Friday, November 20, 2009

Stripped-Down, Raw and Angry.

A busy couple of weeks. I'm so grateful for everyone for the positive responses to the clip from 140. With regard the to the film itself, I had hope it would be finished by now, but I added in some new clips, which made the film longer and feel longer too. So I need to bring it down again. I also had a screening for the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, which went great, but through up some issues. Not only from the comments for those present, but with myself as I watched it with an audience for the first time.

The general response was a positive one, but I felt while watching it, and people confirmed this afterwards, that it was too long, fatigue was an issue, simply because as the audience you were never sure when the film was going to end. So I need a little more time to pace it better and address that issue. I have an idea though, which I think will work well. The sound needs to be sorted out and timing with music, the new clips effected a lot of the previous decisions I had made with regard to that.

But overall it was a great experience. I think if I just take a little more time with it now it will be a better film for it. So bear with me a little longer!

In other news, Iscariot (previously Night) is in the hands of quite a few people at the moment and we are getting a very interesting response. It's the first script I've written that has divided people in such a polar fashion. People either love it of hate it - and I mean hate it!

It's a brutal and violent script, but it really seems to have effected it's readers, perhaps more than they would like to have been effected reading a script, and they have been none-to-pleased about it, which is great, it means we've done our job. The people who loved it are thrilled by it and have actually read it over and over. They find it visual, visceral, fast paced and thoroughly entertaining.

We wrote Iscariot to tell a story in a very specific genre. It's a B-Movie and a modern take on Film Noir, in a stripped-down, raw and angry way that is raging against the state of the country at the moment. And while it's not about that specifically, it is certainly draws from the feelings that are created because of this situation: angst, anger, panic, betrayal and disillusionment. I think we achieved that.

But it's odd, that's what the critics are criticizing it for, they don't seem to realize it's effecting them for that very reason, because it's successful. They don't want to take the script for what it is, they'd rather it be something different and interpret the negative feeling they have been left with as failure, it's not, that's how we want you to feel. We want you to be left with that sour taste in you mouth because that's what the film is about, it's a cry, a rage, it's angry and unapologetic for being so.

There's no escaping that, and why should we try? Why can't cinema be about pushing audiences to places they don't necessarily want to go and exploring these emotions. Take a film like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, much loved, but equally reviled. The people who hate it do so because it's so vile, failing to see how successful it actually is. The filmmaker has achieved what he set out to do. You don't have to like it, but you must not dismiss it out of hand because it's not The Sixth Sense.

But I guess some people are like that. I remember watching Roger Dodger with a friend once, she didn't enjoy it very much and at the end said, "it would have been better if it was a comedy with Adam Sandler!" ;)

All that is not to say the script doesn't need work, we have been working on it for a long time but it is still a first draft. To that end we are holding a reading of the script on Tuesday night with the Attic Studio, thanks again to Camille Donegan, who has organised it. So we're looking forward to that. It will help get the script out of our heads, let us hear it for the first time and we can gage a reaction from the audience as to how it plays. I'm sure it will have the same reaction as the private readings, there will be people there who love it and hate it alike! Hopefully more the former!

Not much else going on. Saw "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" and loved it, I'd highly recommend going to see it. Gilliam is awesome. Go see it.

1 comment:

Kevin Makice said...

I'm very much looking forward to watching 140 with my son.

And the potential to use the raw footage to cut our own short films to complement what you've done. He's busy working/procrastinating on NaNoWriMo this month, so film editing will be a wonderful follow-up.