Just three more sleeps till the (SOLD OUT) prem in Adelaide. I wasn't really nervous (read entry below) but it's really starting to kick in now. It's a difficult thing handing something you love dearly over to someone else, let alone a whole bunch of people. I got a sneak preview of this a few months ago...
Towards the end of the edit we organised a little test screening. Just to see if we were making the film we thought we were, and to try and answer a few questions that we were not sure of. We hoped a small audience would help point us in the right direction. It was a really successful screening in that those questions were answered, and the discussions afterwards helped us focus on a few other things that we were not aware of as well.
But the really strange thing was, all of a sudden I had 65 other opinions to consider. Not that I had to take them on board, that could have been perilous, but the reality of them being there at all, I found quite overwhelming in itself.
Making Last Ride has been hugely collaborative. However, the process, particularly when I got into post, became very insular. The film exists amongst a handful of people. This is definitely the way it should be, but it makes handing it over to the outside world quite a strange idea, even though it's the very reason we have all gone on this journey. Why make a film if you dont want people to see it?
This Friday night there will be 400+ opinions of the film (and by the end of the weekend close to 1000). It's not so much that I care if people think it's good or bad or whatever (although of course I hope they do like it). It's more the idea of releasing it out into the world where it can be judged and also have a life outside of the strict confines of the post suites where it's lived quite happily for the past 7 months. I've been trying not to use the cliche about 'it's like giving birth to a baby', but alot of the same fears and paranoia apply.
While sitting here thinking and making myself more nervous I received a lovely message from a friend and wonderful actor Amber Clayton. She wrote...
It such a good way of looking at it. It IS a wonderful thing to have something to be terrified about in this way. The whole idea of being an artist is about taking risks and they wouldn't be risks if they were not scary to some degree. In this way I feel so fortunate that I have been able to create the film the way I wanted it to be in the first place. Where as so many amazing would be artists are fearful to make even the first step. The fear of failure, or exposing oneself sets in before they even commit pen to paper, or paint to the brush, or act, sing, photograph, dance etc. (Kind of on this subject, this talk by Author Elizabeth Gilbert is well worth the 20 minutes! thanks Struth!)
And speaking of handing your work over. Denise Young who wrote the book The Last Ride which the film is based on, handed her work over to the producer Nick Cole about 8 years ago. She came and visited us on set during filming and it was very cool having her there. She has written a very thoughtful and eloquent recollection of her experience of not only her visit to the set, but about the process of handing your work over to other people.