Know your audience!

“Ok…working on the timeline and Amazon Souls is cut down to 7 and a half hours so far. The mission: Cut down to 3 hours before I meet the legendary Jack Gold next week! Wish me luck souls!” 28 January 2012

Amazon Souls: Documentary Facebook PRIVATE Group

“Getting ready for a first viewing of the cut tomorrow. Wish me luck guys!” 9 February 2012

Simon Thorne: with who?

Sarah Begum: Jack Gold. I managed to cut the doc down to just under 3 hours but can’t cut anymore. I really need a fresh pair of eyes to watch it all the way through so I can analyse their reaction to it.

Simon Thorne: I suspect it’s not the content but the pacing – your bungee jump is a good example, could be half the length

Sarah Begum: I know what else it is…I need to stop working on it for day or two then get back to it because I managed to cut the bungee jump by 45secs after realising where it was too long.

I met Jack Gold at the BAFTA D-Media conference and after being touched by his talk and impressed by his track record in the Documentary Film world, I approached him for advice about my film. He asked me to cut the footage down to 3 hours and then he would view it and give me his advice. I let that become my next mission. Then I met him. Although very insightful and helpful in many ways, I didn’t hear everything I hoped to. But then I had realised that every person I showed bits of my film to reacted differently. Older audiences were fascinated by my achievement at having made this production at my age and had a lot of critical questions. For my benefit I learnt at the end of it all. Younger audiences were glued to the screen with the action packed adventures I immersed myself in and learnt interesting things about the tribes way of life whilst gasping and laughing and crying. They had lots of questions but their questions were different. They wanted to know more. About the tribe and about my story. They were inspired by my journey and went on their own adventures. They started to think outside of the box… that maybe anything was possible. If Sarah Begum can do it, then I can. Serious issues such as oil exploitation were touched upon. In the end, the older audiences came back around and enjoyed the film and the story whilst learning facts along the way.

People are different. They have different tastes. If we were all the same, this world wouldn’t be a wonderful place and we would have monopolies everywhere instead of lots of interesting independent businesses and ideas.That’s when I realised I couldn’t please everyone. I had to know my audience and stick to pleasing them. The footage I had was for a “BBC 3/ Channel 4″ audience so I kept hearing.

“Young, fresh, innovative, one of its kind, authentic, genuine, innocent, raw, entertaining, touching…”

“I LOVE my naked scene – it’s HILARIOUS!!! ” 29 January 2012

Leave a Reply