It's about 5:33 AM on the morning of my big Castro screening. Did I say big? I mean BIG. At least that is how I am feeling right now. By all rights, I should be sleeping. The screening doesn't even start til 10:30 PM and there's a short playing beforehand. That means that I have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for a Q & A about 19 hours from now. But what am I doing? I'm sitting at my computer with heartburn writing to you folks and worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong tonight. I wonder if because it's a Jewish film festival there is an extra amount of neuroses in the air?!
Since I'm hoping this blog will be a resource for other filmmakers who are doing the festival circuit (and to make myself feel better), I'm going to let you in on some of the things that I am concerned about at this bleary-eyed moment so that you know you are not alone if you ever feel this way before a BIG screening.
First of all, let me share some advice: don't go out and eat a bunch of junkfood before bed on the night before your screening. I know, should be a no-brainer. But you see, my in-laws are in town alll the way from Florida for this event. (I know--that's love!) and my brother-in-law and his gal came up from LA to meet us all last night (More love!). They didn't get in 'til late and Seth and I joined everybody for a late-nite "snack". Of course, all we could find by the time we settled down to eat was a greasy spoon in the backwaters of Milbrae and, well, let's just say that I'm sure my menu choices contributed to my current discomfort.
Movie side-note: This was after, by the way, I got to see 4 films by directors who are all here at the festival and who I have had the pleasure of meeting. One of them was the lovely film Poumy. If you are a faithful reader of this blog (That's you, Mom and Dad), you may remember that I stayed next door to Marian, the producer of Poumy, at the Toronto Jewish Film Fest. Well, the director of said film is Sam Ball, whose work I have long admired. We finally met during this fest when we were guests together on the whacky cable access "Movie Close-Up" show and I must say he is an absolute gem. I hope we get to see more of each other. The other films were The Nuclear Physicist Gives His Son a Haircut, a sweetly self-reflective animation by the sweet New Yorker Hanan Harchol, Professional Revolutionary: The Life of Saul Wellman by Judy Montell and Commune by Jonathan Berman.
OK, drum roll, please....time for brutal honesty....
TOP 5 THINGS I'M WORRIED ABOUT FOR TONIGHT
5. Expectations are so high because of all the amazing press we've been getting that people leave saying what I usually say after a movie...something to the effect of "I don't see what all the hoopla was about!"
4. People get up and leave before the movie is over because it is programmed SO LATE that if the opening ceremonies go long, folks will miss the last public transportation if they don't split early.
3. I thought that the Castro had 800 seats. I just found out it has 1400. WHAT?! I was worried about filling 800!!
2. I pass out on stage because I'm up at 5-freakin-thirty AM or I trip on the stairs on the way up to the stage for the introduction or I just get under the bright lights and look like a heroin junkie from lack of sleep.
1. The scariest thing--the Beta-SP dub made for this festival has never been tested all the way through. What if all other fears are allayed and the theatre is full and IT DOESN'T WORK?? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
OK, I feel better now. Do you?