Cynema

Cynema

How Cynicism is Killing Entertainment

TESTING THE FILM: 6 DEGREES GETS ITS FIRST FEEDBACK

Test panels from the 6 Degrees of Hell graphic novel in production
 

The big question for indie filmmakers, once your film is done is: to test screen or not to screen?

The panels above are test panels for a graphic novel adaptation of our film by artist Mark Kosobucki. While we loved them, we were also eager to show them to the public to keep buzz generated. Feedback was enthusiastic but you always run the risk of negative reception which can put a hurt on the subject matter.

 

However, artists can't live in fear or be corralled by public opinion, critics, or fear of negative feedback. If a film is made for the right reasons: passion, love of the art, respect for the audience and the genuine commitment to the best quality and production values then there is no reason to fear. The films that know they are cynical cash grabs forgo advance information and do their "hit and runs" at the boxoffice (see The Devil Inside as a shining example).

 

Test screening is tricky in the digital age. Blogs, Facebook and other online media are game changers so confidence in the material has to be strong. Film is subjective. Coppola's Apocalypse Now tested "boring" by its test audience and yet scored the top honors at Cannes and Oscar nominations and is now seen as a classic. As we discussed in previous entries, the Internet has allowed everyone to be a critic. Many of these "critics" have never even held a video camera in hand let alone know the first thing of what goes into filmmaking.

 

Many believe their opinion trumps experience.

 

Corey Feldman, an 80's icon, headlines 6 Degrees of Hell as paranormal investigator Kyle Brenner
 

We decided to test the film out on varying demographics. The film was shown unpolished, with several sound and visual effects plus the ending titles needing to tweaked. However we felt it was able to stand on its own legs 95% done.

 

We issued a survey and collected the feedback and are placing it here in this article. This also includes the constructive criticism AKA negative feedback. This day and age it's easy to just post one side and spin it all into the hype machine. We are not posting any feedback either way if it contains a SPOILER.

 

TEST GROUP 1 : One dozen people. 6 female. 6 Male. Ages: 28-64 

2 in the group noted they were NOT fans of horror, which is why they were selected. Here are the highlights of answers both positive and negative on 6 Degrees of Hell:

 

Questions :

 

1. Did you like the film? All 12 marked YES  Overall scale rating from one (bad) to ten (perfect): 8.5 

OVERALL GRADE: B+, A-

 

2. If there was anything you could magically cut out what would it be?

"The blood! The [murder scene] was so bloody I couldn't watch."

 

"Nothing. I felt this moved along so fast. Nothing dragged. It really flows and most of all comes together at the end. You really gotta pay attention but I like that."

 

"I would cut down on some of the violence."

 

" You shouldn't cut anything because it all connects. I felt like I had to work a little to keep up with the plot. Lots going on but that's a good thing."

 

3. Anything you'd like more of in the film?

 

"I wish it was longer. How long was it? 90 min?"

 

"I wanted more of the romance between June and Eri[c]? They had really good chemistry."

 

"Nothing. You didn't overdo it. Don't add anything that's when films kill it."

 

"I really don't like horror, so I certainly don't want it LONGER! ha ha but I really, really liked this."

 

"Tweak the things you said it needs and you'll have a ten from me."

 

4. What was your reaction to Corey Feldman? Did you know who he was & did it make a difference that he was in this movie?

 

"Been a fan of his since I was a kid"

"Was not expecting such a mature performance from him. Expected him to be cheesy or over the top."

"He gives the film legitimacy. He's a legend."

"Great to see him in a good movie again. It's been awhile. Thought he was gonna suck like those Lost Boys sequels."

"No one else would have mattered as a celebrity name to this movie. Great choice!
"

 

5. Were there any moments you felt annoyed, frustrated or confused-in-a-bad-way by the movie? (please list)

"It is tough to follow at times in the beginning but it all comes together in the end. I guess I was expecting a dumbed down slasher movie. It is definitely not that."

 

"I couldn't go to the bathroom because there was so much going on I thought I'd miss something!"

 

"I hated  Corey's cigarette. I know it's an e-cigarette but I hated it. If he hunts ghosts he should smoke the real stuff."

 

"Nothing confusing, but you gotta pay attention."

 

"I thought the one character, Chris, was a pussy. June shoulda been with the guy who had the TV show."

 

6. Would you see 6 Degrees of Hell again or recommend this film?  All 12 said YES.

 

How would you rate the following elements? You can elaborate in the margins, or the space below.
(1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent)


The ending 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 4
The music 1 2 3 4 5    Overall: 4

The humor 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 4
The pace 1 2 3 4 5      Overall: 5
The story 1 2 3 4 5      Overall: 5
The beginning 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5
The drama 1 2 3 4 5       Overall: 5

Quality of Acting: 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5

Special FX: 1 2 3 4 5    Overall: 4

The horror/Scariness 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5
Corey Feldman (Kyle Brenner,) 1 2 3 4 5
    Overall: 5

 

GENERAL LAST THOUGHTS:

"It's scary but also has a lot of drama to it. It isn't constant gross out stuff. That's what surprised me. If there is such a thing as "intelligent horror" this is it. It is creepy, builds a lot of dread in the opening and then really goes nuts at the end. Not the grossest movie I have seen but this was a blast."

 

"You told us the epilogue. Would have been good to see that but from what you explained that really works and adds a lot. I felt brought out of the movie when it was explained what still needed to be done to finish the various things you outlined."

 

The lead young actors in 6 Degrees of Hell (l-r) Joe Raffa, Nicole Cinaglia, Ashley Sumner, David J. Bonner

 

TEST GROUP 2 : 17 people. 14 PEOPLE WERE AGES: 16-18. 3 PEOPLE WERE AGED: 24, 41, 42

All were fans of horror. Here are the highlights of answers both positive and negative on 6 Degrees of Hell:

 

Questions :

 

1. Did you like the film? All marked YES  Overall scale rating from one (bad) to ten (perfect):

OVERALL GRADE: A

 

2. If there was anything you could magically cut out what would it be?

"Nothing."

 

"That murder scene was brutal. Don't know if you should cut it but it was awkward for me."

 

"The chief of police is a dick. He played a really good dickhead cop. Wouldn't say cut him but I hated him."

 

3. Anything you'd like more of in the film?

 

"It should be longer!"

 

"More naked girls! The girls were hot and June shoulda got naked."

 

"More blood. Love the chainsaw stuff and that murder in the apartment. I love the Saw movies so was wanting more weird murders like that but I loved what was there. Just wanted more."

 

"More of Uncle Jack. He had some funny lines."

 

"More of that white monster."

 

4. What was your reaction to Corey Feldman? Did you know who he was & did it make a difference that he was in this movie?

 

I had never heard of him before, but Googled him during the film and now wanna see his other movies. He was really cool.

He was funny, liked his wiseass comments like "just so you're clear on the law" to the cop. He had some great lines

I was expecting him to be in it for like 5 minutes but he holds the whole movie together. Really liked how you kept coming back to him, keeps the film moving along and his scenes are really interesting!


My parents told me about him before we came tonight. He was excellent in this movie. It was not what I was expecting at all.

 

5. Were there any moments you felt annoyed, frustrated or confused-in-a-bad-way by the movie? (please list)

"Not annoyed, but I thought it was like the Sixth Sense where I really had to pay attention."

 

"The cop annoyed me. I hated him."

 

"I wasn't confused but I wasn't expecting to have to think so hard but I have a short attention span!"

 

"No changes. Leave it alone!"

 

6. Would you see 6 Degrees of Hell again or recommend this film?  All 17said YES.

 

How would you rate the following elements? You can elaborate in the margins, or the space below.
(1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent)


The ending 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5
The music 1 2 3 4 5    Overall: 5

The humor 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5
The pace 1 2 3 4 5      Overall: 5
The story 1 2 3 4 5      Overall: 5
The beginning 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5
The drama 1 2 3 4 5       Overall: 5

Quality of Acting: 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 5

Special FX: 1 2 3 4 5    Overall: 5

The horror/Scariness 1 2 3 4 5   Overall: 4
Corey Feldman (Kyle Brenner,) 1 2 3 4 5
    Overall: 5

 

GENERAL LAST THOUGHTS:

Does not look like a low budget movie at all. Caught me completely by surprise.

It's a mind fuck. It's scary but it's really, really smart and cool.

It wasn't the same old stuff. I was expecting "Saw" but it's nothing like those movies

Acting was great. Great characters

Scared me and it's a lot of fun. The whole hotel goes nuts at the end. Loved this movie

I'd see it again. You have to just to catch everything that's going on

This was excellent. I loved it and want to buy it! When can I?

 

 

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