Late Tuesday night, we finished the film. It is exactly 96 minutes and 28 seconds long, and we sent it off on Thursday to a certain film festival with our fingers crossed.
On Friday, we had a cast showing. Present were our leads, David Schonscheck and Adrienne Patterson, David's wife Stephanie (who has a small but memorable role) and the always-entertaining Peter Jurich and Mariya O'Rourke. Mariya had to leave about two-thirds of the way through the film due to some family matters, and while we're not sure if this film, like the last one, is exactly to her taste, she did seem to enjoy herself at least up until that point.
There was a lot of laughter through-out the film. Tom's sides were aching, but in that good way. Our last film had a number of comical moments, and was certainly (we think) entertaining and thought-provoking, but Son of a Seahorse is more of an overt comedy and it showed.
Afterwards, we asked what they thought of it. Everyone still present said that they enjoyed it, that it was good, and that the other actors were good in it. Peter and Stephanie expressed concerns about the pacing of the picture and the opening scene, which now clocks in at over twenty-two minutes.
Peter said that scene moved along really well, that it kept his interest and attention, that it built a certain momentum. He was not advocating cutting the scene or cutting it down but instead actually made a very serious suggestion as to how to make the scene longer. He just felt that the rest of the film doesn't build the same momentum as our opening set piece.
David disagreed with him on that point; he felt that the momentum was fine. Everyone agreed that the film slows down during its last twenty minutes or so, which is really a matter of structural design. Peter mentioned that around that point, he had time to think more deeply about David's character, Nick, and what his motivations may be, which is one reason why we did that.
Adrienne said that while she didn't notice any lagging while watching the film, now that we were talking about it she wasn't so certain. She also expressed some concerns about the final scene.
"Even when we were shooting and rehearsing it," she said, "I didn't know quite how it fit or was going to play."
"If there's something like that in the next one," said Tom, "please, tell us. Don't be afraid to challenge us. We're all making this film together, not just me and Mary, but all of us, and we need your input. We can work together to make it better or figure out what the problem is."
"I did say something at the time," said Adrienne.
Tom didn't remember that; Mary, diplomatic as always, was silent.
Peter, getting tired of all the questions, finally turned it around and asked us what we thought of it.
Said Tom: "Well, I can't really answer that question right now, because I'm still totally in love with this movie. I'm too close to it. After a few months or a year, the love starts to wear off and I can be more objective. But at the moment, I look at it, and I see, wow, this works and this is funny and what about this character moment here and I like the way this does this. So I can't really answer."
Mary: "I'm satisfied with it. I have some issues with some of the sound recording, but you can hear just about everything and there's no spikes. I think it's better than the last one, and the next one will be even better than that. So I'm happy with it."
Another trailer and poster are coming soon, and, of course, we'll be keeping you updated so make sure you check back regularly.
EDIT: P.S. Modesty dictates that we do not direct your attention to this blog's sidebar, especially not the GAMES BY TOM RUSSELL section which features a super-cool action-packed shooter about alien flowers.