What exactly happened at the screening?


It wasn’t what we expected right? There was weird sound and no sound at all in places. So we get the sound guys against the wall, right? Erm, no, because the sound was mostly fine along the timeline when we revisited it the next day. So was it the Blu-Ray encode? Possibly, although Andy Paton has since re-watched that and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in the screening. The guess-timation at the moment is that it was the calibration of the speaker set-up in the cinema being different from what we’d prepared, which is no-one’s fault and would have been discovered in testing, had the production not over-run and left no time for testing. There’s no point in recriminations, as we could point towards 50 different factors and variables that meant that we had run out of time, and therefore lost our window of opportunity for testing. Besides, most people enjoyed it regardless.

So why all the crying? I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was gutted on Sunday. Having done this twice before, I can honestly say that none of the other screenings mattered as much to me as the one on home ground. I believed that we had the biggest and best crew available to us and I went into it more positive than any of the others, which made the fall seem greater. Personally, I struggled on the Saturday morning with two factors. The first was that I knew we had lost the opportunity to test, as I knew we’d have to now film on Sunday morning. The second was that I was struggling to motivate myself. Having done the project twice before, my mind was ready to throw in the towel and say ‘forgeddaboutit’. I was driven on by the fact that it would be a shocking example in front of my own students. When the screening wasn’t perfect on Sunday, I was inconsolable because I felt I had potentially demotivated students instead of empowering them, which I subsequently realise is nonsense, but at the time (when exhausted) seemed so real. Similarly, I felt as if I had let down the cast, family and friends who had travelled to see this project on the promise that it would be something special.

As far as I am aware, there are sporting psychologists that focus on the points in games where all can be won or lost. Getting onto that stage for the Q&A, my mind was replaying the weekend wondering were we could’ve done better, been faster, got it finished. There is no sense of perspective at that point, you are just faced with the fact that the outcome wasn’t what you expected, and you’re frantically trying to make sense of it. Although the audience we’re really awesome at putting a positive spin on the project, which I subsequently appreciate, at that moment in time I wasn’t willing to ignore the weaknesses. People are often complimenting me on my focus and drive to get the the job done and still remain calm on set. The flip side is that the pressure is all repressed and unfolds at the screening. I’m upset because it matters to me and I’m determined to do it right.

We’re going to start the process of tidying it up soon, but for now it is still about recovery and fulfilling the Kickstarter pledges. I see all sorts of positive images and quotes online about the experience and I am proud of what we achieved. I dare say that in the fullness of time, we’ll all come together for another screening with a polished film and talk about the experience with great pride.

I look forward to that day,






One thought on “What exactly happened at the screening?

  1. James you are a wonderful human being and a credit to your students – as they are to you. No danger of this being regarded as failure or anything even close to that because of the camaraderie that you instilled and the fact that we’d all happily do it again tomorrow speaks volumes


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