The First Rough Cut Screening

It’s been a while since I last blogged! And that’s putting it mildly.

This isn’t the time or place to go into it, but my personal life has taken some twists and turns over the past few months, which has meant I’ve needed to focus on other things.

 The good news is that I am now shifting my attention back to The Fitzroy and… the blog.

Being away from it for a while has given me a little time to think about the blog…it’s time for a premature New Year’s resolution:

“I am going to try and do shorter but more regular blogs”.

Lets see how it works out.

So onto the film.

Over the past months, Liam, our editor (and also one of the films producers!), has been beavering away cutting the film. Early last week we had our first rough cut screening.

The main reason to have a screening at this stage is for us to get a sense of how the film plays in front of an audience and see what is or isn’t working. Being in an edit suite, you can get too close to the film and not see the wood for the trees.

On Tuesday evening we sat down in a screening room with thirty guests, friends, strangers, heads of departments and investors, and played the film.

To say I was nervous was an understatement. I have only ever seen one of my short films on the big screen – nothing else. There were nearly two hours of story up there for everyone to view and critique. My biggest concern was that the story would hold together and that it was funny. An unfunny comedy is no laughing matter (sorry).

The opening titles on the big screen shot by one of the producers.

Watching the film with an audience was a revelation. All the flaws and mistakes really stand out! You can sense when the film is lagging and people are losing attention, and, on the flip side, when they are engaged. We gave everybody a questionnaire to fill out after the film. This sort of feedback is incredibly useful – you can see the full questionnaire at the bottom of the blog.

What really stood out was that the ‘pace’ of the film needs a lot of work. But considering we still don’t have all the music, special effects or any audio design, I was very pleased with the reaction. People seemed to genuinely enjoy it – and they laughed, which was a great relief.

So where from here?

Well we need to take stock of the comments and then it’s back into the edit suite to keep chipping away and improving the film. We can also now start properly working on the music and audio, which I’m really looking forward to.

Here is the full copy of the questionnaire we put together for the screening. fitzroy rough cut survey