Friday, 8 April 2011

Stormhouse - Test screening

Ok. I admit it.
After months and months of fine tuning, bending, crafting, and forcing the little bugger into shape. I was a bit cranky when it came to doing a test screening.
The idea, of a load of strangers offering their opinions on my baby, made me want to leap into the audience and strangle each and every one of them.

Only high praise could have saved their sorry skins, and I wasn't in a forgiving mood.

Thank God then, for the calm patience and objectivity of my producer Dean Fisher and the equally open-minded Jason Arnopp, the writer.
As the two of them worked the audience, drawing out opinions like drawing venom from a snake, I found myself wanting to be somewhere, anywhere. Just not there.
My body language could be summed up by the following phrase "GO AWAY".

I was even asked how I felt about a test screening comment. My answer through clenched teeth probably sounded "terse" at best.

But you know what? It was actually pretty good.

Since that screening, the three of us have looked at all the comments, and the over-riding opinion was that they loved it, and importantly found it scary. Something, that is more important to me than any other consideration.

The exercise, apart from being a wonderful morale booster, also pointed to do a few things in the film that needed clarifying. Things, that thank God, are easy to do, and require little work.
So, ultimately, the comments of the test screening folk will help improve our film still further.

Right now. Jason, Dean and I feel very confident. Its a great feeling to know that you've made something that works!

It was ten minutes into the film, at the BAFTA screening, when somebody in the 200-strong audience screamed, that I knew we were on to something...

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