Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How it went

Where to begin.

Last night was the world premiere of the movie I Co-Produced called "The Violent Kind." At Sundance. Yes, I notrorious late starter Don R. Lewis, had a film at Sundance. How does that happen?? I have no clue. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, my connection to Sundance is incredibly strong. When I first got interested in film, I started volunteering here and that was like, 16 years ago. So just the fact I was returning here with a FILM in the festival was incredibly emotional and extremely surreal.

I got in on Friday and we basically started drinking from the get-go. Lots of nervous energy was abounding in our condo which I'm sharing with the Butcher Bros, Arianne our PR gal, George our attorney and my hero, Michael Gibson. It's a nice spot really close to Main street which is cool. So yeah, we've been drinking into the wee hours everyday and believe it or not, that's not very healthy. We're all dragging ass today. Plus I bought an adrenaline pass which is good for any movie before 11:00 am and after 11:00 pm which is cool provided you're not out drinking until 3:00 am and sleeping until noon.

There's been lots of good buzz about the movie and it's been awesome seeing the crew that came out as well as all the cast here. The entire cast is here except for Nick Tagas which really bums me out. He's so great in the movie and is such a great guy, I wish he could've made it. So all day yesterday I just laid low so as not to freak myself out which I'm prone to do before screenings of my little short docs and I did a good job. Ate breakfast, had a nice dinner...chilled with friends. Then it was off to the premiere.

Our screening was at 11:30 and I got there at 10:30 as I was in charge of doling out tickets to the crew who made the trip. We had a red carpet which was fun. I really, really, really love our cast and am so proud they got to be in a Sundance movie. I've always been a big Cory Knauf, Joe Egender, Joe Mackelheer and Sam Childs supporter so seeing them get some Sundance love was amazing. And Tiffany Shepis and I go way back and if it wasn't for her agreeing to be in this film, I probably wouldn't have got to be a producer so seeing HER finally get a movie at Sundance was amazing. Plus the crew was so giddy and it just felt really great.

I should note that as I write this, it's not coming off NEARLY as exciting as it was, sorry..

So we all sat down right on time and Trevor Groth, who is just a great guy and an outstanding programmer introduced our film. It was at that moment the huge wave of emotion swept over me and it finally really struck me that I had a film in the motherfucking Sundance film festival. It's still just a trippy, surreal feeling and I've spent all day processing it. And being hungover. But processing it too. It means alot not only personally but professionally as well but in my typical fashion, that freaks me out and sends my mind spinning out of control as to what I should do next. Silly, but true. Anyway...

The lights dimmed and what seemed like a 2-hour trailer for the festival came on. My palms were sweating and my heart was pounding. Where's our damn movie!? Then, a really cool 10 minute short called "Still Birds" came on and again....it was like Hitchcockian tension. WHERE IS OUR FILM?!?! Finally, THE VIOLENT KIND began and it was amazing.

I had only seen a rough cut a few months back and I was non-plussed. The special effects weren't done then nor was the sound design and it was really long. I liked it, but couldn't totally fall in love with it because it was so rough. So seeing the completed version was unreal. UN. REAL. It's just a really, really strange, gross, fun movie and I thought it was a blast. However I can't get a feel for what people thought and that's really weird. It's kinda like free falling and not knowing where the ground is or when you'll land. I mean, not to sound dramatic, but it's strange not knowing what people think of your work. It's been eerily quiet out there which, I'll be honest, isn't very good news. But we have the press screening today and another screening tomorrow so I'll be neck deep in peoples opinions soon enough.

So after the film, we did the Q&A and I got to go up on the front stage area which, again,w as surreal. I've seen sooooo many great films and directors in the same spot I was standing so man, crazy. After that we had a party from 2:00-4:00 am and then went to some bizarro house across the street from our condo from 4:00-6:00 then I went home and crashed and woke up at noon once again and ate the hard ticket I had bought for a friends movie. I suck. Tonight I'm laying low and am actually planning on seeing a MOVIE that isn't ours. But before that I'll be stressing out on the twitter feed hearing what all my film critic friends think of the film after the press screening in an hour.

I have alot of friends who I respect their writing and opinions so I'm pretty nervous right now. But, it's so out of my control. I can't make them like it but I do hope they'll be fair. And not to be egomaniacal about it, but I'm sure there's alot of jealousy that I produced a film that got into Sundance. I can't think of a single film critic out there today who doesn't want to make movies so this opportunity I had could piss them off. But like I said, I just hope they'll be fair and enjoy the ride. The movies a trip and this whole experience has been a trip...but I'm ready to go home and see my girls and dog.

In the meantime I'm gonna chill and listen to "White Light" by Wilco a few times in order to keep perspective.

f you feel like singing a song
And you want other people to sing along
Just sing what you feel
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

And if you’re trying to paint a picture
But you’re not sure which colors belong
Just paint what you see
Don’t let anyone say it’s wrong

And if you’re strung out like a kite
Or stung awake in the night
It’s alright to be frightened

When there’s a light (what light)
There’s a light (one light)
There’s a light (white light)
Inside of you

If you think you might need somebody
To pick you up when you drag
Don’t loose sight of yourself
Don’t let anyone change your bag

And if the whole world’s singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours is everyone’s from now on

And that’s not wrong or right
But you can struggle with it all you like
You'll only get uptight

Because there’s a light (what light)
There’s a light (one light)
There’s a light (white light)
There’s a light (what light)


trent said...

Proud of you buddy. Enjoy the moment...relish it....you earned it by keeping the faith and that is often hard to do.

Heather Foote said...

i had exciting energy flowing through me too when i knew every one but me and apparently nick were the only ones not there, i really really wish i could have gone and felt the same excitment with everyone whom i miss!! i am stoked you liked the final cut of the movie, i really really cant waite to see it, im sure (and im not just saying this cause i worked on it) there will be LOTS of GOOD buzz going around about this movie!! lets hear it for more festivals!!! and more people wanting to buy a ticket to see our great work!!!

Julia said...

yeahhh the violent kind!

Joe said...

Any local big screen showings planned for Northbay horror fans? I'd really like to see it!

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