So we've been asked to do a wrap-up post of sorts to conjure up our thoughts on last week's screening. A lot of what was asked for I posted in the previous post anyhow - but there are a couple of points I'll address separately so that all bases are covered.
Seeing my group's documentary up on the big screen was both terrifying and exhiliararating. Everything looks different when you're in a cinema-type setting and not just viewing a timeline on final cut through a TV monitor. It's a completely encapsulating experience. All the flaws of our work were magnified for all and any to see - and all the beauty we marveled at in the beginning radiated tenfold. It really was quite an overwhelming experience, especially considering the depth of my involvement with this project. Hearing Rachel and other members of the audience roar with laughter at Amazon's jokes made me feel completely.. accomplished I guess. Just like the moments of candour when he spoke about getting beaten up in and out of home for choosing to dress in drag. And the way a wave of awe swept over the audience when they saw Amazon as a finished product just blew me away. To be able to elicit those kinds of feelings - to have achieved our aim in terms of creating this project - made everything so incredibly real.
From its inception, to its initial stages of production, to the editing, fine cutting ,fine tuning, peer assessments, etc - I can honestly say that I've made something that I am proud of, in spite of its imperfections. Maybe it was kinda raw, and sorta rough around the edges, but it spoke to people. It brought to the fore a side os society and the human condition that does not get explored everyday. It uncovered the individual story of one person whose charms were both majestic and engaging... and it will not be forgotten.
Of course, we need to go through *once again* and fix up the sound.. this time it was too soft.. God only knows how that keeps going awry...And that little blip od blackness I swear I saw before one of the photo clips. I'd also like to do a proper DVD set for it. Maybe go through and re-do the first cut away. If it were possible it'd be great to have filmed Amazon doing a live show ourselves... Aside from that, everything else I was pretty happy with.
There were a couple of other group's docos that just left me spellbound. "The valley", "Mirrors with Memory" and "A Darker Shade of Night" spring to mind... The former, for its evocative and clever structuring, not to mention completely masterful infusion of archival footage.. I can't imagine how long it must have taken to go through it all and produce such a fine result. "Mirrors with Memory" was just funny and compelling through its richness of character... I loved the absence of English, and the whole 'lost in translation' feel it carried with it. Not to mention the gorgeous, picturesque cinematography. "A Darker Shade of Night" didn't really do it for me at the beginning, but the way it was shot and edited just eked with beauty. It was smooth and sensual, and though it did not conform to strict documentary-style conventions, it was somewhat uplifting. "Asian Beauty Pageant" and "The Gift" deserve honourable mentions.. for their completely candid humour if nothing else. I really liked opening sequence of the former. Was not one bit amateurish and made me both proud of my peers and honoured to have had the chance to work with them a second time 'round. I am going to miss them next year.
And so it seems I've arrived here once more: the bitter-sweet end of a long, trying, draining - yet intrinisically rewarding, and uplifting - road.