I went to a screening of a locally produced feature the other night. It was standing room only. I was one of the standing. Which probably didn't aid in my enjoyment of the film as I thought the plot was pretty forced and not particularly imaginative or interesting.
The acting, other than the protagonist, was very spotty. The main dude was very solid, but he didn't have the charisma to carry a film. I've worked with a couple of the other leads myself. I've seen them do better work and I've seen the same deficient habits under my direction. Overall the photography was pretty good. There was a scene with the sky blown out that was awful to look at. Many of the compositions were often pretty, but got to be monotonous and flat as they were repeated to little effect on the story.
I also know they had some money to work with, not tons but exponentially more than most local indies, and that sapped my generosity. I'm much more interested in someone doing something novel with nothing than someone doing something competent with more.
Anyway, I was glad when the thing was over. And then something funny happened: the audience erupted in a loud appreciative applause. I realized that my criticisms or dislike of the film didn't matter all that much. The audience reaction didn't negate my opinions, but it reminded me that a popular medium enjoys popular appreciation and in a hometown screening that warm support is a wonderful thing.