I’m going to “bury the lead” here because if I didn’t I would never get to talk about “Hellion”. First off I’ve got to say that it was great seeing “Hellion” at a festival. First time a short of mine has screened at a festival. I will say it looked like crap, and I’m very embarrassed by how bad it looked. I’m not sure if it was the re-encoding from DVD or the projector set up, but other films didn’t look so bad, so Damn, I just don’t get it. I’ll have to check into this and see why. It looked so terrible – I’m a Cinematographer, and although you could see there was production value and lighting control, it looked bad. However the audience seemed to enjoy the film, they laughed at the right times, and the laughter got bigger and bigger. It was a large room easily over 40 people – nice to be part of a shorts program. The audience really got a kick out of the ending shot, and gave the film a rousing applause – I kid you not – then under the credits came the final shot and the audience gave the film another rousing applause.
Now I had a few people show up to watch “Hellion”. The crew from Big Biting Pig Productions, Maniac Films made it there as well, and I appreciated it guys. Big Biting Pig Productions really just stayed around to watch my short – and while I am mortified by the look of it, they seemed to enjoy it, and Nick was very complimentary about my direction and the “For comedy – Play it straight” direction. Then they all – P.J., Steve, and Felicia, boogied to get home – a few hour drive to another part of Kentucky. Very cool people, and I like their films. I got to watch part of the “Hot Pink Jesus” trilogy from Jaysen Buterin – very interesting, disturbing and thought provoking, and then I had to boogie to awards ceremony. So I never got to speak to Maniac films, sorry guys, we’ll stay in touch.
At the awards ceremony, I ran into the gang from “The Feed” The director “Steve”, producer Jessica, Actors Jody and Seth. We ended up sitting near each other during the ceremony. I said that I would listen for their name, and if they could listen for the name of my film, just in case. There was a little delay, and then Tiffany Shepis (I believe) stepped in and made a joke about not giving out awards – which isn’t too bad if you were from Kentucky she said. But it would be painful if you came from far out of town (LIKE ME) and won, but didn’t get an award. Ha Ha Ha.
I was not expecting “Hellion” to win anything. It is a nice film, but very niche, and “Hellion” did not win an award (I don’t even thing there was a “Short Film” award), I was thinking that the best chance I had was with “The Resurrection of Blake House.”
The movie “The Feed” sadly didn’t win anything, but “The Feed” gang were great to hang out with and talk to, I’m glad I met them. Then came the award for Best Screenplay. It took the hosts a while, but they got through the name, and I thought they said Blake House, and then “Steve” (from the feed) turned to me and said “hey that’s you, you won.” Man I jumped, I may have yelled a bit. Pumped both fists in the air, and took the walk up to the podium as a winner for the first time. YEAH. You know what, it is fun getting a hug from a cute presenter who you have never met before (My wife is okay with it – I love my wife.) I had been working on my speech, just in case, but didn’t write it down. Schmuck, write down notes, The moment is a bit overwhelming.
I remembered to thank The Fright Night Film Festival, and then said “I’m from Brooklyn, and I’m really happy that I came down here” – I’m referencing the earlier joke about no awards being given out. Then I just flubbed it all. I thanked Joe, my writing partner, and then my mom, and then I forgot to mention my dad, and I feel badly about that. I also had some shtick about how I’m thanking my mom for being supportive, even though she didn’t read the script – but I forgot it. I thanked my kids – did I mention their names????? Sadie and Abigail, there I mentioned them. Who can remember, I don’t think I did – well I’m excited, voice shaking and almost ready to cry – I thanked my kids for being bad sleepers which gave me an excuse to stay up late and write so I could be there when they woke up. Then I thanked my wife – Beth – did I mention her name? I said – she never read the script, but she did come up with the title of the film. Then I left the stage. The whole crew from “The Feed” was there, they were cheering me on, nice not to be alone. I met them 2 days before, and they were thrilled for me. It felt good. I texted my Wife, Mom, Joe (Co-writer), that I won, and then called and spoke to my wife – who was on a bus on the way home from spending the weekend with kids away for camp. THEN my mother in law called, and my kids were on the phone, excited for me – YEAH. That is one amazing feeling. There is nothing quite like the enthusiasm of kids.
Went back to my new found peeps, and suddenly Greg Brock (Point Pleasant) is standing there congratulating me, and telling me he has a pic of me on stage. Awesome. This was fabulous, I made a bunch of new contacts and friends, and it was cool. I worked that Festival, I worked it hard. Worth the cost of going, and missing work. It’s a tough choice to go or not, besides the costs of travel, promo materials, and existence during the festival, there is also work days that are lost. Going here cost me two. Pretty much the same all the out of town filmmakers.
Then Brian Narelle came over to me after the whole shebang broke up, He starred in “Dark Star” and has worked in film ever since, working for Sesame Street, and his own company – Click on his name. He was there with his wife Robin Goodrow, who also works in the biz, It turns out Brian is from Queens, and when I mentioned I was from Brooklyn in my acceptance speech, he came over and talked. Then we ended up going out to dinner together, the three of us. Unreal.
After dinner, I thought I would blog, but somehow it got to be midnight, and them I’m sitting and discussing the festival with some of the guys who worked on it. Troy, and Zach, and damn it, I can’t remember his name. I’m so sorry man, but it was great talking with you and appreciate what you said.
This was an amazing weekend, now I’m back home, and I’m enjoying the win, and looking forward to more – but I’ve got to turn this all into more work, and the screenplay into a movie, or at least something that someone buys from me. No time to rest. But I think it will be okay once in a while to look at THIS.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment, I’m happy to hear.