“Wonderful! Heartfelt! Well scripted and acted! My heart is touched and mind flooded with memories!!”  “Emotional but has a healing spirit.”  “I would tell everyone to see it – bring tissues.” 

These are just a few of the comments we got tonight that brought giant goofy grins to our faces. 

Tonight’s screening of the SC Production Fund films was a definite success.  The auditorium was packed, and it was gratifying to see so many people supporting local filmmakers.  And it was great for us to get the chance to see some of the previous films produced due to this amazing grant.  It’s interesting that even though all three films tonight were very different, they were all inspired by true stories and ended on hopeful notes. 

Saying Goodbye was the middle film shown.  We made sure everyone knew it was a work in progress and asked for volunteers to fill out feedback forms.  After the credits rolled, we exchanged nervous glances, because no one clapped at first, and it sounded kind of ragged even after the applause finally started.  But once the lights came back on, we saw that everyone was busy sniffling and wiping their eyes.  Mission accomplished!

We then shared with the audience a little about where the story came from and some anecdotes about the ornery cats and filming at Agapé.  We also answered a few questions from the audience.  It was a nice way to ease into some of the things we’ll have to do once we hit the film festival circuit.

Saying Goodbye's poker sceneAt the end of the evening, many people came up to tell us how touching and moving they found the film.  And it’s official, the strip poker scene is the clear favorite – everyone mentioned how funny it was.  Wonder how much it would cost to have Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” playing in the background?

We then read through the feedback forms people turned in and the comments were so positive and encouraging.  The best news is that 100% of the people said they would definitely recommend the movie to a friend!  In our first focus group, only 40% said they would definitely recommend to a friend, so we now feel really confident about this version of the edit.

The feedback does show there is still some confusion about the time jumps and flashbacks, so we still need to tweak a few things, but we’re definitely getting closer to picture lock.  Thank you so much to all of the audience members who took the time to offer comments and feedback.  Every little bit helps us make the movie stronger.  And on that note, here’s our favorite comment from the evening, since it’s exactly what we set out to do and we’re thrilled that people are responding to our work:

“It was a thoughtful, sensitive, humorous, and wonderful portrayal of a difficult subject – the reality of aging and end of life issues we all face.”