While working on the script, I've also been storyboarding the film. It's been a real challenge because the film is set in a crowd, so I created some references from scenes that I like - one's from 'Empire of the Sun' and the other's from 'Water'. This helped a lot.
Anyway, this week I workshopped the film in Paul Demeyer's storyboarding class. This critique was really helpful because Paul didn't know anything about the project to start with, plus he is very candid and a great director.
Unfortunately, he was very confused when he first saw it. He then asked me to step him through the boards and he felt like the idea works, but there were certain aspects that confused him.
Here's what he thought:
The quote in the beginning from Khushwant Singh is confusing because it talks about Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, whereas the film is really about Hindus and Muslims. Solution: I'll try to fix the quote or get a different one.
The title's not onscreen long enough. Easy fix.
When the mother starts explaining the situation to Bir, there's a long delay before her response. Solution: Cut over the dialogue. (I'm missing the hand with the stick in the above scene too.)
He wasn't clear that Maqbool and Bir were at the same station. I think that this will be clear in the final film.
The cap exchange is not clear because I don't show it, I just show Bir's reaction. Solution: Put back the shot of Maqbool taking the cap off his head.
Joanna also had a couple of good comments:
Perhaps Bir should see his mom being pushed onto the train. That way it gives him a target.
Towards the climax, we lose the fact that Bir is being chased. I need to work more on the tension in that section.
Paul asked me to bring the film in again next week, so that should help some more. Overall, I think these notes are all really helpful.