Yesterday, I screened Volcano Girl in a really comfortable, home-y environment for one of our Supporters and her son's graduation party. So there were about 25 people watching it in a living room.
And I was more nervous for that screening than I was for the 350 person screening on the USC campus.
1. My 13 minute movie was competing with 3 of the cutest children who apparently all needed their mommy right when the movie started.
2. The tv screening ratio did not show the whole screen (why??) so about a 5th of the movie was cut off. (don't worry, we clicked through the ratio options while the movie was still playing...ugh)
3. "Turn it up" was yelled a few times.
4. They didn't laugh at all of the jokes.
5. Someone's phone rang and she picked it up...
6. It was a bright room, so you could barely see the screen.
7. I saw people looking at each other, looking around, grabbing for their drinks and food -- all normal things you would do at a party, and now they were forced to stare at a screen.
8. An entire conversation was had during the last 30 seconds of the movie, and I don't know how anyone could hear what was going on...
There you have it -- talk about a filmmaker's worst nightmare!! But somehow people got the movie and came up to me after so excited to talk about it!
All I could think was, "Really? You got what we were trying to do??" Neat!
I was a mess with nerves while watching the movie, and it's because I could literally see the audiences' reactions. No filmmaker should ever have to sit through that... Give me a dark room and a huge screen any day. That's the environment I love!