Monday, May 14, 2007

Another unsatisfied customer.

"Why did Hide and Creep suck?" This is the subject of one of the emails waiting for me when I checked my inbox this morning. If you're interested, here is my reply.
I'm gonna be honest with you, E (I hope you don't mind if I call you E -- the only name I see on your email is ""). I was about to send you a very brief reply. I was going to type "Why are you such an asshole?", hit the "send" button, and be done with you. But that would be rude. And even though I'm kinda tired, sore, and grumpy this morning (I spent most of the weekend shooting a new movie), there's no excuse for rudeness.

My next idea was to plead my case to you, sending you links to a few of the many glowing reviews of Hide and Creep (one Web site called it the best DTV movie of 2005!), reviews written by critics who most likely know a great deal more about movies than you do, E. But, even if you aren't a knowledgeable movie critic, you are entitled to your opinion, and I won't try to make you change your mind.

I think the only honorable thing I can do at this point is refund your money. I am disappointed that you did not enjoy Hide and Creep, but I appreciate the fact you were willing to rent it, to gamble on an indie flick. My hope is that, if I return your money, your faith in indie films will be renewed, and you'll rent another one sometime, hopefully one you'll enjoy.

So please send me your proper name and mailing address (along with a scan of your Blockbuster receipt, if available) and let me know how much I owe you. I'll cut you a check and get it to you ASAP.


-Chance (co-director, Hide and Creep)


Chris_Garrison said...

You should charge him a processing fee, which just happens to be the same amount as the rental cost.

No, you really shouldn't refund his money. He knew there was a risk involved, as there always is when one rents a movie. And there was no guarantee of satisfaction, so he really can't complain.

Kenn said...

I dig the sentiment. Hopefully, it will be longer than I would predict until the next indie director eradicates any goodwill you might have built up with a terse "Why are you a rude cunt pickle?" reply in response to one of his emails...

KidAt40 said...

That really chaps my ass! You ought to charge him for reading his unsolicited email as well as the years counseling your gonna need just to recover from the psychological trauma of HIM not enjoying your film.

or you could just post his email address on a web blog so that we could all flame the crap outta him ;)

All jokes aside, you're not REALLY gonna refund his money, are you?

Chance Shirley said...

I don't usually respond to critics. If somebody writes a bad review of something I worked on, that's fine. But to actually EMAIL me with (half-ass) criticism? I was compelled to respond.

And, taking a page from my dad's book ("kill 'em with kindness"), I was compelled to offer the disgruntled viewer a refund. If said viewer has the balls to contact me again, I will seriously refund his money.

Lisa said...

No money for this freak!
Sure I wasted two hours of my life on "Pirates of Treasure Island," but writing Lance Henrickson because he was uncharacteristicly bad seems insane and rude.
Your "critic" needs some manners and also should be told there's no Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. That'll teach him!

KidAt40 said...

ok....I can understand the principal in which your desire to refund his money is based on but you'll be setting a precedent. If this guy is ass enough to email you (which isn't all THAT novel), then he is ass enough to tell all his friends to rent the movie from Blockbuster and you'll pay for it.

Save your money and put it into the sequel :)

Chance Shirley said...

I don't expect to actually have to pay the guy. It's one thing to send an anonymous email stating someone's movie sucks. It's another thing to actually admit who you are and where you live to claim a five dollar refund.

Slightly related note for anyone interested in the movie biz: Crewless will be lucky to pocket 75 cents out of any given five dollar rental fee.

In another sort of related note, I bet if you did an informal survey of Web criticism, you'd find that most of the better (informed, literate, entertaining) critics use their real names.

Again, I'm not complaining about critics (get well soon, Mr. Ebert!). I'm complaining about people who send me annoying emails.

Andrew Bellware said...

I once had a guy send back a cassette of mine he bought through mail order. He told me he didn't want a refund because I should use the money to buy some real music to listen to!

Kyle said...

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how its done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves.

Brendan Behan (1923 - 1964)

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.

Dale Carnegie

The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)