Overall, the feedback we received about our film was very positive and it was great to see the rest of the class appreciating the film’s humour. The tutors were impressed with how well our film had developed from the taster and managed to address a potentially controversial topic sensitively. Although it can be hard to balance comedy with serious issues, we successfully pulled it off. In addition, we were told that none of the comedic moments fell flat and the film lived up to its humorous title.
With regards to the compromises we made in the edit, the tutors agreed that we made the best decision in the circumstances and that the film’s tone should be prioritised over a completely polished edit. However, we all agreed that the shots could have been planned better to edit together more smoothly. There was also some suggestions that the edit could be made tighter to reinforce the film’s comedy.
The class and tutors were very impressed with the production design which was effective in turning the Edinburgh College reception area into a convincing waiting room. Other details such as the background extras and the mum’s trainers were used as effective worldbuilding devices.
Although our sound designer was from a different course and therefore not present for the crit, we received feedback that the sound mix reinforced the narrative well while also adding interesting details. The main criticism was that the tannoy effect could have been blended into mix better and could have degraded more to reinforce the surrealism and Josie’s anxiety. Some tutors found the music at the end annoying and felt that it suggested we lacked confidence in our comedy. Speaking to the group after the crit, we all still felt that the music was a fun addition but we may still change it if we plan to submit the film to festivals.
With regards to the cinematography, the tutors felt that the opening was strong, particularly the tracking shot which introduces us to the waiting room. However, there was some annoyance that the tracking shot had been cut with an insert to smooth out a bump in the track. Again, it was noted that the shots could have been more carefully planned to fit the edit, particularly the extras’ reaction and the point-of-view shot of Josie’s mum. We were also encouraged to pay more attention to character’s eyelines in the future. In particular, we were advised to get the camera as close to the actors’ eyelines as possible, even if this felt uncomfortable for the actor and camera operator. Some tutors noted that the lighting seemed quite flat and could have been neater, bolder and more stylistic to fit with the film’s tone and production design. There was some disagreement about the similarity between the ‘real’ and ‘fantasy’ shots with some tutors feeling the two atmospheres were two similar (it had been suggested in our taster crit that we make them more similar) while other tutors liked the subtlety of this distinction.
Overall, this project showed successful and organised production planning paired with good teamwork and communication despite some disagreements about the script and edit. This resulted in a film which fulfils its intentions in terms of style, tone and message well. We are considering submitting this film to festivals and to improve before this, we would consider tightening up the edit and would definitely revisit the sound mix to integrate the tannoy effect more realistically. We also learned some valuable lessons to apply to future projects such as the importance of good communication and compromise and that it is essential to ensure there is enough footage shot to construct a smooth edit.
Stills from our final film Josie VS the Vagina Police: