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.