Watch the video first, then read on...
So the opening night took place. There were 2,000 people in the audience... And yes, there were some technical problems. But, I survived and the audience loved it!
It appears that the projector that was supplied, while excellent, was fitted with a fixed focus and fixed focal length lens (I know!), which meant that the digitally presented movies all looked very small, compared to full screen 35mm. To add to our woes, it also transpired that the audio on our HDCam was not accessible with the setup, and believe it or not, we ended up screening off DVD! Yikes!
Heading up the tech team for the night was a very experienced film festivals presentation girl who really knew her stuff, and she gave us some really great tech advice for short film festivals. Specifically, when attending festivals, bring as many different format versions of your film as you can fit in carry on luggage – 35mm, HDCam, D5, NTSC, PAL, DVD, DVCam, BluRay… Cos you can be sure that the format you thought you were going to play, will, for some strange reason, not play! How frustrating.
Another very interesting point is that for festivals around the world, Beta, DigiBeta and HDCam tapes should all start at 1 O’clock time code, not 10 O’clock as we do in the UK (or clearly mark the tapes stating it starts at 10 and not 1). And if you supply a DVD to screen in a festival, make sure it has NO MENU – build the DVD so that the film plays as soon as you put it into the player, with a few seconds of black at the start (no tone, clock or bars and no burnt in time code or title saying FOR SCREENING PURPOSES ONLY).
Even though Gone Fishing was not seen in its best light, it will be on Saturday night now. I have just been frantically arranging with Lucia back in London to get FedEx arranged, so it’s all up to Alex Brody at FedEx now, my contact who so far, has never let me down… Let’s hope the print arrives by Saturday for the closing night screenings.
I guess that even though the presentation could have been better, there will always be some kind of technical problem, and your film and story should withstand this – if it does and still connects with an audience, you know you are doing something right.
Onwards and upwards!