Our Fall tour has begun with nearly back-to-back screenings of Reel In The Closet between now and the holidays. Our stops includes far away places like Hamburg, Germany and Florence, Italy and more homey stops like Milwaukee and Palm Springs. I’m keeping a journal.
It sounds glamorous doesn’t it? Cocktails and schmoozing and applause? Well, the cocktails I gave up a while ago, so now the schmoozing is not super easy for me (be grateful), and watching your own film for the xxx time can be ummm- hell. That’s kinda what you feel is in store for you on those cold, dark mornings leaving home. But, there’s a lot of work to do to make this film catch with communities and schools. So let’s get going.
6 hours later, The Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival swept way my usual social anxiety.
Rather than have all their gatherings at clubs where I get super self-conscious and bail early, they opened up their homes. Visiting someone’s world and feeling one-on-one hospitality makes it so much easier being on the road for work.
But off to my screening I dashed. The theater on a Saturday at noon was surprisingly full.
The Q@A made the trip worth it when a person starting out said, “now I get the community that I am supposed to be a part of and I feel really good with that.”
These are early days for Reel In The Closet so I am noticing many ways WE can make our screening better for film festivals. I just heard a half dozen festival directors throw something at the screen; but anyway, here’s a quiz. What’s wrong with this table?
NOTHING! I spent $$ Fedexing the volunteers two posters at the last minute and look what was still bookending their table the day after our screening: our two posters! Ding! That makes you feel good. Thanks aGLIFF.
But look at the top of the table. Bzzzzt Stu.
I thought these cards that I made to look like an old home movie box were soooo clever but they scream, don’t notice me. They should be turned into business cards. And actually, all these cards blend together. It’s a tradition at every festival. Distributors send cards, they might make it to the table, a ticket holder might pick one up. The trashcan is the big winner. This fest actually did a good job placing them.
So I was staring out the plane window thinking, how can Reel In The Closet stand out on the table? What if we made some GAF viewmasters, put screenshots on the little slide wheel and label the front of the viewer with screening info. Who won’t pick it up? I found a company that will make them for about $30 each. Rotate six of these around fests and it’s actually cheaper than printing postcards.
I’ll keep you posted on that; but, when I am meditating about the positioning of table cards I know my world is getting waaaay too small. So thankfully, my friend let me drive down to San Antonio to visit him. We chilled by going to The Alamo. Catching up with an old college buddy was the highlight of this trip. Going places you might not otherwise get to is a big reason filmmakers hit the festival circuit.
Next stop Palm Springs, CA. where they are putting me up in a “clothing optional” resort. I don’t remember checking that option on the hospitality form.
How queer people shot their REAL lives is the most amazing look at ourselves (no matter how you identify) that I have ever seen. The moving images touched me so deeply that I spent 3 years making a doc about the struggle to save them.
I’m searching for more to save and share especially from underrepresented people who had less access to the gear back then.
That’s why I call it a “crowd work in progress”. It’s becoming the big fat home movie of ALL of us.
Let’s meet Sat. high noon at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX.