We held a private screening of the movie last night at Chengchih University for friends, cast and crew who have generously donated their time and efforts to making the film. I barely made it in time, as we’d scheduled it for 7pm, and I only get off work at 6. Lots of people came, and as Dean and I talked a bit about the film beforehand, including apologies that it took so damn long, I could see some skeptical expressions in the audience. “Good lord, why did I come to see a nearly two-hour home movie,” some of them seemed to be thinking. Well, Gavin seemed to be thinking, anyway. So I shut up, Dean managed to start the projector, we sat down and watched. Paul Jackson arrived late, after his scene at the beginning, unfortunately, and Bill arrived with his girlfriend after we’d started, so I didn’t have a chance to explain to him how we’d cut nearly all of his lines! But there was nothing for it, and I still maintain that he has much greater screen presence this way, so I just sat and watched.
It always kind of surprises me that I can watch this film and still be interested and into the action, even after seeing it a million times. It was different this time, of course, it being a larger screen, with a real audience and all. Better, really, though the projection was too dark and fuzzy, and the speakers were rather crappy. Cockroaches were wandering about the floor in front of me, and I wondered if I should have sat in the back to better observe the audience’s reaction as well as avoid the insects.
But I could still hear reactions from the audience behind me; gasps, laughter and other exclamations. They seemed to be enjoying it, and we got an enthusiastic round of applause after the final scene when the credits rolled. After chatting a bit in the screening room, we retired to a nearby temple for some drinks and food, and talked some more. I was happy that Maurice, Paul Barlow, Azuma and Jane could be there, but unfortunately many other cast members couldn’t make it, e.g. Dolly and Sandy, who had to work, and of course Rowan, Josh, April and Alex, who are all out of the country.
Now, I suppose everyone could have been really good actors (haha!), but most seemed really impressed with the movie. Surprised, even, that not only was it a real movie, but that it was entertaining. People were surprised that it didn’t feel nearly as long as it was (or as they feared it would). It was most reassuring, and I’d say this screening was a success, even though the temple guy tried to stiff us on the bill afterwards.
In other news, we’re in the process of applying for the Golden Horse festival and competition. I’m not entirely sure of our chances, being such a radically different film from anything else there, but technically, it qualifies as a Taiwanese film, and I’d hope that the organizers could see the potential in including such a film in the festival. A friend of mine, an art professor down in Kaohsiung, has done some wonderful artwork for us, and he graced us with his presence at the screening. Another friend and co-worker of mine is working on the subtitles, and another on the website, which I will talk about more when we’re further on.
Actually, when my co-worker was working on the subtitles in the cubicle next to mine at work yesterday, he popped his head up and said, “Hey, this is really good!” I looked over at his screen to see which part he was doing, but all I could see was waveforms. He wasn’t watching the film, just listening to the audio. So I suppose it would make a good radio play as well! Heh.