Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The Night Before...Night Before the Wedding
This blog wouldn't be much of a blog if I didn't write my thoughts on the eve of the World Premiere of my debut feature film. And with that, I begin writing this at 12:27am. Let me calculate that for us. If I am not mistaken, I am now 19 hours away from standing in front of what I hope will be a sold-out crowd at the Sunset Laemmle 5. It is certainly a scary proposition, though an exciting one to be sure.
I was on the phone today with several of my actors. Half-jokingly Frantz Durand told me he was going to throw up. Michael Shaun Sandy, who is one of the biggest and most intimidating actors you will find, confided to me that he is nervous, yet thrilled. Karen and I interviewed Actors Johnny Giordano and Chad Davis on our radio show yesterday where they were both candid about their acting journey's. Both admitted how hard it is for them to watch themselves on-screen. This is a common sentiment amongst all the actors I know. They have a very hard time watching themselves on screen.
With that in mind, I am a little uncomfortable finally releasing Night Before the Wedding to the public. It is unlike anything I have done. Those who know me closely will very likely be shocked by the film's content which could easily be summed up as a cross between me and Howard Stern. As I wrote the script and as I went through the process of making this film, I have often found it hard to believe that I was the one responsible for bringing this thing to life.
Overall I am feeling pretty good. This is an exciting time for me and I am doing my best to cherish it. Believe me, I went through years of feeling I didn't have what it takes to make a feature film. Years of struggle and self-doubt. Not that the struggle or doubt has gone away. It hasn't, yet these days I keep myself busier than ever before. Also I have really focused in on the things that I need to do. My mind is constantly gravitating towards the bigger picture and what I have to do to get there.
I really feel like this past year has been a do-or-die time period for me. Kind of a put-up or shut up situation. That has caused me to accelerate my efforts. It is part of the energy behind Karen and I beginning our Film Courage radio show on LA Talk Radio. It is also in that spirit that I have been in Pre-Production on my second feature film, Goodbye Promise, even before my first one has screened. I am actually jumping into the casting process shortly after the World Premiere of NBTW. I anticipate being able to begin filming in September. If everything stays on schedule, I very well may have what I call an Inspirational Trailer online in late September or early October. Will certainly keep you up to date on those developments.
Let's rewind back to me walking the Red Carpet at Opening Night of HollyShorts, which if you read my previous blog, you would know was my first time having such an experience. It certainly wasn't what I anticipated, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a blast. We started out in this massive line waiting to get on the carpet. I was joined by cast members Karen Worden, John Keating, Mopreme Shakur, Sarah Ronaghi, and Gregor Collins. All of us except Mopreme were making our first trip into this kind of spotlight. Finally we got near the carpet. We all watched Ben Lyons being interviewed by E!. Then next thing you know I turn to talk to someone, look back and Gregor was being interviewed by E! and moments later he is pulling Mopreme into the interview. After that we were all on the carpet, amidst the chaos, not knowing what was going to happen next. From what I had heard, we would walk across the carpet and the various media outlets would select us if they were interested in interviewing us.
On this night, the carpet was too crowded to simply walk through. We quickly observed that if we were going to be interviewed by any of the press on this night, we were going to have to initiate it. Thankfully Gregor, was up to the task. All in all, we ended up with 6 video interviews, from E! to Indie Express to Naturally Savvy TV. As we got into it, it wasn't surprising that we had to hustle on that Red Carpet. When isn't it a hustle? I do want to make special mention of Lara Berman from Indie Express. She had done her research and was already familiar with Night Before the Wedding, which was a joyous surprise for all of us. She conducted a great interview as well. Check it out below.
Then a miracle happened, as Gregor worked the phones, he contacted Dave Rosen of Absolute Post. Dave wasn't able to take us on under such short notice, but he referred us to Salem Rabadi of New Generation Media Services (http://www.newgenmediasrvcs.com/) who was willing to work with us and our budget! Salem came to our rescue and provided us an HD Cam export a day before our World Premiere. Here I was getting nervous about being stuck screening on DVD because we weren't able to make any magic happen. In addition, DVD's are more prone to have problems. Salem was super cool and our savior. I plan to thank him and Dave tomorrow night in addition to this space. So now we will screen on glorious HD Cam.
I have never seen my work screen at a legitimate movie theater. I am certainly going to grow as a Filmmaker tomorrow night watching my work on the big screen, especially the fact that it will be on HD Cam. Thank you again Salem.
As this blog comes to a close, there is one last thing on my mind. And that is of the outpouring of love happening. I feel the love as I ready for bed for the night. Outside my circle I am not sure how much awareness there is of the Night Before the Wedding screenings tomorrow. I can say that within my circle the support has been phenomenal. Whether it's friends from the east coast calling me to tell me they wish they were here, letting me know they are here in spirit...to those locally who have already bought their tickets and cannot wait to come out and see the film. Let me shout out to David Mullin, Neil D'Monte, Sal Vernali, Johanna Park, David Spaltro, Gary King, Jamin and Kiowa Winans, Scott Mossman, Robert Katrini, Steve Kreiztin, Bryan Carter, Benjamin Pratt, Angie Palmer, David Estes, Darrell Womack, Sam and Dina Hasson, Parrish Gocha, Matthew Prater, Chris Kelly, Eme Ikwuakor, Jessica Duffy, and Brian Durkin to name a few. We have sold more than half the tickets for the 7:30pm showing, and we have a ways to go on the 9:45pm showtime. My hope is that we will sell-out the 7:30pm which will then force late arrivals to buy the 9:45pm tickets so that we can have two strong showings. Please wish me luck.