Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fallbrook Film Festival, Part 2

Defying Gravity screened at the FFF on Sat. April 26, one week after the Riverside International Film Festival screening. Fallbrook is a wonderful small town in the northernmost part of San Diego County. This was their first film festival, but you'd never know it. Everything was a class act, from the Opening Night party up to the awards ceremony. We met some really cool fellow filmmakers, as well as the Festival Directors.

The local newspaper ran an article about the festival, with an emphasis on 'Defying Gravity', as I could almost be considered a local girl. (Escondido and Fallbrook are both North County.) We got a B+ review, and the reviewer wrote some very nice things like ""... a funny, poignant and always interesting little film, built on well-designed characters and a fine story." Here's a link to the full article: North County Times Article.

Fallbrook Film Festival invited us to participate on a filmmaker workshop panel, which we (Craig and I) gladly did because we are always happy to share our complete lack of knowledge with people less knowledgeable than ourselves, because it makes us feel more knowledgeable.

Our screening was held in the very quaint retro theatre on Main St., and this was the biggest audience we had yet. Okay yes, several of them were my Math Analysis students whom I bribed, I mean motivated, with extra credit. (They - the students, not the audience - also had to answer questions chosen from the following: (1) prime numbers (2) fibonacci numbers (3) perfect numbers (4) Riemann hypothesis. Coincidentally, just this week a mathematician claimed to have proven the Riemann hypothesis using some sort of Fourier analysis, but he was quickly proven wrong.) Actually, this would be a splendid addition to future screenings - a pop math quiz at the end of the movie.

But I digress. As I was saying, the audience was robust. A lot of locals showed up which was very gratifying. A wonderful Q&A session following the screening. It was also cool that Mac and Mario drove down, as did Shanna and Michael with his parents. I managed to get the actors and director on stage during the Q&A, but they kind of hung back behind me. I felt a little like I was taking the bullets. Which as producer, I am happy to do.

A few of the questions asked were (1) Were Mac and Mario already friends before the movie? and (2) Does Mario really talk like that? The answers were (1) no and (2) no.

Mac got to give out his first official autograph after the screening, to one of my students. She did NOT get bribed with extra credit to request that.

Craig and I made it a point to watch 'Flyboys' at its screening the night before. Recall that Flyboys won Best Feature at the Riverside International Film Festival the week before. I have to say, it is a damn good movie. It's about these adorable pre-teen boys who get into mischief on a stolen private plane, and it starred Stephen Baldwin (!!) and involved mobsters, car chases, a plane crashing into a mountain, and a breathtaking parachute rescue. Clearly out of our league, and out of the league of all the other movies in the festival as well. The actress who conducted the Q&A said that the budget was $2 million. Note, this is about 25 times the budget of ours. Do the math.

As soon as I saw the movie, I thought, We're going to lose again to Flyboys. If you look at their homepage, they have won something like 20 film festivals. Most of them small town film festivals. Meaning most of their competitors are little films like ours.

So I am going to go on the record here, even if it comes across as sour grapes, and say, It's not fair. We're not in the same league. It's like putting Napoleon Dynamite up against Titanic.

Craig and I went to the award ceremony anyway, because it would have been bad form not to. We surreptitiously commiserated with other narrative feature filmmakers who also knew we were all going to lose to Flyboys.

Which is exactly what happened. Flyboys won Best Feature Film.

But, the Fallbrook Film Festival also decided to give out a Director's Choice award. I didn't even want to hold my breath for that. But hope springs eternal. I held my breath...

And we won! You can see me in the photo above holding an almost-translucent laminate film strip, which was our prize. What an incredible, magical feeling!

1 comment:

Rob said...

So your budget was only $80,000? I was guessing the low six figures.