This is a great poll and conversation, and i can say that yes, film makers should read this forum.
Being a film maker (still not comfortable calling myself that yet) i think its great to see that i'm not crazy in my thoughts that a shit load of hard work, a great script and decent acting are strong footholds towards a decent movie.
To me, a movie is kind of like a car... you need an engine (director), a shell (script) and wheels (actors) to even get moving down the road. If built well with care and thought put into it, the car should last a long time and built up a great reputation. Now, after you have the car built, there are accessories that you can add to make your car more appealing; a nice stereo (sound), power steering (cinematography), HID headlights (lighting), a hot paint job (fx).... and on and on....
My moto for my upcoming short movie is crap in = crap out, so i'm putting everything into this short, even though its only 15 mins long i've already invested close to 8 months.
I'm going to print these two pages and keep them pinned up as a reminder to stict to a good script, have decent actors, use other shots than just the tripod or hand held shots, have a great score, and springle on the gore sparingly and in the right spots.
thanks for the great post!