Well, we’re back. Vegas, baby. It was a whirlwind in 100 degree heat with no A/C in the car (we drove at night and we drove in the early morning and still, still, how oppressive it was). It was a whirlwind in the indoor/outdoor mall that is Fremont Street and the Strip.
The most absurd moment was on the first night as we walked out on Fremont Street at about 1am after a long sweaty drive. The freaks were out, but some were giving up. Chewbacca had a human head (it’s hot in that mask) and Yoda and a storm trooper were slow dancing. I don’t know where the man who plays guitar in a thong with a rooster hanging from his nether regions went. Perhaps he got sleepy.
Then the sky lit up (the screen over Fremont Street, the “Experience”) and projected onto it were soaring American flags and bald eagles, and “God Bless the U.S.A” was playing. The music swelled. People stopped drinking their tall slushy mixed drinks and filmed the ceiling with their iPhones, jaws hanging open. Every once in a while people flew by above us on the zip line, swimming or flying across the American flag. And I thought – the world has ended. Culture means nothing.
But, thank God, thank God, we made it to the film festival.
And it was wonderful. The sweetest people running it and attending. Excellent films. Inspiring. It’s almost sad to have less specific things to say about something so great, but it was a delicious experience being around filmmakers, attending panels, hearing folks talk about their films. And we were certainly on the indie indie indie side of things with our little Cam Companion, but it’s always the deepest kind of relief and satisfaction to talk to other people who have been there or who are there right now with their own films. (“There” meaning they do everything like we do – run camera and sound, call action, schedule, figure out food.)
And let me say this – Las Vegas is so different than I thought it would be. Yes, the touristy aspect was even worse than I expected, but the art scene there, the brief hint that I got, seemed really vibrant and exciting. And, honestly, every single local person we met was so kind and down to earth and just lovely.
So here we are now. Back in LA and revived (though I was actually editing on the trip..). Editing like maniacs, getting ready to start out film fest submissions in the next week or so, and making tough decisions on what lines need to get cut (we’re looking at a two hour movie, for those keeping score). Talking with color and sound editors who can help us within our teeny budget (remember our Indiegogo – keep spreading it around!). Chris is playing with some beautiful score possibilities.
I feel good. Definitely overwhelmed, but good. Clear headed. Little else matters to me right now. We’re in our cave of Finish the Movie. And yet I do have to be better about social media, because we genuinely can’t finish this movie without funding (I’ve got too much on credit cards as it is from last summer…). So it’s an odd balance.
But the festival really cemented a very strong feeling in me – we have a great movie here. I believe in it one hundred percent, even the flawed bits. I believe it can hold its own because the story flows and the performances are exceptional and moving. I know that only Chris and I really know what we have right now, but soon you’ll see what I’m talking about.
I feel really, really excited.