I’ve been editing pretty solidly for the last month and finally, my heaps of footage are turning into something that resembles a documentary film. I brought on a co-editor, Isabelle Strollo (who was amazing!), to help form the story and mold my material into something manageable.
Ahead of applying for additional grant funding, I screened the rough cut of LIVE FROM UB last week. I asked a select group of trusted friends and colleagues to highlight the weak parts, comment on what they enjoyed and what could be cut, and give general feedback on the film.
This experience was much more emotionally involved than I had ever expected. Sitting in a screening room with people who have only heard me talk about the project and subject matter in spurts and showing them a product that I know is still incomplete, I felt utterly vulnerable. I care deeply about this project and am really invested in it’s success. Because of that, however, I want it to be the best it can, and I know that I will need to swallow my pride and take criticism to make that happen. Despite feeling utterly exposed, the screening was a success. I got some great feedback and will now be able to take that into consideration as I work on the second draft.
While it’s clear that I still have some work to do, it was great to hear initial reactions to a subject in which I have become so intimately involved. One of the questions I asked people was “What did you learn?”
“I learned elements of Mongolia’s history and the connection between music and social change that manifested in the culture.”
“I learned so much about the effect of music in a global context and more about Mongolia than I’ve ever known or wanted to – which is a good thing.”
I also asked people to write five words that describe the film. Here are some of those words:
Unique | Optimistic | Intriguing | Truthful | Curious | Well-Done | Thoughtful
Beautiful | Considerate | Pretty | Funny | Encompassing | Informative | Impressive
Educational | Inquisitive | Humorous | Colorful | Positive | Eye-opening | Insightful
Human | Scenic | Compassion | Art | Underdog story | Travel | Adventure | Historical
Not your typical story | No ego | Band with passion | Care for Identity | Transformative
Revolution | Noble | Giant Killer
All in all, I’m pretty happy with the overall reaction. I’m glad to know that Mongolian rock and national identity are subjects that have potential to reach a broader audience. Now, I just need to refine the edit to make sure that happens.