Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Tallgrass Experience - Part 2

Cont'd from Part 1. I enjoyed the interviews, reflecting on those past years researching, developing, producing what would become I Am Gangster. Now I was sitting there answering questions about the nature of the film, why we made it and what we hoped to achieve with it.

Maybe it was this revisit of the past, which laid the perfect groundwork for me to watch our film on the big screen later that day, with the first public audience, at the Scottish Rite Theater in Wichita. Along with The Orpheum around the corner, the Scottish Rite is a beautiful venue from the late 19th century, a place a filmmaker truly dreams of screening work in.


Watching your own work can be torture though. I didn’t think it was at all possible to somewhat objectively judge it without unreasonably nitpicking away at its imperfections. I hadn’t seen the film for more than six months, and before that always through a lens scrutinizing every edit, every frame even, every audio cue, and every effect. But then I sat there, the lights went dark, the picture was up and I felt comfortable, and increasingly confident in what we created. Months and years of obsessing over details certainly paid off, I thought.

Bottomline, I enjoyed the screening very much, I was proud of what we all achieved, of every little element that went into it, every piece that made a difference, that made the movie what it is, how close we got to the vision I had for it and respecting the evolution it went through over the years. I was proud like a father on his child’s first day of school.

The second takeaway from the screening, no one walked out!

The third take away is that, as I’d hoped, people respond very differently to the film. Some were moved, some were angry, some seemed to have had a genuinely refreshing experience in regards to the authentic, raw feel of the film and the often idiosyncratic creative choices that make up I Am Gangster. The interest and insight, the curiosity and fascination I was met with during the Q&A and afterwards was one of the great rewards you can enjoy as a filmmaker.

What now you ask? To leave you with a cliff hanger of sorts, while we’re pushing for an LA-area festival screening and plays at international festivals, especially in the motherland Germany, we’re talking to distributors to make the film publicly available ASAP for all of you who can’t make it to a screening. So the process continues and we're taking those final steps!

Go to Part 1.

Click here for more photos.

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