So our BAFTA premiere screening has come and gone. Time to come off cloud nine and return back to reality! But not before I blog a bit about the experience so I can look back at this at a later point when moral is perhaps a bit lower.
The first thing I can recall is all the last-minute flapping that occurred – lots of it! It mostly revolved around train-times.
I was frantically trying to improve the sound quality for the showing, which involved editing/re-encoding/re-authoring onto a Blu-ray disc. Not exactly a snappy process when in a hurry. I eventually managed to do this with about two minutes to spare before having to run for the train (in a tux). This might have been quicker had I not picked up on a couple of other small errors in the edit which I also wanted to fix. I had to sit through the film three times that day before even seeing it on the big screen – to make sure things were technically “sound”! The next train issue came when our original train ran late. We had mere seconds before making our connection to Paddington. In fact we all thought at one point we had missed it. Really didn’t want this to happen as I had to hand the latest version of the film over to the technical team at BAFTA *before* 5pm if they were to even consider it. Thankfully all the hard work and flapping was worth it and they showed the “two minutes to spare” version in the end.
One vivid memory I recall is sitting down in the theatre, near Alex Babic. We knew we were the first film playing. Alex leaned over and asked “So what happens if nobody laughs at it?”. For some reason this simple question hadn’t yet crossed my mind in all the earlier chaos. First film, comedy, no laughing… The next few minutes seemed excruciatingly long whilst I playing worst case scenarios over and over in my mind. I can only assume with all the effort Alex invested into the character he was probably doing the same. The main difference being Alex would be recognisable afterwards, whereas I could fade into the background. But this only added more pressure. Obviously I had to take responsibility being the director and I certainly wouldn’t want to make any of our actors look bad. Stresssss!
Thankfully we needn’t have worried. The film got an excellent reception and the audience got behind it. We even found ourselves worked into one of the speeches during the Disability and Development Partners presentation during the middle. Was also nice to hear the chap behind me saying he liked our film best when the screenings were over. Based on audience reaction, I feel we held our own extremely well against the other films. So what about the other films?
Well, for me the highlights were Cucumber (another comedy) and Unremembered (which was a sort of mystery piece) – perhaps my favourite film of the evening. I’d say that both of these clearly had bigger budgets than our effort, clearly they had more time and better equipment. Both were slick and technically superb. The stories were fun. This said I think all of the films shown had merit.
After the screening we did a bit of mingling. It was great to catch up with all of the members of the Etiquette team who could make it (sadly being mid-week some were busy or couldn’t make it at the 11th hour). One highlight was our Trevor (Alex) meeting the original Trevor (Ross Sullivan).
Also managed to catch up with the lovely Gail Hackston, who is the writer on my next project Spare Change. Great to meet and chat in more detail, perfect for keeping me focused on what’s next… Although to be honest with the absence of any dinner before-hand and the amount of champagne consumed, I lost a bit of that focus!
As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, Gail originally sent over her “Working Late” script. Well, since then some Canadian chaps who go by the name of Filmstormers have gone and made it. Absolutely love those sound-effects!