Every filmmaker understands that one of the biggest pleasures of the craft is observing the effect the final cut produces on people. Among a filmmaker’s biggest satisfaction is to finally sit in a screening room, no matter how small, and experience the chatter, laughter, silence and energy shared by the viewers. The pleasure reaches such levels that one becomes addicted to it.
Of course I’m not the only one whose plans have changed during these past couple of months, and definitely a film screening is one of the most “quarantine-doable” activity of all, thanks to screen-sharing and the use of digital streaming platforms. Nevertheless, these methods take away every bit of adrenaline, vibration and feelings that a first time screening produces on the creators and responsible of the piece. So after 30 long minutes of waiting for everyone kind enough to watch the online premiere of ‘How To Go To Paradise (and fail trying)”, each one in their own comfortable room, we connected for a post-screening very short Q&A. It was fulfilling to see so many familiar faces and new faces all in the same place, interested enough to listen and participate to this brief weird webcam discussion, where I only received positive comments. On the other hand, I still have no idea what scenes made them laugh, which ones made them stay silent or if there was any chatter during any particular moment. A lot questions remained unanswered, from both the viewers and me, the filmmaker.
Some arts are meant to be contemplated, enjoyed internally and perhaps shared later. Others do not even exist without the participation of spectators, like theatre. But as a theatre lover filmmaker, there’s nothing more satisfying that sitting at your own screening, as if the play was about to start. The film has been made and thanks to technology is screening and nothing should go wrong, but one knows, specially the first time being shown to the public, that one should expect the unexpected. A filmmaker can enjoy many of the stages involved in making a film, like it can be the developing of the idea, the writing of the script, the pre-production, the making of it, the editing and the distribution. For me, the film isn’t ready without first witnessing the magic that unfolds when a bunch of humans experience it for the first time.
Thanks to London Metropolitan University, who still gives me a platform to share my projects as a graduate. Till the next screening!