Friday, September 28, 2018

I'm Going Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

This post first appeared at my e-newsletter I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP which you can subscribe to in the sidebar.

I know it sounds kind of funny, but it wasn't until I was driving to Kokomo to the premiere of THE GIRL IN THE CRAWLSPACE at the Hoosierdance Film Festival that it dawned on me that strangers were going to watch it for the first time, and I would get my first unadulterated feedback.  That's when the nerves set in.

Hoosierdance is held along Geek Street in downtown Kokomo, a cool area with a comic book shop, gaming store, toy store, plus coffee shops and bars and a minor league baseball stadium at the far end.  Basically my kind of place.  Films screen at various venues there, and my movie was screening at American Dream Hi Fi, a funky record store with a horror movie vibe. It was a long room with a stage at one end for bands and movies, a good screen and a great sound system.

The venue holds about 25 seats, but when I got there about ten were out.  I asked if they could put out a few more, as I knew about 15 people had RSVPd on the Facebook event.  They agreed, even though they said ticket sales had been low the first day of the fest. 

Then my wife and I went across the street to a nice Irish pub for dinner.  I told her I was sure we would have six people--I had seen actor John Hambrick and a friend, and crew member Kyle Garner and a friend, out on the street.  I was completely happy with that because it would look about half full.

When we finished dinner, with about ten minutes left until the screening, we came out and saw one of the festival heads walking down the sidewalk.  He told me he was going to the coffee shop to borrow some chairs because it was standing room only.  I was like WHAT and went to help him.

There were about fifty people crammed into the venue, standing clear to the back.  It was a very responsive crowd for the screening, and my 15 minute Q&A stretched into about 30 minutes, and then I hung around and talked to people about another 45 minutes.  The best part for me was that several cast and crew members were there (and I invited them up for the Q&A) and several colleagues from work came as well.
I think one of the biggest things driven home for me was that you write a movie in a vacuum, but when you direct a movie it belongs to the world, and has the thoughts and ideas of everybody that worked on it, and everybody that watches it.  The responsibility of that was greater than I thought, both an awesome feeling and a frightening one.

Thanks for reading, more to come.

Monday, September 17, 2018

I Live in a House that Looks Out Over the Ocean

This post first appeared, in a slightly different form, in I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP, my e-mail newsletter you can subscribe to in the sidebar on the right.

I wrote one word:  Poem.  The worst part was it wasn't part of the script, it was just a placeholder for a poem I was going to steal from my wife's writing.  The pages were just coming slow, the way they sometimes do.

I had promised myself I wouldn't start on any new secret projects until THE GIRL IN THE CRAWLSPACE was in the can, because I haven't felt like I had the headspace, but I have been slowly, covertly working on something else for this fall/winter as CRAWLSPACE inched towards completion.  And it may burst into the world in the coming weeks.

THE GIRL IN THE CRAWLSPACE has been inching, inching along in fits and starts, but tonight it debuts at the Hoosierdance Film Festival in Kokomo, Indiana.  And I am super flattered by this because they selected it sight unseen, and thus don't know what they are getting into.

Here's the very first review, a very nice one, with mayhaps a thousand one-star Amazon reviews to follow.

More seriously, others I have screeners out to have been generous with their time and thoughts, and it has been appreciated.

My brother's actual review:  "Cool movie, bro."

I remember reading Groucho Marx's autobiography a long time ago, and one thing I remember him writing in there was that he was not going to write about what he saw dancing in the shadows when he woke up in the middle of the night, and that has sort of stuck with me, and I have to admit that this newsletter and the rest of my social media presence is not really me, but sort of the product of me.  And I don't write about bad things that happen, but there has been a lot of chaos this summer, both good and bad.  And I think it was the author Sherman Alexie who basically said if you can take all the good things that happen, and subtract all the bad, and still be smiling, you're in good shape.

And any year where I get a new grandbaby and a new movie at the same time, it's a pretty good year.
I would happily share the Top 100 photos I have of him on my phone right this moment, but here are just a few, from the day he was born:

As Dave Loggins once said, this drifter's world goes round and round, and I doubt that it's ever gonna stop.  Thanks to everyone who reads this and has cheered on my first movie.  Talk soon.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Performers and Portrayers

My old friend Tom Cherry, who plays Marshal Woody in THE GIRL IN THE CRAWLSPACE, wanted to borrow his uniform for his role in the play GREATER TUNA, which I think has almost the same plot.  Good luck treading the boards, Tom!