Friday, February 29, 2008

CINEQUEST - Our World Premiere!

Began the day with a quick bite before the four of us headed over to the REP for a day of panels, the first of which was Independent Film Publicity. On the panel was none other than our own PR guy, Jim Dobson of IndiePR. We sat in the front row with our SW swag daring the panel not to mention our film -- which they did. Numerous times! Thanks Jens! Thanks Jim!

The subsequent panels were mostly tired war stories and cautionary tales. It amused me how seriously the panelists took themselves as they admonished the filmmakers in the audience about keeping their expectations real. "This is not Sundance." "Your film is not LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE." No shit. And you are not Fox Searchlight dipwad. One of the few panelists that had something to say that day was Elliot Kotek from Moving Pictures Magazine. His comments were insightful and applicable.

As the sun went down, my heart rate increased exponentially. Joaquin picked up Rico at the airport and Brooke arrived a little too close to showtime for my taste, but I was thrilled they were there. Mike and I met up with some terrific folks from the local MG Club and we all hopped into our vintage MGB's and caravanned through downtown San Jose, turning heads in the process.

I was asked if I wanted to say something before the screening, and with nothing planned, jumped on stage and thanked everyone for showing up. It was the first audience to see our little movie, and I asked if they wouldn't mind huddling together for a group picture. All 550 of them. They obliged and I hopped down and enjoyed the movie for the first time. Ever.

The packed audience roared with laughter from the get go. I was stunned. Did they really think it was this funny? They were stepping over dialog with their laughter. Oh, I had forgotten that was a joke. That too. Maybe I need to re-cut to allow for laughs. What am I high? The thought of going back into the cutting room is insane.

I had never been able to watch the film as an audience member before tonight. And I had to admit it: I enjoyed myself. It was indeed, a fun night. The Q&A after the film was almost as much fun. The majority of the audience stayed and asked question after question. It's the sort of give and take filmmakers thrive on. At least I do.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Picked Mike up at the San Francisco Airport around noon and grabbed a quick bite. We're all so excited about our big night tomorrow. Tom arrives tonight, but he's going to cab it in from San Jose Airport because I want to check out BEAUFORT -- not so much because I'm a fan of Israeli war movies, but rather I'm curious to see how a film will play in the REP.

Just finished seeing the film. Impressive, if not long. Which may have been exacerbated by the fact that we were in the balcony without A/C and the middle Eastern woman next to us was eating foul-smelling sushi throughout the film. The venue is stellar.

I was heading to meet up with Tom so he, Mike, Joaquin and I could have some dinner, but ended up having a drink with Cinequest PR head Jens Hussey instead. Fest programmer Michael Rebehl joined us after a bit. These guys are great. Very funny and extremely welcoming. We talked about PR, then Michael walked me over to the REP to meet with Stephanie, the head techie. I really feel like we're in good hands.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I'm sore. My whole body aches from the 6 hour drive from Los Angeles in a cramped MGB. I love the way this little car looks, but boy did the Brits scrimp on comfort!! I thought it'd be fun to have the vehicular star of SHERMAN'S WAY at the World Premiere. Create some buzz. No matter where I go in this car, it seems to turn heads. Hopefully that will translate into some audience members.

We're playing in the large San Jose REP Theater three screenings and although the fest boasts attendance of upwards 80,000 people, I am of course nervous about people showing up. Our first screening is pitted against the big festival party Friday night, so we'll just have to see.

Joaquin followed me up in the SUV crammed pack with posters, postcards -- even a standee I built that hopefully we'll be able to place next to the Roadster in front of the theater.

We just checked into the De Anza hotel. It's a little off the beaten path and a good walk to the Montgomery and The Fairmont where they are putting up most of the other filmmakers. Joaquin and I walked around, checking the place out a bit before we headed to the filmmakers Lounge to check in. Met some cool folks and chatted up SW before rushing off to the Opening Night film EDEN COURT, which I didn't care for very much. Kimberly Williams was terrific in it, but I guess it just wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe it was the long drive up the coast from LA.

The After Party was packed, but Joaquin and I left shortly after arriving and grabbed a quick bite at the Pita Pit.