To improve the piece, I made a first cut, which needed some more work to it, and uploaded it onto YouTube so I could easily send it around. Using Facebook, I showed this cut to a number of other amateur film-makers and friends so I could get a reaction and learn from their experiences from the watching ‘PRAY’. What was so great about the replies I got is that they were very varied and often viewers had read into the scene and discovered meanings for parts of the film that I hadn’t thought of.
Hearing compliments about something you’ve worked hard on is great but criticism is perhaps more valuable! The purpose of making a rough cut was so that I could make changes to it later for the final cut and the reactions I got gave me ideas and a direction to make these improvements. For example on the left here you’ll see Jay advising me about the film’s soundtrack. The advice he gave me I think will improve the feeling I want to get in my film in that the viewer is lured into a comfortable place but soon tricked and the nice, friendly young man who comforts a distressed girl appears not a he first seemed.
I also got a great reaction from Chris Elmer, a student studying a course involving film production at Leeds University, and he gave me a heavily detailed response upon watching the film. It was a great help to see what worked and also what didn’t. I didn’t expect people to like the frame of Tabitha that’s flashed to us at the end. I put it in there as an experiment and it’s gotten a generally positive reaction. On the other hand the main character’s smile at the end was something I really liked however, this break in the fourth-wall was often criticised for its humour and it being unnecessary. I was aiming for a cheeky, creepy and chilling effect but really that’s achieved depending on the viewer it seems! The advice, the compliments and the criticism I got will all be taken into account to improve my film for the final edit to ensure the best result possible!