Monday, October 13, 2008

Memphis wrap-up.

I was up 'til 6:30 Thursday morning working on the Interplanetary edit. At that point, I was probably more working on the sound mix, but whatever. I went to bed, planning to get up a couple of hours later to head down to Production Plus to get the DigiBeta tape made...

...and woke up around 11. Apparently, I slept right through the alarm. Exhaustion will do that to you. Stacey couldn't get me on the phone and came home to check on me. She had to shake me a little while to rouse me from my slumber. Luckily, there had been a miscommunication with Production Plus, and I was scheduled for 1 p.m., not 9 a.m.

The dub to DigiBeta went great until reel five, when about twenty seconds of footage played back totally out of whack. I ran home and found that when I'd reconnected the Final Cut Pro timeline to the HD footage, I got reels 83 and 83a (no idea why I have a reel 83a) mixed up. I re-rendered the bad footage, and the guys at Production Plus were able to do an insert edit to tape, so we didn't have to re-dub the whole movie.

John and I finally got on the road to Memphis around 5 p.m. (yay, rush hour) and arrived there around 9:30 p.m. after getting lost a couple of times, distracted from the road by good conversation. We found Erik Jambor at a bar eating a late dinner, but John and I couldn't buy drinks because of the bar's cash-only policy. So we walked to another bar, used their ATM, and returned to have a drink with Jambor. As John said, longest beer run ever.

Jambor introduced us to a couple of fest folks, and they recommended we hit a late night place for PBR and food. The place was kind of like Marty's (a favorite Birmingham night spot), and we enjoyed sandwiches with sides of Pringles chips.

I spent most of the rest of the weekend on the verge of vomiting. There was such a rush to get the Memphis cut together, I was afraid I might have made a serious mistake (like leaving out the dialog for an entire scene or something). With no way to watch the DigiBeta tape (why don't hotels have DigiBeta machines in each room?), I wouldn't know of any problems with the cut until the screening. And if the DigiBeta tape had exploded for some reason, we didn't have a backup (John and I planned to make a backup, but I left a near irreplaceable cable at home, so we couldn't burn a DVD from my FireWire drive).

Needless to say, I was a little anxious about how the screening would go down.

I managed to calm down long enough Saturday to watch My Effortless Brilliance (another movie Ted Speaker wrote music for), a couple of shorts, and part of a live panel discussion featuring Craig Brewer and Elvis Mitchell.

By the time midnight rolled around, there was a large Birmingham contingent in town for the movie (people had been filing in since Friday afternoon, when Stacey, Kelly Marshall, Sam Frazier, and Michael arrived). So I was even more nervous. How much would it suck to let down somebody who drove four hours to see a movie? But I was really glad all these people made the trip (on top of all their other contributions to Interplanetary).

The screening itself is kind of a blur. I'd had a few beers at this point and was so relieved to see the movie looking and sounding good in an honest-to-goodness movie theater, the thing just flew by. I did notice people laughing at some bits that I hadn't considered super funny, so that was nice. I like when different parts of a movie work for different viewers.

After a little post-screening partying and a little sleep, Stacey took Hilleke back home, and John and I stopped back by the festival theater to bid adieu to Jambor. We got a little lost one more time before we made it back to Highway 78 and, eventually, Birmingham.


Sanford said...

great report!

Anonymous said...

Next time you get lost en route - head towards Oxford and say hi!

Ryan Marlow said...

Ugh. Having a digibeta tape that's a dud would surely put me in a state of cardiac would even bother me if it weren't my film!

Good to hear your premiere went so well. It's also good to hear that Erik Jambor still does film festival duties.