My first informal feedback before the screening was fairly positive in terms of location, shot choices and actors. However, there were some changes that were recommended to be made.
I needed to make some changes to the edit as the opening shots felt a bit measured. I chose to have Alex walk in and out of the shots rather than a quick paced edit as the continuity of a quick edit wouldn’t have worked as she is walking in various different locations. I did, however shorten down the time of these clips slightly so she was still walking in and out of shot.
Some other minor changes that needed to be made were the audio levels of certain shots, which I knew had to be done anyway.
I used keyframes in FCPX to adjust the audio levels in more detail. However I am not sure whether it makes the film sound any better. Particularly with the ambient sound in the house. It doesn’t sound natural enough with the constant wave of non ambient and then ambient when the character speaks, so I will see how this goes in the final screening.
I was also advised to re shoot the first scene, as Norah comes into the house and starts talking to Isabel. Since she is in the dining room at the beginning and the end, it would make more sense for Norah to be in a more intimate space at the beginning of the film with the ornament, such as her bedroom. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to re shoot this small scene since Alex wasn’t available. I am aware that this change would have made my film stronger and would’ve reinforced the relationship between Norah and the ornament much more, since Norah is in a comfortable and intimate environment.
If I was to reshoot that scene, I would’ve used my own bedroom to do so. My bedroom in itself is quite unique looking and colourful and with some dressing of the set it would’ve reflected Norah’s personality and emotions quite well. I would have also used very tightly framed shots to reflect the intimate friendship between Norah and the ornament. Norah would be sitting on a bed holding the ornament, perhaps, which would represent a closeness. The bed itself has a canopy hanging over it, and this would’ve been great to represent the ‘world’ that Norah puts herself to get away from reality.
If I was to ever reshoot the film, I would definitely do this. It’s just unfortunate that timing wasn’t perfect and people weren’t available when needed.
I did add one extra shot to the film. The original ending felt unfinished and didn’t leave a strong impact. The film originally ended with a shot looking out of the window at Norah and the gardener laughing and talking together. However, I felt the underlying plot or symbolism wasn’t clear so I added a shot of the ornament sitting on the table as if it is being left behind by Norah. This, to me, gives more of an impact of the themes and makes Norah’s dilemma and resolution to the dilemma more clear. Visually, this shot also looks more pleasing to the eye and leaves the audience remembering the film with a strong shot at the end.