1/ On 27/4, Bird Bitten, together with other BA2 drama films, was screened at Hyde Park Picture House. It was a private screening for crew, cast, and staff.
Overall I’m happy with the film. There are faults and imperfections, and there are tons of things I would have done differently, which is an inevitable feeling when I worked on it for so long and watched it so many times, working closely with the editor and then the colourist and then the sound designer. But overall I’m happy with the film, and I think people liked it.
2/ On Monday and Tuesday, we just had feedback screening for experimental films. My film Footfalls was screened yesterday. I was director, writer, co-producer, and colourist.
Footfalls, in a sense, feels more personal to me. Part of it is because it was loosely based on a true story, a tragic story, so added to the challenge of telling a story through feet and shoes only, without either faces or words, I also gave myself the hard task of treating it like a delicate thing and making it moving. I also lost my grandma the week before filming, and in a way, the film was keeping me going and giving me a sense of purpose.
Then we had issues, many issues, as though the film was doomed. For quite some time, I hated it. I loved it, as it’s mine, but at the same time I hated it. Having problems is of course the nature of filmmaking, but we had way too many, the footage was awful and much of it was unusable, and the 1st rough cut just didn’t work—there was no flow, it was overlong and unclear and ineffective. We had to save the film on the editing table.
That was when in a burst of inspiration, I rearranged all the scenes and cut lots of stuff out, and let’s say, gave the film a rebirth. And it worked. If on Bird Bitten, I learnt the importance of sound, on Footfalls I learnt the power of editing. I’m not completely happy, it dragged me down just as it earlier kept me occupied, but it’s much better than the earlier version, and people seem to like it more than expected.
Just have to work more on it and try to create the best version possible.
3/ A flatmate of mine asked if my short films had any themes in common. The 2 films are different—Bird Bitten is surrealist drama, Footfalls is experimental drama/ suspense; I wasn’t intentionally treating some common theme.
Then I realised that they had 1 thing in common, in the ending—you are never safe.