The feeling of ‘I’ve actually made a film that people are going to watch’ is a strange one. It’s a mix of achievement, nervousness, more nervousness and fear that the sound will cut out five minutes before the end. Well, luckily they did a test screening, found the error, and we rustled together another copy ready a whole ten hours before the real screening.
I had tried to get the word out as best as I could. Posters and leaflets (which are not cheap to print) could be seen in all the right places in Newcastle. A friend had written an article, I was using social media, and telling everyone I met to come and see this film, including two cycle tourist who happened to couch surf at our place that night. On a rainy winters night (where I was told parking spots were hard to find, but we walked of course), about 200 people turned up to the theatre. We had made St Petersburg tram style tickets, we had cooked and brought some nibbles and so if all else was a failure at least they had a gimmicky ticket and some food.
After a very nervous introduction, the film started and I ran after my son Dante. We got to watch small sections and I could hear the audience react which gave me some hope that people were awake and engaged. It finished without a hitch and when the lights came on for the Q&A it was beautiful to see the feel of the audience in front of me. There were young and old all looking somehow like they had got something out of my film. And then the questions reassured me, that this whole film making thing hadn’t just been a self-indulgent quest, I had made something real.
I got great feedback about the film and I decided to believe everyone was being honest when they told me of how they had felt inspired to try using different modes of transport, saw hope in humanity, remembered a special time when they had used public transport, or just made them think about transport in a new light. So maybe people will want to see this film after all…
I also received positive feedback from the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival ‘A Way We Go is a very enjoyable and moving portrayal about transportation. The documentary was very accessible and emotionally rich. The director command of pacing, editing, colouring is masterful . Recommended’. I got almost as excited as I would have if I got into a film festival.
And after all the excitement of the screening wears off (accelerated by the less glamorous task of having to look after a toddler), you are left wondering what’s next… I felt like I wanted to get my film out there to everyone with community screenings, but I had to (and still have to) play the waiting game with film festivals first. If I can get it into some festivals I feel like it will help it spread to different corners of the world and give it some credibility when I do try and distribute it through screenings, schools, universities and maybe even TV and the internet.
If you are interested in seeing the film, I will try and set up a mailing list system to keep you updated. Also, if you are really keen and would like to put on a screening, please get in contact with me and we might be able to make it happen.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped make this film happen. I’m so glad it did and I can’t wait to show it to you :).