Friday, October 06, 2006

Thu 10/5 Kensington screening: a rejuvenating experience

I was verrry lazy about promoting the Thu 10/5 screening - just did a few blog posts & sent out a couple of group e-mails, that's it, no fliers, no notices to local media, no press releases, nothing. I was kind of taking a break before starting up a new wave of more publicized screenings that will commence with the 11/4/06 DC screening at the Warehouse theater & will continue into middle of '07 at various US cities - details soon. But, once the showtime rolled around today I was happy. A handful of locals showed up, including several family members of Jen Blakemore, the hot star of Story #2.

Movies should always be watched on as big a screen as possible. I need to hook up a 5 foot screen & a projector in my room, for editing & movie watching purposes. It was very exciting to see my movie again on a large screen today. Got me energized about pushing the upcoming screenings & the DVD.

The audience dug the show. Got some positive feedback & DVD orders. All in all I probably did 5 hours of work over the course of 1 week (most of it today) for this screening (posts & e-mails, picking up gear & setting up, overseeing the screening & packing up afterwards). With the DVD pre-orders I received today the event was close to profitable, $s wise. Of course there is quite a ways to go before the entire project becomes profitable, but with the coming DVD sales & screenings & the largely positive audience responses, the future looks very good for Date Number One - in terms of $s & also fame, on the indie scale of things of course.

Had a fun dinner with Jen, her dad Bob (who has seen the movie 3 times now - 3 times! - dude even came to NYC to see it. either he loves his daughter a lot or he reaallly likes the movie, probably both, he is planning on coming to the 11/4 screening in DC) & Allie at the one of the too few late night restaurants in Wheaton, MD after the show. Lots of seafood action went down at the table.

Unlike when watching the movie at home while editing or for other reasons, watching the movie with an audience today made me remember all the drama that surrounded some of the shoots. I am at the point where those memories are no longer painful but are taking on a golden hue - epic, nostalgic, sweet. This means I am only a couple of months (definitely less than six) away from being ready once again to tackle the beast that is low budget indie feature film production. Better camera work & waaay better location sound next time.

Sharing the movie with an audience on a large screen is a wonderful experience. Looking forward to doing it again.

Film is kind of bizarre & interesting to think about - we humans like to see & hear & experience stories about other humans, & see those stories projected on big screens - the people in the movie appearing much bigger than they are in real life. What does that mean? Why is watching a movie (well, a good movie) a pleasurable experience? Why is cinema more exciting to more people than any other form of art or entertainment invented by us? There is something magical about seeing people & places reflected large in front of you. This becomes very obvious when watching the movie at the location it was shot at and with some of the people who appear in the movie (which was the case today - the bookstore where the screening happened tonight was a main location in the movie). Because the real things are right there - near me, yet the cinematic representation of those things is more interesting in a certain way. Maybe its because you can't stare at real people, and because the reality we see reflected in a movie is a simplified reality, a captured & safe reality - less anxiety inducing, and it is a reality with quick meaning - dialogue & character actions create the plot & story - a simpler & easier to comprehend version of life.

The experts who are currently declaring the death of the theatrical cinema experience are wrong, the theatrical movie going experience will not go way. Watching a movie in any other place besides inside a movie theater or a similar setting does not alter our experience of reality & time to the same high degree. Plus, watching a movie with a bunch of strangers in a dark space & feeling the same emotions at the same time is a magical, kind of communal, hope inducing thing. Can't get that on yer DVD player/TV combo, the new iPod or on yer computer screen, or through your Betamax deck for that matter. Humans are social animals who like to see ourselves & our existence glorified - even distorted & even when the story is sad, cinema is a glorification, a celebration, of existence. That's why the theatrical experience will not go away. If one set of entrepreneurs can't make it happen $s wise, others will soon find a way. Because we get too much out of watching a movie in a theatrical setting for us to let it end.

I am sure I can go on & on regarding the topic of film, but it is time for bed now, so, good night. See ya soon - on the screen, in real life or through the web.

Even if only part time at the moment, I am engaged in one of the most exciting social & creative & entrepreneurial activities on the planet - the movies. Feels very good.

OK, good night for real.

- Sujewa

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