S**t Show

Hi Film Folk,

In my time, I’ve had some really fantastic premieres. I’ve seen my work in packed theatres, with an electric buzz and crackles of emotion and excitement.

I can remember the thrill of screening my first 30min film “Twenty Thousand Little Reasons” at the Tyneside Cinema, in Newcastle. We sold it out and had a great event, despite our local film funding body being less than helpful. The best offer we had was “to get seven or eight other filmmakers together and we’ll help you hire a pub”… Not quite what I was after.

Then there was the buzz of screening my first proper feature “Behind the Scenes of TOTAL HELL”. It was so cool to hear an audience laughing and reacting in all the right places… it made years of post-production and scores of edits worth while.

Screening to audiences is always nerve-racking… Well, unless it’s just your family, friends or pet! That’s a good starting place though, but later on, you need to get feedback from experts, the public and people with no investment in you or the project.

I’ve not always had great screenings of my work… in fact, sometimes it’s been utterly s**t.

One of my early short films “Wishing upon an Angel” was premiered on a small 4:3 TV in a Tyneside pub. It was shown on VHS to a large crowd, virtually all of which couldn’t see what was occurring. We sat through the delicate visuals, shown as if on a blurry postage stamp… Everybody clapped, but you could sense that few had actually seen it…

Another terrible screening was at the first Sunderland film festival. Budget and quality facilities were at a minimum, so it was VHS through a small projector. This time, we’d had to black-out the room as best we could with black garbage bags. Not exactly a Hollywood premiere… It worked though, and although the picture was dim and askew, at least people got an idea of what the film was.

At the same festival, later that night, Neil Marshall and Keith Bell came to a screening of their masterpiece “Dog Soldiers.” It was screened from the relative high tech power of a DVD, however it was on an old fashioned TV and not a projector, and the whole thing was shown in a squished aspect ratio. I was only a member of the audience, it wasn’t my job to screen it, but I was mortified and embarrassed. Upon reflection though, I felt a lot better about my experiences. If Neil and Keith could sit through their film in such a poor way, surely I could cope too. It’s never bothered me as much since, despite my OCD!

I’d recommend all filmmakers of every level have the experience of showing their film to audiences, it’s terrifying and wonderful at the same time!

In other news, we’re currently preparing to shoot the crowdfunding video for the book launch… and the Production Posse is still taking beta-users. If interested, find out more at: www.productionposse.com
Don’t buy a subscription though, I’m still offering a few free beta-user places. Email me at: atomicfilmmaker@iwf.co.uk

Thanks for reading,

My favourite roving stalk….. erm, reporter… Alan Hagar is back!
He’s been all over the filming of “Avengers Infinity War” in Durham. Well, he managed to hunt down and hang out with the amazing Chris Hemsworth. He he is, knocking out Thor!

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