Film Festival in Retrospect
Well, I broke my promise of blogging a couple of times last week while we were at the film festival. Bother. I had the best of intentions, but boy, were we busy!
Here’s how the week went. Sunday, myself, Justin and Mr. Cade (who played Virgil in the movie) flew out of Chicago and arrived in San Antonio in the afternoon. After picking up the rental car and driving to the rental house, we hauled all of our junk inside and then waited until Seth, Harmony and Rowan arrived at the airport. They came in later that night and my friend, Lynette, flew in the next day at the same time as Stacey (who played the lovely waitress, Megan). There we all were, a large portion of The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club team, together again. We all oohed and aahed over the baby. It was the first time I’d seen Rowan in the flesh, and I found him quite satisfactory.
Monday night, we met up with the crew from Wanted (Stacey’s next movie project) on the river walk. We had a good talk and commiserated with them over their Kickstarter campaign, which at the time seemed to be losing a bit of ground. Oh, how we felt for them! I recall shedding more than a few tears when it looked like our own campaign was doomed to failure.
Tuesday, the Filmmaker’s Guild began and lasted through Thursday morning. We had the opportunity to get a lot of good Biblical teaching plus go to workshops where we learned some more of the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. I think the most memorable workshop for me was the one on writing by John Fornof who has written for Adventures in Odyssey and other neat stuff. Not only did I laugh my head off at his amusing presentation, but I also had a lot of writing techniques confirmed to me—ways to make the characters likeable, etc… Plus, I believe Mr. Fornof is more of a Charles Dickens nut than I am. And any friend of Charles Dickens is a friend of mine.
On Thursday afternoon, the Film Festival began. All of us breakfast club people looked forward to Friday and Saturday with great excitement. Our first showing was Friday night. Stacey and I donned our waitress outfits again and handed out the survey cards as people came in. My clever brother designed them to look like guest checks at a restaurant and the attention to detail was not lost on the audience. When I finally took my seat, the room was packed and people were sitting on the floor. I listened as the people around me roared with laughter over the funny parts and sniffed during the sad ones. (Every time I sit in on a showing of the movie, such a unique sensation comes over me. “Huh. I wrote that,” is about the only thing that comes to mind. The movie has sort of taken on a life of its own and I find myself laughing just as hard as everyone else. That probably looks weird or conceited or something, but I can’t help it. I have to remind myself that I did actually write the thing.) That night we found out that Wanted had reached its goal on Kickstarter!
Our second showing on Saturday went well, too. There were probably two hundred people or more in the room. The best part about showing the movie was all feedback. I had person after person pull me aside and tell me how much the film meant to them. One family, like me, had spent many years caring for an elderly relative so the story especially resonated with them. One gentleman told my brother, “I have to go right away. I need to call my mom.” Praise the Lord! That is exactly the sort of impact we had hoped to make with the story.
Though we didn’t walk away with any awards, we still made it into the four or five films (I can’t remember exactly) that were finalists. That was exciting! I would be hard pressed to say what parts of the festival I enjoyed the most. It was all such a blessing and an encouragement, especially meeting so many new friends and getting to know the old ones better.I was quite unwilling to leave when the time came. But there will be another one next year, God willing. So, I’ll have to contain myself until then.