This blog post falls into the category of a personal update, but there are some interesting points of note along the way that probably tie into the bigger discussion on this here blog.
Many of you know (and if you didn’t, I’m telling you now) that I’ve been working furiously with The Director over the past couple of months to finish up an original score and soundtrack for his short film, “Jeune Fille.” Not really that I was coming from behind–it was just my turn to get busy. 🙂 This film project became a family effort, and was probably the most ambitious thing that any of us have ever done. By the same token, because we saw the potential for this film early on, and the kind of attention it could receive, we knew the stakes were high and that we couldn’t cut corners, but that we must give 150 percent from beginning to end.
The score was essentially finished by the first of this year, so the big push the past few weeks has been getting it recorded and mixed, which involved several long nights in the recording studio, tweaking and getting everything as good as we could–then putting it with the dialogue and making sure the audio was consistent throughout the 25-minute film. I literally got the final version done two days before the premiere, which was this past Tuesday night.
Yes, we did a premiere: a red-carpet private premiere of two short films: our film, “Jeune Fille,” and a film directed by The Director’s filmmaking partner called “Over The Bridge.” The premiere was held at the Denver Film Center, where about 150 people were in attendance–mostly friends and family of the cast and crew of both films, but also financial backers and a few interested friends. That event in itself really spoke to me, as people from all the different circles we’ve walked in over the past three years came together in the same room to see what The Director had accomplished.
All told, I don’t think the evening could have gone better. (Some observations on that in a moment.)
I think people were genuinely blown away by what they saw on the screen, with both films (both young directors actually had a hand in both of them). I was amazed at how well “Jeune Fille” was received–something I’d hoped for, but couldn’t have known until we actually showed the film. The Director found himself surrounded with people congratulating him, intrigued females flirting with him– 😉 –even people handing him money to help fund the next step of his journey, entering “Jeune Fille” into film festivals. After the premiere, we watched Facebook light up with photos and comments about the film. It became obvious very quickly that not only did people like his film–they believe in it, and they want to see it go places. There is even talk of another showing soon.
For me, I had my own moments, and not just as a proud parent–which, of course, I am. The soundtrack I had worked so hard on turned out to be a huge talking point for the film, as many approached me, congratulated me on the score, told me I should be doing it for a living. (Another local filmmaker even handed me his card.) Again, I could not have asked for a better response.
At the first of the year, I mentioned here that I had a great sense of anticipation for 2013, and that there were a lot of possibilities that we were just going to have to let “play out” and see what happens. One of the reasons I know I feel this way is this film; I knew there was a possibility for this film to take us someplace–certainly for The Director, but possibly our whole family. Since its initial showing, it has literally taken on a life of its own, and I cannot rule out the possibility that our lives will change dramatically because of it over the next year. Again–we just have to let it play out. But it certainly looks promising as of today.
Now, a long project is over, and there are some observations that I have about the aftermath that I find interesting.
First of all–I was surprised at how little of a “let-down” we felt once the premiere was over. We have become so used to undertaking huge projects, letting the project consume our lives as a family, then feeling a sense of let-down after the project is complete. Part of this, I think, has to do with the fact that so many times in the past we have put heart and soul into something we were doing for the church, only to find an only mildly receptive response, then coming off that disappointment and questioning why we had put so much in to receive so little back. NONE of that dynamic was here in this project. These people “got it,” they got excited about it, they began to support it. Was it because we didn’t do this within the institutional church? Not making judgment calls here–just finding it interesting. 🙂
Second–I was surprised at how little resistance we faced coming up to the premiere. The filming itself came with its own set of problems, and of course there was the stress involved with getting everything done and making deadlines–but taking the entire project as a whole, I have to say things went remarkably smoothly, and with the desired result. I am so used to being bombarded with obstacles and resistance through a project like this that sadly, I spent the whole time waiting for the other shoe to drop. It never did. Again, this is the first major undertaking we’ve done outside the walls of the church. Coincidence? I don’t know…
Is this just the favor of God? Or is there just a vibe with the religious mindsets of the institutional church that tends to bring resistance, even when people claim to be in your court? Did this go so well because that resistance just wasn’t there this time?
I honestly don’t know. All I know is that this is the first time we’ve done something even close to this magnitude as a family and have it utterly meet and exceed our expectations–and the first time that we are actually looking forward to the future afterwards, rather than just being spent and exhausted.
This project is over, but I don’t feel like it’s the end of something. I feel like it’s the beginning of something even bigger. Stay tuned…
Meanwhile, if all this talk about this short film has piqued your interest, keep your eyes and ears open. “Jeune Fille” might just show up at a film festival near you.