I had the distinct pleasure of having my film “Route 66 –Ten Years Later” be a featured movie in the Julien Film Fest this past weekend 2012-04-21/22 in lovely Dubuque IA. Two screenings, two amazing Q/A’s and lots of smiley mouths and teary eyes.
The two screenings were at the Holiday Inn and a bar called "The Hug". And yes, I get the implications of playing the Holiday Inn in Dubuque IA…where can I go now that I’ve done it all…sleepless nights since, is all I can say. The Hub was Sunday at 11:30am…and they were serving…and everyone had a glass…and this is now my solution to any and all technical issues the film may or may not have.
The premier of the movie was at the Portage Theater in Chicago…That event was a success for me, more because of the PR campaign that got 250+ people in the door over than the fact my movie was on the screen. I was spent, tired, and ready for it to be over by the time everyone saw it that night. The trip, the editing, the expectations, the let downs, and the scratching away to finally find the stories voice was a rough experience. Even now I find it hard to watch this movie and not get a little choked up. I’ve never looked for validation for my work beyond repeat clients and paid invoices…having a gallery show or entering contests to fish for praise has never been anything that interested me. The premier of 66 was different. I did the premier as a way to have closure to the project, an experiment in PR, a lesson in film making, and this was a universally worthwhile story, not an art piece, no interpretation needed. For the Film Fest I went back and fixed every technical issue I didn’t have the skills to fix before, added a few scenes to smooth the story and prove to my self that I have actually learned a lot about film making in the last 3 years and that I have so very much more to learn. Now it's finally time to burn a master Blu-Ray or two, take the hard drives, put them in a lead box and bury them in the back yard so I'm not tempted to "tweak" it. Time to let it be. But, it's also as good as it's ever going to be. Finally.
A few HS classmates came out and one even sent his folks in his place, everyone who hadn’t seen it really enjoyed the story, the visuals, the music and the emotional aspect of the movie. So far the movie has made over 300 people feel something significant. I’ll call that a success.
Hanging out with the other “real” film makers was inspiring. This was my first movie…period, I’m really motivated to do more and take what I’ve learned from that and the bunch of other motion projects over the last few years and do another movie. Keep watching.