Thursday, February 5, 2009

Post-Seattle Update

I had meant to post something here prior to the Seattle screening, but things were just too crazy for that to be feasible. I'm happy to say, though, that we got the latest cut ready in time for the screening, and made it down to Seattle without a hitch. Our host Scott Lipsky was very generous and made his beautiful home on the West Seattle waterfront available for two screenings, which went quite smoothly.

Overall, the feedback was really useful. It looks like the changes we made in response to the Vancouver screening are working (no slow spots anymore - hooray!), and we got some really good feedback on ways to improve the look of the animation sequences. Most importantly, the audience, on the whole, seemed to GET the idea of the film.

What was interesting was that the idea itself -- the inherent complexity of the relationship between the Marianas and the US -- was hard for many viewers to accept. Similarly, our decision to give equal weight to each of the film's four characters (and their often conflicting viewpoints) seemed to make many of the mainland viewers uncomfortable. But I think this just goes with the territory. The Marianas ARE complicated, and their relationship to the US is extremely conflicted. This is not something most (non-indigenous) Americans have had to think about before. All the more reason we need to develop a really amazing website, that can help answer a lot of the questions the film raises.

And speaking of amazing websites... I should mention that I've started working with a really great designer here in Vancouver, Lara Kroeker, of Randomlink Interactive. I'm about to start a new fundraising campaign, to help pay for her services in creating the Insular Empire's digital outreach campaign.

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