Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It’s about to go down

Ok so all I have to do today is screen the film. All I have to do is get there and show the fucking thing. Seems like an easy thing to do, but things always get fucked up before you screen ….so I was ready for it.

I bounced back into the bar/dinner/thing… and got a steak this time…you know.. because I am paying for all of this shit anyway so might as well enjoy it from time to time. And who do I see coming on for his shift, my man from yesterday. He says what’s up and tell me he has something for me. I have absolutely no idea what he’s talkin’ about..then he slips me a blunt. Now that’s what I call southern hospitality.

So now I am on a mission. I a little somethin’ to sip on…and I mosey back to my room..and burn one right before I leave for the screening…this is going to be sweet.

…so if I high in Atlanta traffic trying to find this place.. and this shit looks less than urban. And I am starting to trip, so I pull over and reach for my directions…the one’s I got from Map quest…the ones that are completely wrong! Great, so much for appearing professional…now I will be lucky to make it by the time they actual start the print.

Now I am a resourceful guy…but not when I am on the road. I have a horrible sense of direction (unless I am being chased by a monster…then I am like Lewis & fucking Clark up in this piece) esp. when it’s a rural setting (since I had driven out of the city and was now in a suburb of some sort). So I make the call and get guided in…so much for the power player from LA. Or should I spin the “small town…small signs” – story…who knows.

So I get there and the people from Urban Media are really nice…and they are cooking like mad amounts of food. Everything is all peachy… till I look at the projection screen. They have the projector set to wide screen format..and it is stretching the image on the DVD start page. I have to decide if it’s worth complaining over. I mean don’t get me wrong I am very particular about how the film is screened, but I have come to understand that you kind of have to meet people halfway when you screen. I always want a traditional screening in a theater with opening comments and plenty of advertising. And while those make you feel really good as a filmmaker; then tend to me a lot less than a well attended grass roots screening.

I think that we have a propensity to want to make everything, uh….high brow. But I community based screening is second to know because you are screening to real people and receiving real reactions.

Urban Media maintains a quarterly meeting of those who work in the industry and those who are attempting to enter the industry. It is initially a networking event, but it allows the people I a local filmmaking community to see their counterparts and learn what it is they do.

I must admit that I was caught off guard that we were the main attraction. A lot of persons assumed that we were well on our way, which far from the truth, but I thanked them for the compliment and tried not to freak out.

The screening went without a hitch other than some issues with finding the start button (where they asked me how to do it….excuse me? I’m the fucking director…what the fuck do I know?) Now I should point out that these are fairly religious people, not like crazy bible thumpers…but it is definitely a larger part of everyday life than in Los Angeles and a number of the questions being posed to the panel of speakers before the screening are concerning “Christian intellectual property”. I state this because the is a lot of talk about God and getting him back into the movies now dominating the discussion. So normally I couldn’t care fucking less, be we are about to screen my film. A film that is full of “colorful” language and simulated drug use. So I am motioning over to CH the Chef and she’s all smile she nods in agreement but gives me a “welcome to showbiz, kid” look and goes to address the crowd.

Being a director is work…I don’t give a fuck what you say.

So I get up there to do my opening comments and have long since decide against any R Kelly Jokes or bestiality references. I thank Urban Media and I briefly mention the power of the media, and that although films are entertaining that they do a great deal to form our perceptions of our life, our culture and other peoples cultures. The crowd is stunned by my comment. I can tell by the quizzical looks that I have struck a never with them. I tell them that very complicated things are being done to them and to their children by some rather sophisticated media companies who have a great deal more experience selling goods to you, than you have resisting temptation from them. I tell them that the film they are about to watch is very entertaining, but that it has a rather serious purpose. I close by telling them that Big Hit Productions as a company is charged with giving generation X visibility in contemporary film industry. And then I beat it the fuck off the mic before I fuck up that speech…man I still got it.

We offended about 6 people with the film but the rest stayed put. It was really received and I had a great Q & A afterwards. For all my bitchin’ and complainin’…I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. It is truly magical when you touch your audience and give them something to take home with them.

I felt that I had done my duty as a director and as a partner…now it’s time to party!



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