So we had a productive week here in the Columbus Film community. First off, the inaugural MOFA meeting, that’s Mid Ohio Filmmakers Association (imagine if it had been Mid Ohio Filmmakers Organization, it would have been MOFO). Now there speculation has begun that yours truly was behind this. I am not. All I did was take the several interested parties I knew of, who have dissatisfaction with the other film group, and put them in the same place at the same time. I have been asked my opinion on a few things, and gave said opinion, but the rest is on them. They did an amazing job putting together a meeting that, the Bar of Modern Art estimates, was over 70 people.
What an amazing contrast to the other Columbus film group! Their last meeting topped out at 11 people in attendance. Now, the two groups serve very different purposes. One is a social and networking opportunity, the other is basically a seminar and screening opportunity for first time or amateur filmmakers. Several people who are at more of a professional level needed a chance to meet and mingle with their peers and those transitioning beyond the confines of camcorder movies. I think both groups are important, and cater to a different audience entirely.
Strangely, one of the analysis I have come to reading people’s reactions is that it feels like, as it always does, people are drawing lines in the sand between the two groups. It always comes down to a kind of high school mentality for some people. It’s like we have the popular, good looking people forming one group, and the geeks and freaks in their kind of A/V club. Neither group is excluding anyone per se, but there are those feelings, whether self generated, or based on some tinge of reality, that cause people to feel cast out or unwelcome. I hope people overcome these mythical obstacles and just enjoy both groups for what they are.
Now the MOFA meeting was the night before the COWTOWN FILM SERIES week #5. I was afraid it would affect attendance, and it did, but we still hit our average of around 48-52 people in attendance for Johnny Wu’s THE RAPTURE. I was pleasantly surprised. Again, for the compare/contrast crowd, that was significantly more than the grand total for all combined screenings at a local film festival recently.
With less than 2 minutes before the end of the movie, the DVCAM deck seized up and stopped. I ran full tilt to the projection booth, saw the error message, so I unplugged the unit, plugged it back in, ejected the tape, expecting to see a devoured cassette unspooling, but it wasn’t. I pushed the tape back in & pressed play and it finished out fine. There’s nothing I hate more than poor presentation. I may have to switch over to DVCPRO and rent a deck if there are any more problems with this deck. I ran the head cleaner, but I don’t trust it. I have also put an offer out to purchase a deck that can play back DVCAM tapes, as a backup, but that cuts into the emergency funds and savings with the new Great Depression staring us in the face, but I am responsible singularly for the presentation at the COWTOWN FILM SERIES. I have to maintain the highest level of professional presentation. This is MY responsibility and I love other people’s movies enough to do whatever it takes, sacrifice something of my own, fall on the sword, to make someone else look as professional as I can make it.
Johnny always does an entertaining Q&A and he’s practiced at it, so I had very little to do or say. That was good, as I am getting burned out. After that show I realized I’m only at the HALFWAY mark. What the hell was I thinking? 10 weeks? This is a lot of work. I subconsciously knew what I was doing, but consciously, I have gotten older, more tired, and this is a massive undertaking. Is it worth it? Hell yes. I’m having a blast and so is the crowd. Even when the movie isn’t to the individuals liking, they still find merit or at least enjoy themselves at the after party.
Luckily, I got pretty far ahead on the work and the tapes. I have the next 4 Cowtown shows already completed and on tape…. Unless I have to convert them to DVCPRO, which will suck solely because of the time, but I will do what I have to do. As it is, I can just skate in, setup my system, and then we rock right into the pre-show. I have all the levels and connections all setup.
Today I’m buried “IN THE TRENCHES” trying to get this documentary finished. Finally my workload really is starting to drop off, which I thought would be a good thing, but it really isn’t. Business and freelance prospects are starting to feel the initial wave of the economy crash. In 3-4 months, we’ll all see the catastrophic effects of what’s happening with the stock markets. When the trickle down gets to “Main Street” (gotta love 24 hour news channel buzzwords), everything will dry up for a time. Expect Xmas to be dismal this year, but personally, I don’t get much into the season anyway.
Obviously, this blog is a minor form of procrastination preventing me from starting work on the documentary, so this is it.
Peter John Ross