this past weekend, as you regular followers of this blog know, I competed in the Acom Sports NYC Grappling Chamnpionships to raise funds for the ocmpletion of "Redemption." I will report the ouutcome of that in a different post, but they were also kind enough to let me screen "Redemption" at the end of the tourney.
I had screened this movie twice before, once at the Wicled Faiore and once at a private screening. In both those instances most of the people watching had been involved in the movie at some level or were friends if mine. I had taken feedback from them and made adjustments to the movie as a result.
This time, most of the people watching were folks with little familiarity with the movie at all. Further,mor, the viewing experience was sub-optimal. I was projecting it against a wall, not a screen, the room was very bright, and because this was happening in the same room as the tournament had been, people were milling about, cleaning up, folding up mats, wandering to and fro, sitting down after it started and leaving before it was over. There were many "peanut gallery" comments, and much off-the-cuff, on-the-spot, irreverent, unsolicited critique.
This was exactly what I expected and what this project needed.
I realize now that the movie needs a re-structuring and the pace needs to be picked up. A friendly, supportive audience in a dark theater will patiently sit through some of the slower scenes and try to figure out what's going on, but I need this movie to catch people early on and keep them attached to the main character and his adventures. If a scene is a little confusing, I need to make it more clear. If something as dragging, I need to cut it. And I need to start out the movie with something that will give the audience a stronger clue as to what the climax of the movie will be.
So into the shop it goes. I am targeting a September date for another screening, this time with more original music and with the film completely restructured, and probably shorty, I'm guessing about 50 minutes long.