Some people had used the word “brave” but I hadn’t really questioned the wisdom of screening a Life in Progress as a work in progress, why would I? Some things seemed a little alarming, like the time frame, and being in GFT 1, oh and the Meet the Filmmaker events at the CCA…but…It seemed a great way of moving the project along which could, potentially, end sometime after I do!
That was until the last thirty minutes prior to the actual event itself….”Stuff” had been happening to the film that morning from 4am, prior to the screening at 1.30pm, to get it onto the cinema’s preferred format of blue ray disc. This had not worked. Standing in the projection booth of Glasgow Film Theatre’s main auditorium, surveying the audience from on high and then the hard drive linked to the lap top, linked to the GFT’s setup, through a network of trailing cables, it occured to me that we might have been a tad rash agreeing to get something together for the event with only a couple of months to go (one of the months unhelpfully containing Christmas and New Year). As if to confirm my fears, we even had a little terrifying blip where the film had to be restarted after 2 minutes in. I felt that the mantra “it’s a rough cut, it’s a rough cut” would only work up to a point. That point had already been passed as I clicked on the laptop to restart the film.
Somehow the film played for the full 90minutes, and despite some more surprises (the sound mysteriously fell away to a much lower level for a good 5 minutes, music cues continued long after they were meant to) the experience seemed to please at least some of the people, for most of the film! There were laughs too. In the right places.
The festivals director thought that as a work in progress it was probably not a good plan to get reviewed – even people used to seeing these things struggle with the notion of a cut that isn’t complete. That however didn’t stop me having a peek at what was doing the rounds on twitter. You should also be able to get a flavour of the Q and A too from these too….
We even got a very nice preview in the Skinny!
and on a final note, John Archer, the producer, got an encouraging email saying….”The litmus test of quality for me was that I remained engaged throughout. Because I’m thick, with a minuscule attention span, making anything that can enthrall me over the course of, say, 2-3 hours, is an extraordinary achievement. I haven’t a clue what the running time was. All I know is that it ended too soon.”
Ah ended too soon….such is life.
Much to my surprise even the Q and A ended too soon….here I am doing what seems to be a characteristic hand gesture next to producer, John Archer, and author Alan Bissett, a great chair of the after screening chat. It was a shame that Alasdair couldn’t make it as he was under doctor’s orders not to leave the house but he his wife Morag was in my eyeline whilst I tried my best to explain why she didn’t want to be in the film! Fingers crossed that the next screening will be of a nicely graded, lovingly dubbed and soundtracked final film.