Audience support saved The Jammed. Writer/director, Dee McLachlan, speaks again to Jim Schembri.
IN 25 words or less, please review your experience with this film since its release.
It has been extraordinary and, in many ways, far beyond my expectations. It's been a little bit like a roller-coaster.
Before the film took hold of audiences, when it was scheduled for a 10-day screening at the Nova before coming out on DVD, what were its prospects?
At that time, the DVD was looming three weeks away, so we thought it was quite a feat just getting it onto one screen. We'd been through so many knockbacks we were delighted that we even got a DVD release.
So what's the story now?
The DVD release has been put back and the film's success has empowered us as filmmakers to engage and build a relationship with the audience. It's quite exciting to be part of the organic process of getting the film to an audience.
The buzz for the film began when David Stratton saw it at the Brisbane film festival the week before release and was so impressed he rejigged At the Movies to include it. Then The Age's review came out the day of release. Then what happened?
The next morning, distributors and exhibitors were calling, then your EG article came out, then it just turned into chaos. We moved the DVD release back, then we literally planned the national release in about two days. Normally, it would take a distributor three months.
What was it like taking calls from people who had initially turned you down?
Let me put this the right way. In some ways it just felt like: "OK, now we're back in business." I'm not quite answering your question.
Let me put words in your mouth. Was there a sense of: "Look who's talking now?" It's OK to gloat a little bit.
Without gloating, it brings back your confidence and your instincts as a filmmaker. That's the most important thing, that it actually brought back some kind of self-confidence that I actually did make certain good decisions in making the film. There is a sense of validation as a filmmaker that you haven't wasted your time.
What was the reaction to the film like that first week?
I was stunned. People were calling me up saying there were no seats available, it was a full house. I've never heard of that. People were getting turned away and had to wait two or three sessions before they could get in to see the movie. It was absolutely mind-blasting that people were so engaged.
To read the full Q & A head over to The Age website: http://www.theage.com.au/news/film/stunned-by-success/2007/09/06/1188783364396.html