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December 01, 2009
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Just a few days before the new Cowtown Film Series left. I’m furiously putting the final touches on the show, with some animations, plus other accoutrements. The main show is ready, although I am still tinkering with the playlist order. We have a similar theme of people dying in several of the movies, so I’m trying to break those up some so they aren’t all in a row.

I’m jazzed because we’re getting some great press and good word of mouth. There’s 20 short films total, which is a lot. Most of the movies are of an exceptional quality compared to screenings I’ve done in the past. Everyone is upping their game this past year or two.

I can’t believe we got Time Warner cable to be a sponsor, nonetheless the Columbus Alive. They are finally starting to take local filmmaking seriously and that’s a good sign of things to come. Johnny DiLoretto is hosting the Thursday night screening from Channel 6/28 and Melissa Starker is going to host the Sunday show. It takes time and perseverance to build something and let it grow.



Unlike previous screening series and festivals I’ve done in the past, this has gotten significantly better over time. I’m a stickler for presentation, and the content is always the most important part. For the first time I’m not programming for “potential” but for what he really have. Filmmaking worldwide is at a critical stage where anyone can create something that rivals the big multimillion dollar productions. DISTRICT 9 was a short film with very little budget. Thanks to sites like VIDEOCOPILOT.NET, your imagination is your only limitation to creating amazing looking effects or style to your production.

I’m most excited because last night I tested the digital projector with my High Definition hard drive player. This will be my first screening in high def, 1080i. It will also be one continuous play from the hard drive and this machine works flawlessly. It goes from one clip to the next and there’s no hiccups or funky frames. I was terrified because it has HDMI output and the projector only takes HD from Component analog or DVI-I. I once had a 30” LCD monitor and I tried to go HDMI from the HD-DVD player to the DVI-I input of that screen. It never worked so I got paranoid that DVI only works the other direction, like from my Computer to the HDMI input of the new 42” monitor.




I got the device to work with a 23” DVI-I monitor at home, but I needed to test it with the projector and last night I did. It worked great and the picture was very sharp and clear.

I’m glad to be presenting everyone’s work in the best possible way. I always bring this up, but I can’t help but feel how incredibly disrespectful it is to not thoroughly test your presentation. Last night I watched 1 minute of every single movie, found a few hiccups that got fixed today, so that EVERYONE’s movie will play well, not just my own. This screening isn’t about making my movies look good and everyone else is along for the ride; this is about everyone helping each other out and making the community stronger as a whole. It’s my personal philosophy that we do better working together than to each try to do things entirely on our own.

Thursday looks to be the busier of the two screenings by far. In theory, we should have all 403 seats full. If just the casts and crew of the 20 films attended along with a friend or family member, that alone should fill the entire theater. How many will be there? Will we run out of seats? Will it be kinda full, but still a bunch of empty seats? I don’t know. I never know exactly what to realistically expect. I do my best to get the word out there, but I am not a professional marketing guru.

Sure, we’ve got a mention in the Columbus Alive, the Weekender in the Columbus Dispatch, and I’m going to be on Channel 4 news (again, for my 4th appearance in 7 years), but how many people does that tangibly equate to in terms of attendance for people that otherwise never heard of the show? I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m hoping for a killer crowd. It’s a free screening. That’s hard to turn down in this economy.

Talk to you all soon methinks.
Peter John Ross
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