So I've been carting around a rough cut of Certainly Never for a few weeks now. The film's taking longer to get through post-production than originally planned upon. There was a bit of a running joke through the filming process that I was easily the least formally trained person on set--I didn't go to film school, I wasn't a formally trained actor, I sure as hell didn't have any real experience as a producer. But all of those things can be faked if surrounded by the right talented people and with an appropriate level of force of will.
Really, this film was made through the force of will of its cast and crew. The little film that could
In post-production, though, it's a little harder to rely on force of will. Force of will, for example, does not miraculously give you access to and ability with editing software, for example. So, for a variety of reasons, it's taken a while to get into the home stretch.
We can see the finish line. We won't cross it in this breath or the next, but it's visible. Right... there.
But I have a copy of the rough cut. The sound needs work, some of the transitions are glitchy, but it's watchable, it tells the complete story, it looks pretty as hell. It's viewable. So I want a few people to view it.
I did not count on the level of crippling anxiety that comes along with screening a film for the first time.
It has flaws. Flaws that are being worked on. But those flaws are still, currently, unfixed flaws, and they will be seen by anyone watching the screening. I've shown it to a few people and I start each viewing with a laundry list. This laundry list might be entitled "excuses."
And then there's the worst part. I'm all over this film. Not only are the words mine, but the production value falls on me as producer, the locations, choices as to which shots we used in the end (though thankfully due to the crew there were very few shots we shouldn't be proud of). And I'm in it. I'm in it a lot. And here's what I learned about screening a film you're in:
You get very tired of looking at yourself on screen. Unless you're a raging egomaniac. And while I'm a bit of an egomaniac, I don't believe I fall into the "raging" category.
I'm so sick of looking at my own face.
It'll be interesting though. Screening it once this week for a few crew members who haven't seen it yet, and tomorrow for a group of people who weren't involved in the project at all. I am, to be honest, terrified of their reaction. The crew members know the script and know the business of making the film, so while I'm looking forward to their feedback, it doesn't scare me. The second group of folks, though... they are real people.
Matthew Phillion is a full time writer, frequent actor, sometimes director, and occasional photographer. He can be reached here.