The Power of the Audience

Richard and I shot 240 hours of video tape footage on Jonathan.    It took years to find the film in the editing.   We had a structure in mind and we were clear on the themes, but you don’t know what you have until you see it with an audience.    We couldn’t afford to rent a screening room so we had a preview screening at Richard’s house for 20 people, then preview screenings for 50 and 75 in the big theater at the Los Angeles Film School, where I teach directing.    They were valuable screenings for audience feedback, but suspect because we were showing the film to other filmmakers, and they tended to tell us how they would remake our film, since everyone is a director.  We felt we needed a real audience response.
Festival audiences became our almost real audiences.   We’d stand in the aisles of packed theaters and watch for when the audience laughed or look bored.   After each festival screening, we’d do some re-cutting.   Pace and rhythm and clarity of story line were our concerns.   The film got better and better, and we think it’s at its best. 
Now we’re opening CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN, seven years in the making, in New York City on February 11th, 2011, to be followed by Chicago, Los Angeles, and theaters around the country.   People will now see our movie in local movie theaters.   The public.  The real audience at last.  It’s lucky Richard and I can’t clone ourselves to stand in all those theater aisles.  Otherwise, we might be tempted to….   No!   Don’t go there, Jim!    The film is done, done, done.

-Jim Pasternak, Director

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