Tonight we traveled to Bermondsey to attend a short film night at the Trispace Gallery Space.
There were seven films showing over the evening and after each film someone from the production answered questions about their film. When it came to screening Jimmy Then and Now neither of us had really watched the film with an audience and properly projected on a big screen since 2010 at the Wood Green Film festival. I’d been watching it over the last couple of days for technical checks before sending it to the gallery for screening and had tracked down the original edit on a hard drive and exported it at a higher resolution. But I’d just been watching it in a little window on my computer screen.
Seeing it now with an audience it became something quite different. It became really powerful. As the end credits rolled I turned to Jimmy and tears were rolling down his face. It was our turn to answer questions and although Jimmy was obviously overwrought we went up to the front. The host Rizelle asked us about how the film had come about and I explained how the drug and alcohol service had commissioned me to work with their group and how I’d then met Jimmy and he had wanted to make a film about his life.
We then fielded questions which ranged from those about Jimmy’s tattoos, to the selfishness of being an alcoholic. We answered more questions than we did at the last Q&A session we took part in. The one that made me look at the film differently was from a woman in the audience who said how much she felt that the film should be shown to families going through similar situations and that she personally related to the interactions between Jimmy and his grand daughter in the film. It made her remember a relative, who when she was growing up, was never seen without a drink in his hand.
As we have developed the new film the interaction between Jimmy and his grand daughter and her concern about Jimmy has become something really worth incorporating again – the scenes with her in the park were quite central to the first film. Also the real Amy is very keen to visit the set when we are filming to see how the film is made.
It was a really good evening and a really great way to engage film makers with audiences. During the break I was talking to a guy in the row in front of me who is currently a film student at LCC – my old film school. He told me he’d just finished his dissertation on Nietzsche and Takeshi Kitano. If you have a short film to screen I recommend contacting the gallery and it would be great to go back with Jimmy There and Back once the film is completed.