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Thursday, 24 July 2008
On the (sorta) Big Screen
Topic: Makin' Movies

RETRO-POST (I wrote this ages ago but apparently forgot to post it!)

Thursday night (July 24th) was the screening for teams in Group C of the 48 Hour Film Project in San Francisco. I was eager to see my team's film "How the Bunny Got the Bear" in a theater with an audience, and I held off showing it to most of my team until this, because I wanted to share the experience with as many of them as I could.

The screenings were held at the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco's mission district, but the Roxie's a fairly tiny theater with only about 240 seats. Fortunately, they had two screenings of each group per night, doubling the number of possible viewers.

I had two dates for the show: Carol and my friend Gene. Carol and I arrived early, but the box office nor will-call were yet open, so we went across the street to Ti Couz for a quick crepe. John Sugden and his lovely wife Laura Lee showed up right after us, and after toasting with champagne and wolfing down my crepe, I hurried across the street to try to coordinate all my teammates and friends who were showing up.  It was a bit of a zoo because people were confused about what line was what, and people started showing up that I hadn't received confirmations from, so while at first I worried that I might have extra tickets, by the end I was starting to worry I had too few!  But, it all worked out in the end, since one of my actors had friends cancel and she released her tickets at will call to me. Yay!

Of my crew, those who attended were:
Jessi Rabbit                      John Sugden
Gus Rabbit                       P.A. Cooley
Mother Nature                  Erik Braa
Director of Photography     Tim Laurel
Music                               Matt Levine
Second Camera                 Eriq Wities
Boom Operator                 Natascha Dimitrijevic

Actress Amy C. Gibbons couldn't make it, and, sadly, our 2nd Assistant Director, Becky Sackville-West, was unable to attend due to having been hospitalized for appendicitis!  She was home, recuperating, and we all wished for her speedy recovery!

John Sugden in the middle of our group.
Also in attendance at that first show were Erik's girlfriend Amy, mutual friends Jack and Nicole, my friends Christopher and Russ, Matt Levine's wife Diana, her brother and Matt's parents, and a few other friends and loved ones of the above. We certainly did "represent" team Fogbelt 2880!

So, about the screening...

Our film was the 3rd of 13. I wasn't nervous until just before our film came up, and then my heart started thumping and I started sweating. How would I feel if we got no laughs? The two films before us were, I felt, not as good as ours, but that's my opinion. I was worried what they would think!

What worried me most was the sound. There was something wrong with the audio and it kept dropping out. It affected every film to one degree or another.  Grrrrr.

The 7pm showing we attended was packed with mostly with the competing filmmakers and their friends and supporters, but we got a lot of laughs from them, which was reassuring.  We got a few laughs right off ther bat with the title card and the first appearance of the bunnies, but once the comment about "multiplying" came up and got a good laugh, I relaxed. Clearly, the audience got what we were doing.  Whew!

Not surprisingly, the bunny pellet joke got the biggest laugh in the film. Potty humor sells! But that wasn't the only laugh. "Shut your carrot hole!" got a bigger response than I expected, and, to my surprise, quite a few people responded to the "foot lotion" joke.  Jim and John's affectionate rabbit chittering got some pretty good laughs...and our post-credit stinger with Mother nature got a nice big laugh. There were lots more! And we got a good round of applause over the credits. Huzzah!

Of the 13 films in our group, I definitely think ours was in the top quarter. A clever film about miniature cops from LITTLE Little Italy called "187" was huge fun, and a film called "Button Man" had a clever gimmick and ended literally with a C4 explosive bang (I noticed Grant Imahara and Tori Balleci hanging around before and after the show, so I suspect some Mythbusters crew participation in that film), but violated its genre by not really being a thriller/suspense film. I wondered how that would affect it in judging.

Afterwards, a few of the crew and some friends popped over to the Delirium club a few doors down for a celebratory cocktail, and then we called it a night.

Oh, and my friend Jim Green called after attended the 9:30 screening and related that our film got the biggest laughs of that one. Yay!

All in all, I think we did great given 48 Hours. I think some of the other films illustrated how rough the results can be. I think our film held up as pretty well polished. So a hearty thanks and congrats to everyone who helped make it happen!


Posted by molyneaux at 1:23 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 December 2008 12:17 PM PST
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