There are times when you're looking at what you've done and it feels like a disaster. And you, as the director, feel responsible. There are doubts, second guesses, wishes and woulda, coulda, shoulda's. Every director goes through that, as you can see from this post. You just have to push through it.
The other night I showed my wife and her parents a rough cut of the film. I thought that it would be nice to have another set of eyes on the first cut, especially by those who have no vested interest in the project (other than hoping it succeeds for my sake). They knew the story but they're a good audience (showing people who work in this industry can often open the critical floodgates, since everyone knows how to make a film, right?).
Setting aside their comments for a second, I was pleasantly surprised to watch it myself and see that it's in pretty good shape. I was surprised by how well it flowed, and how all the things I was worried about almost disappeared (though not completely).
My wife and in-laws both liked it as well (and full discretion, they have not liked everything I've done). They provided me with some great notes, nothing major but a few speed bumps that affected their response to the film.
So, being that this is the worst the film will ever be, it feels good to be starting with such a solid foundation. Of course, that could be destroyed after showing others, who knows. I'm going to do another pass and then I'll start showing a larger group of people for feedback.
Will keep you updated.