It’s terrifying watching an audience watch something you’ve worked so hard on for almost 2 years. Will they laugh when I want them to? Will they cry during the sadder moments? Will it all make sense to them? Or am I too close to it and didn’t make things clear enough? Is it what they expected? Is it better to be what they expected or completely different?
My heart beat so hard during the first screening. I thought it was going to leap right out of my chest. I couldn’t eat the popcorn my boyfriend offered me. I was sick to my stomach watching it, wondering what the audience was thinking, listening for any reactions.
I am confident in my film and pleased with the final product. A documentary produced almost solely by myself. The production quality is not too bad for a feature film shot by a one person crew for 90% of the filming.
Working in broadcast media for over 10 years I’ve learned everyone is a critic and has varying opinions on what is good or bad. As everyone should. The world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything all the time. However it’s more common for the public to tell you when they don’t like something than when they do. This morning when I checked my Facebook I found I was tagged in many accolades for the film and the work I put into it. Thank you.
After the first screening a voice shouted “bravo” and applause filled the cafetorium (that is a cross between a cafeteria and auditorium). The second screening received the same applause, just louder, more people. I was met with tearful hugs from many after each show. I’m not sure how many filmmakers get that kind of response.
I wanted to give more of a speech before each screening but my nerves wouldn’t allow it. I wanted to thank all those that helped with information and photos, and all those that I interviewed. I only fit half of the camp interviews in the film. I made sure to show at least the exterior of every camp I went to and a little more if it fit well with topics being addressed. My biggest struggle when I started editing was that I wanted everyone to have a voice in the film. It was too much and I was afraid that viewers would get confused by bouncing around all the camps or not feel the attachment I need them to feel to each camp.
I am happy to have had the first screening to be to those people that this issue affects, those that were a part of the film, and the community in which it’s taking place. I thank the Ewen-Trout Creek high school faculty for letting me screen it there and those that helped me set it up.
Thank you to those that helped me out last night and a big thank you to all of those that came and watched. Sadly some missed the showing. There was a celebration of life earlier in the day at the high school. “Boppin” Bob Peltola passed away a week ago. I interviewed him for the film and he made the final cut because of his stories and the passion with which he talked about his camp and all the others. I never thought in a million years when I set out to preserve the memories of these camps on film, that I would be premiering those memories the same day as one of the camp owner’s funeral. I dedicate the premiere to “Boppin” Bob.
I will keep you all posted when the next screening will be and when I expect to have DVD’s completed. I know I will screen it November 13th. Possibly again sooner somewhere for those that missed it. I’ve seen a lot of Facebook posts of people wanting to see it somehow and wanting DVD’s. I should have those available before Christmas. That is my goal. “UP a River” will make an excellent gift!
And because I have a tendency to go over the top with almost everything I do, I had a red carpet and wall for the event!!