I recently setup and ran media for a showing of a new film, Beautifully Broken.
The film is based on real people and tells the story of an American family and two families from Rwanda.
A few thoughts on running media for a film screening:
Test the setup.
The room we used is an acoustically ideal room. However that applies to live, acoustic, non-amplified music. When it comes to adding a sound system, there are obstacles that need to be considered. In this case, I would spend more time adjusting EQ and tweaking the speaker placement before this kind of event happens. In our tech setup, we did test and listen in advance, however I notices issues during the screening that I could have addressed if I had done a more thorough testing of the system.
Most of the time we only see the final piece of art, but there is also a story behind the story.
A benefit of having Eric Welch in attendance was getting to hear his perspective afterward. We learned about the real-life people whose stories were being told, and also about the process of making a film.
The questions and conversation afterward were about the process of making a movie and directing. I appreciated Eric taking us into the story of production so that we could get an idea of how the film came into existence. It’s easy to see a final piece and not think about the many layers of work that have gone into it. We don’t get to see the challenges that were encountered in the process, the hurdles in production, or the near-misses of things that could have gone wrong.
Being a director is lonely.
It sounds like such an appealing position to have, but you have to be able to handle the isolation that comes with being the one person to whom all the questions are directed. One way of thinking of it is that from 6am to 11pm, you’re being asked questions non-stop about dialogue, photography, how to set up the next scene, and all kinds of details. The difficulty is that no matter what you choose, someone will think that a different decision could have been better. So you really have to find the guide rails for what YOUR vision for the film requires. And that’s where you hold steady. Because in the middle of production, EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. is likely to have a differing opinion some aspect of the work.
Sometimes it is real.
In this case, the movie was based on real families. And the film deals simultaneously with great difficulty and great hope. One of the things we learned was that much of the dialogue of one of the characters came straight from things the real character would say.
So what did I come away with?
One effect of the film is to try to see clearer. That what we see in front of us is not likely to be the whole story. People are storied, and you never know what someone has encountered in their life to bring them to the point where they are now.
Another thing is to remain hopeful. That good triumphs over evil. That there is a way that brings healing where there has been destruction.
Unresolved. Beautifully Broken is also an invitation to do something. And that’s probably one of the stronger feelings I came away with after the viewing. To be aware of the question: How can I be more aware of what’s happening in my family, community, and world, and then to be involved in doing something about it.