Friday, December 30, 2016

What do you mean you're leaving?

In our effort to find B roll for the interview we did with Kansas filmmaker Steve Balderson, I watched all three movies of his Wamego trilogy.
In the opening minutes of the second movie, Wamego Strikes Back, Balderson and his crew are at the Raindance Film Festival in London, which was showing their critically acclaimed "Firecracker."
After Balderson addressed the audience, he did something I found strange. He walked out of the theater and kept himself busy for a couple of hours. He explains in the movie that audience members have different reactions to the film, and he wanted to hear all of them - but not until after it was finished.
"I don't need to see them experiencing the journey," he said. "But as soon as they have finished the journey, then I'm very curious."
Just tonight I asked Balderson, who now lives in Los Angeles, about that. He replied he's never stuck around to watch his movies with an audience - not once for the 17 movies he's done.
Personally, I don't know how he does it. For every screening we've had for "Out Here In Kansas," I felt I had to experience it with the audience. How can I miss out on the reactions? How will I know what parts that audience liked best?
Balderson told me after making five or six films, I'll be leaving, too. I suppose he's probably right.

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