Greg: I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous going into our first screening of a rough cut of WatchCat. I knew there would be a lot of kids and adults of all ages at this party but, I was still nervous. It was nine months of hard work that was about to be displayed in front of viewing audience, as well as kids, who show you no mercy if they don't like what they see, and it was a rough cut, which means that it wasn't completely finished.
Jim: I had been getting everything ready from working on a final shot, to finding a video projector and then coming across a movie screen a few weeks earlier. We did a test screening the night before and discovered, we had a great picture, but the sound was coming from my laptop. You could barely hear it a few feet away. I seriously thought I would have to do the narration myself.
Greg: Will the audience understand watching a rough cut? Would the kids care? The episode itself is only 2 1/2 minutes long, but if the crowd isn't engage in what we had to offer, it could be the longest 2 1/2 minutes of my life!!
Jim: And animation without sound is always harder to watch...
And so, our annual Pumpkin Carving party was well attended with family and friends who were also our first test audience for the first WatchCat episode.
Our backyard graveyard was the perfect place for projecting a film.
Filmmakers Lee Anthony Smith and Jeremy Foley were in attendance and could be heard discussing their various upcoming projects before the screening.
Jim: We now had Sound as well as a big picture!
Greg: The crowd grew bigger and bigger in front of my eyes. Here we go!! As the light hit the screen, the kids sat quietly as they watch our images popped up before them. And the moment our cat appeared, they...loved him!!!
And the captive audience viewed ...
the rough cut of WatchCat Episode 1...
Our audience reacted to our cat character and laughed at the humorous situations better than we thought they would. I was noting all the scenes that still need work, but it was so good to see and hear the reaction to our work so far. It gives you so much positive feedback to go back and finish the rest of the animation work.
And after a second screening, several kids in the audience asked if there was more to see. Well, we have storyboards and plans for future adventures and hope our audience grows and wants to see more too. The night was a success!!! But now, the real race begins... less than 25 days before the approaching November 21st deadline. Can one animator finish and fix up everything before its due?
Until then, Have a safe and Happy Halloween, from the WatchCat crew.