At the end of every semester, I question whether we should have a film screening just for my section of Production I at BU. After all, we do a course-wide screening where three selected films from each section are screened together in a big hall. I feel bad requiring my students - who by that point are exhausted and ready to head home for break - to come out in the evening for another event.
But I always decide to do it. Because to me, it's an essential part of learning filmmaking - to sit in a darkened room and watch your film with a group of strangers (the students all invite friends, family, and actors, so there is a good mix of people). If your film is working, it will leap off the screen and make sense; if there are problems, they glare at you. This year I had two sections, 32 students in all, and I was so impressed with the amount they learned. Most of them were complete beginners in September, and now, only there months late,r they can come up with a good story, direct it, shoot it, record non-synchronous sound (some even composed and recorded their own music track), and edit it into a powerful film.
When they lights came back on, spirits were high and I was convinced again at how important this is. (By the way, you can see an example of one of my students films
Congratulations to the students, and have a great break!