Monday, March 05, 2007

Cinequest - Day 5 - A Grand Slam

Our 2nd World Premiere approached quickly so we took to the streets early with our best Blood Car sales pitches. Some samples:
-Blood Car: More sex than Caligula!
-Save gas. Drive the HILARIOUS Blood Car.
-Double Fist the Double Feature: Monster Camp and Blood Car.
-75 minutes of funny-funny fun fun.
-If the state of the state gets you down, BC will get you up.
-Blood and laughs - BLAUGHS!
Our screening was across the street in a different theater this time, the Camera Cinema 12, which seats about 300 people. We stood in front of the theater from 1pm until 830pm handing out postcards, chasing down wandering San Joseans, convincing complete strangers to step up to the box office and buy tickets to our film. We were committed to packing out our theater. Our great Metro review was like a revolver we used to squash any vestiges of uncertainty. "Favorite film of the fest" - Can't argue with that. Though it was exhausting, I had a blast pitching our film to anyone and everyone. Many people we accosted already said they were going. Some, in broad daylight, whipped out their tickets with, "Leave me alone. I'm already going." Some people ignore you, but most are pretty receptive. We handed out Blood Car keys and postcards and buttons all day long. Day turned to night and Alex pulled people into the theater up until show time, stealing customers who were standing in line to buy tickets for Hollywood films like Zodiac and Breach. David Fincher, we're not sorry.

8-830pm was a nerve wracking thirty minutes until I walked into the theater...to a FULL HOUSE. People could not find seats. A few folks sat in the aisle. 300 seats. FULL HOUSE.

It was what Friday night should have been. Again, the short film If I See Randy, warmed up the crowd with laughs. Our film started with no sound, so we scrambled to find tech people and Cinequest volunteers. We nearly had a collective heart attack. Only about a minute or two went by before they shut the film off and fixed the problem and restarted the film. From then on, we just waited for the laughs, which came in droves at all the right moments. People loved the film. Katie, Adam, Tony, Julie, and I watched the film from the hallway while Alex whiled away on his text messenger like a GI radio operator sending out word to our friends and family back home in Atlanta.

About half the crowd stuck around for the Q&A, and after that many people approached us to say wonderful things about the film. The most common question seems to be "How did you come up with the idea?" A couple of audience members commented on the Woody Allen reference in the film, so I'm sure that made Alex very happy. I was little surprised he couldn't remember what film it originated in, but the audience members knew(Love and Death). I think he was just nervous. When asked about Alex's influences for Blood Car, the only director mentioned who received a cheer was Takashi Miike. It was a group of three friends, but our common bond to that Japanese filmmaker is the cult aspect and the envelope pushing. We passed out some posters and autographed them and were interviewed by the Cinequest spokeswoman, who in official videos wears a shirt that looks like a film slate. We also did another interview that was recorded directly onto an ipod mini. I don't remember her name but she asked some good questions.

During the film I found myself very impatient. I just wanted to hear the laughter of the crowd so I kept waiting for the jokes or the killings, which in some cases are synonymous.

When Alex arrived home to his computer after a southern breakfast at the 24 hour Denny's, he found a litter of lionizing emails from people who saw the film that night. To all those who attended the screening, thank you very much. If you liked it, tell your friends. If you didn't, tell your enemies.

5 comments:

Hugh said...

The little white dots, in the Q&A picture, are the ghosts of the ones who left. We were floating around in the Camera 12. Souls in limbo, wanting to be home and wanting to be with their friends on a very important night.

Senator Toughasnails said...

Blood Car...You can't stop it, you can only hope to contain it. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for the blogs and updates from SJ. Nice job!!!
PS: Antonioni said he may take you up on your AD offer.
No BS.

Left Coast Brunes said...

way to hit it out of the ball park y'all .... this will play GREAT in Santa Cruz (one of the gals at our sports club is the SC Sentinel film critic - I told her she absolutely HAS to see Blood Car).

Anonymous said...

Ah! Live tarantulas in vending machines! Ahhhhh! Loved "Blood Car." Loved it.