Today we finally presented the first 18 minutes cut of our film to the people in our degree, including the tutors. Our film was the last one of the day, which was slightly annoying since nobody ever wants to be last in anything in life, really.
But as soon as our film started playing the room went completely silent and I started to feel a mixture of proudness and anxiety for what was to come in the form of criticism.
For me it’s always hard to listen to people criticize a film I’ve done because it’s almost like they are criticizing my child and it’s hard to hear at times.
But alas, after the film was screened everyone clapped with made the anxiety dissipate as at least I knew that the worst part was over.
As the reviews started being said aloud, what most people agreed upon was that the cinematography was very good and that the choice in the actresses chosen for the roles was a good one, which made me very happy that the emotion came across as myself and Andrija wanted it to.
But the thing that was said the most was that, my peers, thought the story development happened at too fast of a pace and that the Tuck and Ashley fall in love too quickly and then break up too quickly, as well. Which, after hearing the same opinion by multiple other people, made me realise they they were right. It does happen too fast and no indication of what the characters’ relationship was like before they broke up is seen.
This made myself and Andrija have a discussion about how we intend to eventually do a new shoot day where we could film a montage sequence of different activities and places Tuck and Ashley have been as a couple as that will offer more depth to their tragic love story.
Alas, we will need to see when we’ll be able to shoot it as Andrija is soon leaving for Germany for one month and the actresses are both very busy with theatre plays, they are both participating in. So we will either shoot it before Andrija leaves or we will do so after our degree is complete and we will do so to add onto our film for the festivals we will send it to.
A while ago, we finally showcase our film to our entire course and tutors and we were excited to showcase something that we have been carrying with us for months now.
The previous night, myself and Jonas were in the editing suite finalizing the English subtitles of our film which proved to be another interesting experience as Jonas had to translate it from Lithuanian to English and I had to make sure the English translation wasn’t too literal to the Lithuanian pronunciation and that the grammar and phrases made sense whilst still maintaining the depth they needed to possess.
We were both quite nervous/excited to see what people had to say but we knew that it would be a bit of a mixed reaction which is what proved to be. Luckily most of our course enjoyed it and felt the raw emotion on screen and how that poured out of the film towards the audience but the other side of our course felt it a bit too personal and intimate and struggled with the idea of the scene recreation in the bed and how Aiste is seen crying whilst a camera is clearly filming a close-up of her face.
Myself and Jonas knew people would have these doubts so we just soaked in as much of the constructive criticism we could so we could later look at it again to see if anything could be improved.
The best thing was that after the screening, I had a couple of people come up to me and say hoe much they enjoyed it and how it touched them and that made my heart leap out of my chest of how happy I was that at least some people understood this film and the meaning of love behind it.
My secondary role consisted in production assisting my fellow producer and friend Amnah with her social realist film “Tony”.
My job consisted in organizing the call sheets of some of her production days and contacting pharmacies to see if they’d give permission to have part of the film shot in the premises.
The call sheets are presented below:
Amnah’s Call Sheet: Day 1
Amnah’s Call Sheet: Day 2
Amnah’s Call Sheet: Day 3
Overall it was a great experience working with Amnah once again but I only wished I could’ve been on set for the shoot, but I was unfortunately detained at work for most of it.
After having discussed how my sound composer found me on social media, for my film “The Sea Room”, a very similar story happened to my drama film with Andrija, tilted “Bad Coffee”.
Andrija had posted, on her personal Twitter page, that we were about to start looking into music composers and through that a composer called Tom, approached us as he has seen our film’s Instagram page and was interested to know if we’d be interested to have in on board.
This same day, we received his tweet, we organized a quick Skype call to assess if he was actually interested in the project and to discuss our ideas for the sound in the film and how his own professional journey has been.
Our call lasted for only about 10 minutes but afterwards, myself and Andrija felt very confident that he was our guy and that we could now shift our attention from the image to the sound as we wanted it to help mould the story into what it will become.
But overall, both of my experiences with finding sound composers (or them finding me!) has just enhanced my notion of how important online marketing and publicity really is and how it can bring people together for a project, no matter the distance between us.
The story of how we found our sound composer is a strange yet great example of how important and useful social media really is.
I had been posting our entire journey through our film in my Instagram account for both of my films, since the beginning. And it was through it that our newly found composer, Denis, found me and sent me a very nice email where he displayed a huge interest in our film and what the story was about and how we would love to be part of it, if we’d be interested.
Once I showed Jonas the email, we both agreed that it couldn’t be a mere coincidence that a sound composer just contacted us when we had started to properly discuss the idea of having a score, a mere two days prior. This was meant to be.
So after having watched his sound showreel, we liked his style and I sent him an email back where we scheduled a Skype call so we could properly get to know this human being who could potentially be an integral part of the film as well. Prior to the actual call, Jonas sent him the first cut of our film so he could take a look at it and decide if he was indeed interested.
The Skype call was a great experience as we could attach a voice to the person and for 30 minutes, we discussed everything related to the film and how we wanted the sound to meld into the sound of waves, that runs throughout the film, and the ukele that Jonas plays towards the end of the film.
It’s now been nearly two weeks since Denis has started work on the sound and so far, it’s been great to hear snippets of what he’s been creating and it’s been very magical.
Today was our last ever shoot day for our film! It was quite emotional but also a happy moment because it meant that after months of battling to have the film done and done properly, it was now time to move onto post-production.
The day began with all of the cast and crew back in the same classroom that we shot in, in Day 1, as we needed to still do a quick reshoot as well as film another scene we didn’t manage to have time for during our first shoot day.
The biggest different today was that because we all knew what to expect of the location and the scenes we were going to film, was that it enabled all of us to move quicker and with more precision when it came to the set-up and consequent filming of what was left of the classroom scene, once more.
Although we started off moving quicker, we still stayed in the location for a bit longer than anticipated so we had to quickly pack so that we could move to the exterior park location, situated in Sunny Hill Park, so that we could film the last scene in the film. The scene where Tuck and Ashley admit to have feelings for one and other and they share their second kiss.
That part of the shoot went smoother than we all anticipated and working with the dolly and tracks was easily done as the ground it was placed on didn’t have as many bumps as we had thought and the lighting from the street lamp balanced out nicely with the colour temperature of our portable LED lights.
Overall, today was a great last shoot day and by the time we wrapped at 2am, we were quite exhausted but ecstatic to have done a project that all of us love and deeply care about. I can honestly say that I had the best people and the best crew and cast working on this particular film and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Now onwards to the eminent rough cut screening to the people in our degree and the final year screening in July.