've got my own bad writing and recording to deal with. But Porn auditions would be fine. Send those!
There is no charge for a review. That may sound obvious, but I get asked this somewhat frequently! I am happy to (within reason) publicize your work with a review and include some requested links. I do this to support the Indies. Accepting compensation for a review would be unethical and contrary to the integrity of this site.
If I think I'm being bribed, I'll either return what has been sent or donate it to charity. In short... nothing ancillary could have any bearing on your review. Only the work itself will.
On the flip side, please don't ask me to fund a project of yours. If I had enough money to fund or contribute to a film, I'd fund my own.
As with any critic, you may use any quote from the review in promotional materials. I was as surprised as you are to find my name on DVD Covers and in Trailers, but it's happened.
Three things on this:
I am not a quote-whore, so I won't be phrasing anything that would present your work as "The Feel Good Hit of the Year"; "More surprising than School of Rock!" or "If you see only one Ultra Indie this year..."
Quote wisely. I won't object to ANYTHING you use, unless you twist my words with edits and elipses! If I say "This movie is not most certainly not what I'd call the best movie I've ever seen!" and you use the quote "This movie is... certainly... the best movie I've ever seen!", I'm going to object, there, Sparky!
Please cite any quotes with my name and "WorldsGreatestCritic.com", or just "WorldsGreatestCritic.com", if you use them at all. The reason being that this points to a specific entity. You could quote "The World's Greatest Critic" and that could mean your Aunt Petunia who, let's face it, "really knows movies".
Again, like the "Gift" thing above, I'm not in this to be quoted, but because it's happened in the past, I thought I'd mention it here.
If you have had your film released or if you're not sure you qualify as an "Ultra Indie", but you still want me to review your film, send it on anyway. I review mainstream and underground films and have been contacted by Indies and Pros alike, from beginners to Academy Award Winners (see FEEDBACK for details).
In short, I won't decline to review your film based on who or where you are in your career.
There is no Item 6! Make up your own.
Better yet, go mail that package!