The second screening

On Saturday afternoon, we had our second screening, which went even better than the first.

We've found that different screenings in front of different audiences turn The Red Machine into a different movie – sometimes it's more of a comedy, sometimes it's more suspenseful, sometimes it's a straight-ahead adventure. The version of The Red Machine that materialized in our theater on Saturday was very close to the movie we set out to make. 

One cultural note – we found that by and large, UK audiences are much quieter and more restrained than American audiences. This was a little disconcerting at first, because in the U.S. we're used to very loud and vocal crowds, some of whom actually talk to the screen. But once we got used to it, we found it's nice to be amongst audiences who are paying attention so intently to what's going on. 

And now, we find ourselves in a time of transition. Being filmmakers at a film festival demands a lot of the same energy and engagement as being in production, especially in the days leading up to our screenings, when there's so much to think about and get ready. Now, we get more time to be film fans and enjoy everyone else's movies.

Also, having been here since the start of the festival, we're now grizzled veterans of EIFF 2010. Filmmakers with movies playing later in the fest are starting to arrive in town, turning up at the Delegate Center with the same drowsy, befuddled expression we had last Wednesday morning. We smile knowingly at them, fondly remembering the old days when we were newcomers...five days ago. But on a more melancholy's time for our actors to return home.

Even though the two of us are staying for the whole festival, Donal left this morning, and Lee and Madoka are leaving tomorrow. They've been such a huge part of the movie and its journey – as well as good friends whom we love to spend time with – that we feel a real sense of loss at their departure. (We have the same problem during production, when we wrap characters and send each actor home for the last time – Steph in particular gets very emotional.) So if you see us moping, please give us a smile and a little squeeze on the shoulder and tell us to buck up, stiff upper lip and all that.

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Stephanie Argy and Alec Boehm are the co-directors of the caper adventure The Red Machine, which will be having its international premiere at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. They live in Los Angeles. Argy & Boehm’s previous movies include the short film Scene, shot in Stirling, Scotland, for which lead actor Bryan Larkin won a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best First Time Performance, and the award-winning short film Gandhi at the Bat.


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