In all the films I've made - short films and feature films - there comes a point in the process where you have to decide if it is "done" - and this is a very subjective term.

One person's idea of a great film is another person's idea of something awful. That's one reason (among many) that making a good movie is sooooooo hard to do ("good" being subjective of course). Even the "best" films have parts people don't like. In the end you simply can't make everyone happy. So you just have to make the best film you can taking into consideration the opinions of folks you trust (by doing preview screenings early and often).

I just saw an interview with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer at Cannes where they talked about the fact that they didn't do any early public press screenings of "The Da Vinci Code" - or any public test screenings. The key word here is "public".

Ron Howard says he had at least 10 advance screenings of the movie - all done in private though - and several of them at his house for about 25 or so people. He would get folks he could trust not only to not talk about the film, but to relay HONEST opinions about the movie. Not sure how well this worked of course based on the early critical response to the film (although it's doing gangbusters at the box office).

We've only had one truly public screening for "Killing Down" (so far) and the response was very good. I did have three private preview screenings along the way for some key cast and crew - and we fixed several problems and made things better.

Getting feedack is crucial. But, you have to take some with a grain of salt. Again, it's all very subjective. Generally speaking, if I have at least three people say the same thing I'll take a look at it and likely change it. For instance, if three people say a scene is slow, I will often times take a look at it and tighten it up. Sometimes I won't. But I do listen to the feedback.

Right now "Killing Down" is not done in the true sense of the word. As mentioned in previous post - we're still finishing the score, sound design, a few visual effects and the final color correction. However, after screening the film (and showing it to a few other folks since then) I do feel I want to make the film tighter too.

So when is done "done"? Maybe never. Look at George Lucas revising "Star Wars" 20 years later. Heck, I'm considering adding a scene back into my last feature "Hit" for the DVD release we're doing later this summer (I'll speak to this in more detail in another post). But for "Killing Down"? I'm not sure. I just want the film to be as good as I can make it. Subjectively speaking of course...


4 comments to "Decisions...Decisions...."

  • I know how you feel, Blake. It's hard making the call to be done. Hehehehe. As for Da Vinci Code, I have to say I liked it. Best imagery Howard has put together and I thought the storytelling worked. I'll have to read the reviews to find out why the critics disliked it.

  • I haven't seen Da Vinci Code, but everything I've read and heard is that it is slooooooow. I never read the book either though, so not sure what my take will be. And at the moment, I'm trying to get "KD" DONE anyway. :)


  • LOL! There isn't a lot of action. It's heavy character drama with exposition - necessary to the story. I'd be curious to hear what people who haven't read the book think of the movie. One critic said it "didn't hold the same sense of excitement and suspense as the book." My thought to that was, of course not, you know the story and how it ends. LOL! It's not a movie for everyone, but I still enjoyed it. Probably off to Posiedon this weekend.

  • Heard "Posiedon" wasn't very good either. I oughta try and go see a movie for myself sometime soon, huh? ;)


Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and And speaking of, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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