Friday, September 23, 2011

The Final Hours...

Well, The Tolltaker's first screening before an audience is tonight. Just a few hours away.

The only way I've ever experienced this movie was on my computer screen, with the audio being piped in through headphones. Tonight I'm going to see it projected on a screen (how big, I don't know) before an actual audience of actual people. I hope everyone's work shows well. I think people are going to like it, if they can forgive it for the flaws sprinkled here and there.

It's funny the set of expectations a person has when considering others' reaction to his work. You want everyone to love it. Anything short of that, of absolute perfection, means the whole thing's a failure.

And it's not just that you want them to love it. It has to be one of the best things they've ever seen, a real watershed moment for them. As the Creator of this Work, you'll be satisfied with nothing less than the audience dividing their lives into two parts: before and after they've seen your movie.

And if that doesn't happen? If all they do is clap politely? Or if it turns out that they like the movie, but like someone else's better? That's the reaction you have to steel yourself for.

I guess this feeling is something akin to what a gambler feels after he's tossed the dice or pulled the handle on the slot machine. A lot is riding on the outcome, and along with anxiety there's a certain rush. Every moment from now until the outcome is decided is significant.

In the end, I guess I'll have to content myself with the following sage advice: it's not about the destination, but the journey to get there. Whatever happens tonight, the experience of making this film has shaped, in some way, who I am. No audience reaction is going to change that.

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