The Big Screen

Nicola and I traveled to San Diego this weekend for the North American premiere of OtherLife at the San Diego Film Festival, to see the film screened at a real live theatre with a real live audience.

So here is the magic: the house lights go down and people fall silent, and there are promotional trailers. And then the film begins. The size of it takes my breath away – the lushness of the visual experience, the details that rebalance themselves on the bigger screen, the nuances of sound through the cinema system. At this larger scale, the film feels even more intimate to me (and it’s very close POV to begin with): I can see every actor’s expression and physical behavior so clearly, and the larger landscape makes the subtleties even more subtle.

And holy wow, it is so fucking beautiful.

This is the culmination of a very long journey for me. Every writer hopes to see a novel adapted in a way that makes her proud of the book; every screenwriter hopes for a produced film that makes her proud of the script. It doesn’t happen that often: a lot of moving pieces have to align for a film to come together, perhaps especially so when it’s an indie production like ours. I feel extraordinarily fortunate that it has happened for me, and that I could see the film as it was made to be seen: at scale, intimacy writ large, in the company of others.

The theatre and film festival staff were fabulously helpful. I’m so grateful to the friends who came to support me, and to all the film lovers who showed up because they were interested. Everyone was attentive and absorbed, and had great questions and comments during the Q&A. I felt for the first time like a member of an active film community, not just a member of my movie team. It’s a great feeling.

Many thanks to SDIFF for hosting the film and giving me this chance to see it. It was an amazing evening for me.

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