Finally amidst all the drama, our major documentary was successfully screened and has received its long awaited audience feedback. As a film maker, I go through a lot of struggle and pressure before I could release a project. All the hard work and struggles seem to become negligible even when a single person in the audience applauds and loves our work. This is a feeling that no other industry could give. The biggest wealth for an artist is the support of his audience.
From the feedback we got, I realised that most of our audience were animal lovers. Portraying animals is one major thing that has actually got us more attention. People did agree to the fact that they were continuously engaged to the film. Our film received mixed reviews on the story and the structure element. Many people have written that they wanted to actually know how the animals felt over the zoo move. I was completely stunned when the audience brought up this issue. We as a group never thought about it! This would have been a wonderful angle to pursue the storyline.
My mind has now entirely opened up to a new dimension! People weren’t interested in what happened to the old zoo. they are interested to only know how the animals have adapted to the new environment. As animal lovers, this could only give them joy and satisfaction on watching the film. It is now I realise that our subjects were supposed to be the animals, not the keepers. Yes animals cant talk. But the keepers could have supported the issues with the animal’s B-roll running. This is the story we were trying to figure out all the time!
I have to agree with my audience pointing that there is a flaw in the structure. One has even stated that there was too much information for such a short span of time. When I saw the final cut, I felt somewhat similar. There was good level of information in our script. Yet, the main argument was not clear. The story progresses with the keepers talking about the move and ends with only their feeling of joy. We never really observe how they animals feel now. This has unfortunately has reduced the emotional bond between the audience and the animals. Now that we understood what our audience really expected, we will be in a better position to convey our vision in other similar projects.
I have never experienced such a collective feedback before. This process was simply exhilarating. The audience’s expectations could actually fill the gaps in our films. I definitely under estimated the idea of feedback. It seems to be one of the best things to go through before releasing a film on larger platform. Hence I appreciate the valid feedback they provided.
Most of the feedback was regarding the story element on the film. Not many people have actually commented on the technical side. Yet while watching my own film on the big screen, I did wish I could have done a better job. I had mistakenly set the framing to 1080i instead of 1080p. Though audience can’t really see the difference, It is quite obvious to me on what I missed. Other than the camera setting, we feel we have done a decent job on our shooting and editing.