I think I was somewhat successful, most of the people understood what I wanted to say and at the same time got something more out of it. Some parts were more confusing for people, the death sequence felt unnecessary for some people and for others it had more meaning.
I was very close to achieve the look I wanted, particularly for the party. The biggest fail was the lack of clarity when showing the boy being interested in the girl, It is not clear what is the relationship between the kids and it can become weird because for some it can be seen as a motherly figure or any other relative.
If I was to remake it, I’d pay more attention to details, for example, keeping the TV in frame wasn’t necessary and seeing the router and the video games in frame also bothers me a lot. I’d try to make things a lot clearer in the “boy sees girl sequence” by using a different location. I’d shoot with the editing in mind to avoid a nightmarish edit session.
Briefly, discuss the following:
What, specifically, did you want to communicate? Were you successful? Why? Why not?
I wanted to show a man at a crossroads, finding himself in a situation that is completely different to childhood. He starts remembering how life used to be, the things he liked, the things he was afraid of, he is basically the same but at the same time, his life has changed a lot. Change was the major theme of the film, going from childhood to the teenage years and from early adulthood to maturity.
I wanted to make something that could be interpreted in more than one way, but at the same time, I had my own interpretation. I think I was successful in many ways because people understood most of the themes, at the same time the film lacks emotional impact because it is hard for people to completely relate to the character, by being too ambiguous and trying to focus a lot on the visuals, I didn’t focus on making something relatable.
How, specifically, did you try to communicate this?
By showing the man sitting on the couch and reflecting about his life I wanted to make the audience know he was different from the rest of the people in the party. Juxtaposing scenes from his childhood to what was happening at the party was my attempt to show how we remember things by the things we live in the present.
The boy following the girl was the way I wanted to communicate how he stopped being a child.
What did you learn about storytelling:
I learned about the importance of shooting with the final product in mind. If you cut the film in your head as you shoot it, the final product will be better. Stories are completed by the audience, but we have a lot of power in how we guide them to reach certain conclusions, that’s why “The devil is in the details”
What did you learn about working with actors and getting performance:
Working with kids is really hard especially when they don’t have acting experience. I’d try to meet them before shooting and get to know them a little better so you’re not a complete stranger on set.
I think the less you tell them what to do, the better. If you just tell them what kind of feelings the character has the performance will feel more natural because they’ll own it.
I’ll definitely give my actors more background information on the characters to help them prepare more.
What did you learn about blocking the camera and actors?
Good blocking saves a lot of time on set and makes things easier for everyone.
What did you learn about visual elements such as lighting, composition, framing, etc.?
Improvising only works when you planned beforehand. The best shots are usually composed planned and even lit before you shoot.
What did you learn about design and art direction?
It’s important to have someone to help with art, if the director tries to do everything on its own, he will probably fail at every task.
What did you learn about the Production Process such as pre-production, collaborating with the crew, securing equipment, etc.?
Leaving everything for the last time will not only harm the quality of the film but also affect the cast and crew. pre-production is as important (if not more) than production.
Postproduction is not the time to fix the film, that’s what you do in the pre-production stage.
What was it like to watch your film with an audience? Did they understand it? Miss the point? Why did they respond the way they did?
It was fun to watch the film with others, terrifying and exciting at the same time. It feels great when they get what you wanted to say but it’s even better when they don’t get it because then you know what do you have to do next time.
I’m glad that people understood most of the film. It’s clear why some parts were confusing to some of them and unfortunately, that wasn’t the kind of confusion I was going for but now I know what to do better next time.