LA Film Fest: Part 2
On Thursday, a friend I'm staying with who works on 1000 Ways to Die was kind enough to invite me to the set to observe the filming of an episode. It was like any other television set, except for the finale stunt involving the simultaneous destruction of about 50 glass champagne flutes.
It was a glasstastic mess.
After the shoot, it being St. Patrick's Day, we celebrated appropriately at several venues in Pasadena. Can you say, “Irish Car Bomb?”
Friday was screening day. My film, Bright Lights and Promises, was set to go on at 7:15 pm and there were lots of promotional activities and a reception prior.
The final cut of the film was better than the version I'd seen previously. The film was very well received by the audience and several audience members expressed a genuine appreciation of the film at the Q&A that followed. One gentleman made a point of thanking the director/producer simply for making the film, citing the rarity of the genre and pacing nowadays. The audience's reaction to the film validated the months of hard work we'd all poured into the project.
After the screening, cast, crew, and friends all celebrated appropriately on Sunset Boulevard.
On Sunday, the film festival came to a close. As the cast and crew sat in the theater waiting for the awards ceremony to begin, we felt little suspense or anticipation. Some of the cast and crew had attended the screening of our main competition and were sure they were a shoe-in for the Best Musical award. Their budget was 3 times ours, the characters sported elaborate costumes, the film's message was almost tailor-made for this festival, and the actors were seriously talented. We were there to just soak in the closing act of a successful festival.
And then, three-quarters of the way through the program, we took a collective gasp - What?! Did we hear that right? What?! We won? We won?!!
Cue shock and awe.
Director/Writer/Producer Tom Basham accepted the award and seemed nonplussed by the victory, delivering his acceptance speech in his measured, quirky manner. He later confessed to being unbelievably surprised and nervous.
We were elated.
Monday, my trip came to an end. I had an amazing time in Los Angeles and I will be back. Perhaps permanently.
Have you had surprise wins at festivals or film/acting competitions? Have you been disappointed by the jury selections at the festivals you’ve attended?
(photos are my own)
-- Gabriel Voss