Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's ALIVE!!!

THE LAKE EFFECT is getting out there.  And I have proof! 

Last week, for the very first time, The Lake Effect enjoyed a screening that I was not able to attend.   It took place at the Omaha Film Festival (Thanks again, Omaha!) on Thursday night.  People came, they sat in the theatre, and they watched The Lake Effect… and afterwards, two people (who are not my mom) posted on our Facebook page:  “Well done!” and “I enjoyed the film!”

I have to admit at first I was taken aback. My first thought was:  “Who are you?  And how did you get a copy of the movie?” 

And then I realized that they had seen it in Omaha, where the film was off doing its thing… without me.

It’s so cool.

Okay, so you may be thinking:  “Two guys commented on your Facebook page and you’re writing a whole blog about it?  That’s excessive.”  I was about to change my topic to “Luck and the true meaning of Mc Donald’s Shamrock Shake” but then I got an email from another viewer (again, not my mother) who enjoyed the film and that clinched it.  The film is receiving unsolicited responses from pleased viewers (plural!)

The Lake Effect screened
in a far away land, called Omaha.
I should acknowledge that THE LAKE EFFECT has been seen by other people when I was not present: festival programmers, sales agents, distributors, etc.  But that’s a little different because those are people from whom we are soliciting a response.  For better or worse, they have to respond – its their occupational obligation.  There is something special about the lovely moment when you’ve almost forgotten that you’ve created something that exists out there in the world and you hear that someone enjoyed it while you weren’t looking... and without being asked.

Once in a while, I meet a development exec at a party and they realize that they’ve read a script of mine that’s come across their desk, or I meet people who say they’ve seen Smackers.  When I was interviewing for my first job with writer/director/actor Mike Binder – he looked over my resume and saw my short film, MISS GENTILBELLE way down on the bottom and said, “You directed that?  I’ve seen that!”  I thought he was mistaken but no.  As it turns out, my Assistant Director on the film was a family friend of Mike’s and had shown him the film.  Thank god he liked it.

Still from my matricidal
student film,"Miss Gentilbelle"
It’s “so nice” (my daughter’s new catch phrase) that your work can introduce you to people before you have the chance to introduce yourself, that it can speak for you, and reach out to people you might never have the opportunity to reach out to. That’s the whole point of putting it on celluloid (er, I mean digital file) right?   

When I was in college (Go Gauchos!) and doing theatre – I directed my first one act (David Ives, anyone?) and it was sensational (or at least I thought so and some of the 200 audience members who witnessed the event were kind enough to perpetuate this belief). A week after the show closed, however, I realized with a heavy heart that that was it. The show had flashed in the pan and then it was over. This of course, is part of what makes theatre so magical.  It’s that fleeting, temporary, get it while the getting’s good nature of the beast that we love to feel a part of.

But as a director, I hated that aspect of theatre.  I wanted to create something that would stick.  Something that would last forever… So in my artistic quest for immortality, I began making movies.

Strangely, there is a side effect to making last art that I couldn’t have anticipated.  Having a film out there is almost like having a little piece of you roaming the earth unsupervised… it’s like I’m sleepwalking, going places and doing things I don’t remember… it’s just like those films where a detective is hunting down a murderer and then they discover that the murderer is them!  Alright, maybe not exactly like that.  But it can be mildly disconcerting when people know your work before they know you.  It can make you feel exposed.  It’s like they’ve read your thoughts… or your blog!

Really, though it’s still an amazing thing to think that my work is doing what it is supposed to do… getting out there, reaching out to people I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to touch.  I’m very much looking forward to this happening more once the movie is on TV, On Demand, and the internet.  I hope that more strangers will find and fall in love with THE LAKE EFFECT.

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