Lights, Camera, Action! Take 3!

The film is finished, and we’re getting all set for the public premiere this Friday – though there’s a cast/crew/press screening on Wednesday, and the director came round with the master copy last week. Chris + I sat and watched it, and also got to participate in the commentary which was recorded as we saw the film for the second time that evening.

I am, of course, entirely biased, so hardly expect you to believe any comments I have regarding the qualities of the film (we’ll recruit an independent opinion for our actual review next week, don’t worry!). But given the budget was well below what Robert Rodriguez allegedly used for El Mariachi (and even the $7,000 claimed was a fraction of the total spent to get it actually into cinemas), and it was shot over three long weekends, Synthetic Truth punches far above its weight.

It kicks the arse of a lot of direct-to-video product, and has a lot more to say, and says it more effectively, than a number of recent cinema releases. While not exactly a feel-good film, it mixes up emotions effectively, with some great characters and some memorable dialogue. Must confess I’m still uncertain as to whether or not I should send my parents a copy (the language has more in common with Goodfellas than the school pantomime in which they last saw me perform), but it’s certainly something with which I am proud to have been involved.

Recording the commentary track was an interesting experience; we largely just sat in the background, and allowed Zach and Ryan to talk, since unlike us, they were on the set for almost every scene. Still had a blast, interjecting the odd sarcastic aside, though if Denise Richards or the MPAA hear it, we could be in trouble. 🙂 It was amusing to realise how much method acting had gone on – the kid eating a packet of Goldfish snacks, genuinely was eating them, to the extent that after multiple takes, he finally upchucked them off-screen. Now that’s suffering for your art.

Chris’s sterling efforts on the publicity front will be coming to fruition, with a bunch of newspaper articles scheduled for the week ahead, in time to whip the populace into a state of frenzy for Friday’s premiere. That’s our main shot at recouping production costs, between admissions and sales of tapes on the night. We should hopefully have DVDs too, as the film has now gone off for mastering, so special editions (commentary, trailers, music videos, etc.), signed by the director will also be available.

Where it goes from there is hard to say, but will largely be determined by market forces. The current plan is to send it off to various film festivals first, while simultaneously making enquiries with various distributors of independent movies. Ideally, we’d like Miramax to come in and take it off our hands for $3 million dollars, in which case, the film festivals can go whistle. 🙂 Though being honest, we’d probably settle for Troma, and a slightly smaller sum…

Premiere report to follow next week!