Firstly, and most importantly, I have learned that I have some good friends - and for every hater out there there is at least one (and often more) people who will spring to my/ our defense! This is humbling...
I also learned not to bite at the first sign of attack (although something tells me this will be a lesson that will need relearning). We all struggle to make sense of the filmmaking world, and should really take heart from the fact that it's a hard world for everyone not just us filmmakers and not just in this myopic of places, North East England. As Mr Kazakhstan so rightly states - if the state of films coming out of the North East is all we have to twist aboot then we are indeed very lucky. As a breed, we filmmakers are a very solipsistic bunch, as my good friend Ben Blaine wrote in this post on his quite amazing blog (amazing because he manages to blog daily and I struggle with weekly).
I believe this innate selfishness and short-sightednedness is ultimately the undoing of a lot of filmmakers (certainly in the North East), I network with indie filmmakers from much of the English speaking world and I have to say that this bitter snarkiness doesn't seem to exist in other areas. My American colleagues are infinitely more generous with their knowledge, time and resources that we are. Their haters come form outside their community, not from within it.
And that really is the crux of my initial reaction to Mr Race's outburst... I never imagined Pissheads would appeal to everyone, I have done enough research to understand that my audience for this film is a very specific type of person (and is most definitely not my fellow filmmakers). My shock (and subsequent lambasting) at Mr Race' reaction was a direct result of the fact that such a direct attack could come from not only someone that I consider a colleague and a peer, but that it could come from someone whom I had gone out of my way to help!
Ironically this realisation dawned on me many years ago, but was forgotten in my own solipsistic clamour to make films... The lesson was however relearnt in the most unlikely of arenas - at a North East Tellynet event! The panel discussion was entitled "Mind Your Own Media Business" and the panellists came from three of the most successful companies working in the North East today. Their overarching message throughout the evening was that the media is a business of collaboration and the best way to compete in this ever-expanding global marketplace is to team up with like-minded individuals and share resources and our collective knowledge.
In closing - Pissheads will (probably) remain Pissheads, will definitely be shot this year and then will have its chance to live or die in the marketplace. The world will keep turning, the banks will keep robbing and FNA will keep helping other filmmakers get projects moving - yes, even the likes you Mr Race! Because at the end of the day as the great Lennon and McCartney say "All We Need Is Love"