Friday, October 21, 2005

The screening

What a strange, strange experience... Something I've lived with on paper, for over 2 years, is now a living, breathing movie, on a screen. It's like seeing a movie adaptation of a book you love, and have read about 500 times - but they get the adaptation *just* right, everything you wanted to see is in there, even better than you expected. So good, in fact, you feel no further need to read that book ever again, now that you have the movie to watch instead. Seeing something you've written up on screen as a movie is (a) surreal, like they've sneaked a look inside your brain, (b) surprising, as you know *what* is coming next, but don't always know *how* it'll be done, and (c) possibly the biggest fucking buzz yet created by humans. Sitting there, hearing people (mostly crew, execs, film company staff, etc) laugh at the jokes and gasp at the scares, makes it all worth it - the hair-tearing late nights trying to figure out how to resolve a plot problem are a distant memory.

But what of the movie itself? I think it's fucking great. It's not finished yet - mostly temp music, no sound mix, colour grading, or visual effects, etc - but I got completely caught up in it. It hits all the right horror notes, is funny in the right places, and plays with genre conventions in unexpected ways. It also has a really nice pace, moved fast all the way through - it needs tightening up, obviously, every movie does before the final edit - but I reckon that after tweaks and all the fixes (music, effects, etc), they could easily just go ahead and release it. I think it's that close. Just my opinion of course, and I've only seen it the once, so I'm probably looking at it more favourably than I would if I'd been examining it repeatedly - but hey, the future audience will be seeing it for the first time, and I think they'll have the same impressions as I did. I'm part of the target audience, a guy who knows and loves horror movies - and as far as I'm concerned, they don't need to change a thing. There may be some improvements I haven't thought of (apart from the obvious improvement that would make any film better - a slow motion love scene with Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek in the shower, come on Hollywood, the people have spoken, give us what we want), but right now it feels like it works as it is.

For the first half, I was trying to watch it analytically, but once the gore and insanity kicked in, I was just a horror fan along for the ride. I can't wait to see this in a full cinema with a paying audience. Today's screening was in a fancy preview cinema on Dean Street, they have editing rooms and all sorts of stuff, but we were in their screening room, which has about 30 seats. I sat in the front row - on the aisle, of course, as my fellow FrightFesters would expect - and had a blast. I kept forgetting myself and laughing really loud at the jokes, but I don't think anyone knew it was me, the lights were all off. And it's not as if I'd give the game away on some blog, or anything.

And now, I'm back home. Jo will be here in 20 minutes, we have chocolate puddings all ready to stick in the oven, wine in the fridge, and many DVDs available to watch. This... is the good shit.

7 comments:

Jodie x said...

And here I am. Now, about those chocolate puddings...

rawshark said...

Great!!! Wow - it sounds fantastic...

Can't wait to see it myself...!

Would you mind if we posted a news piece on EMB with a link this page?

Thought I'd ask first as wouldn't want to piss off Pathe.

James Moran said...

It's fine with me, I have no idea if it would piss them off or not - but then it's hardly giving anything away: "writer sees movie based on his script, loves it". Then again, that's probably unusual in this business...

Anonymous said...

Congratulations sir!

Can I just ask - why would frightfesters expect you to sit on the isle?

Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

Congratulations, I take my hat off to you (although I'd have to buy one first).

I can believe what you say about it being the best man made thrill, maybe one day I'll be able to experience it for myself.

How are the other projects coming along?

soulmining said...

Excellent news, really pleased that the first screening was everything that you hoped it would be! Can't wait to see it...

And yeah, you weren't on the aisle at FF in August, heh heh...

James Moran said...

Anonymous: Cheers! As all FrightFest people know, the aisles are the best seats during a 4 day horror marathon, because you can stretch your legs out, and get in and out without disturbing anyone.

Chris: Cheers too - I'm sure you will, hang in there and anything's possible. Other stuff is going good, there'll be some more news soon, but it's a secret right now...

soulmining: I know, wasn't for lack of trying, though - I'm sure there were some aisle seats left, because people got some after I'd booked my tickets. Teething troubles at the Odeon, and all that. I'd better get aisle seats next year, or there'll be trouble. It's difficult to sneak out when the movie's shite, otherwise...