January 23, 2006

Soup – Day 4 (The Premier!)

Category: Soups Daily Updates — ericsoup @ 11:31 pm

And they’re off!

At about 8:30 P.M. Mountain time, FORGIVEN had its world premier at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. I think that it can safely be said that the crowd was quite pleased with what they saw.
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Paul’s parents threw another soirĂ©e over at their house, pre-screening. There were a lot more folks in attendance this particular evening, including a big group of Paul’s friends, family, cast, crew, and various friends of all of the above as well as family members.

It’s hard to describe exactly what it feels like to be a part of this group, but if anything it’s an incredibly warm environment. You walk through the door, and before you even have time to take off your coat, you are a full fledged part of the crowd. Before I knew it, I had hugged three people and Paul’s dad, had managed to get a beer into my hand. Friendliness doesn’t even begin to describe it. With all of the encouragement, warmth and love in that room, it’s no wonder that this move happened.

We had to get this massive group over to the theater, and a bunch of shuttles and taxi’s were summoned, and off to the theater we headed. Once there, out group was separated out from the rest of the ticket-holders, and allowed early access to the theater. A few minutes after that, the crowd poured in.

Now, before each in competition premier screening, the Director of the Sundance Film Festival, Geoff Gilmore gives a quick word or two about what appealed to the Festival about the particular film before turning the mic over to the director. Geoff’s words were kind to the film and kind to Paul. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to have been a part of this thing of which Mr. Gilmore spoke so highly considering that he probably sees hundreds of films every year.

Paul took the stage, in classic Paul fashion. Humbled at this honor, he proceeded to thank essentially everyone that made this film happen, all the while keeping it light, funny and with that truthful bewilderment at being here in the first place. Then without further ado, the film began to roll…

Actually nothing was rolling at all. The film was being digitally projected from an HD source. I had seen some of the footage in it’s final stage at PostWorks (the post production facility) on an HD monitor. Of course it looked great there, but this was going to be projected at probably 30-40 times larger than that monitor. I won’t lie to you, I had my doubts about how it was going to look. I couldn’t have more off base with those doubts. The digital projection looked absolutely amazing. The truth is that I would never have guessed that this was a digital projection. It was bright, crisp and I could detect nothing at all that gave away that this was not a film print. It was beautiful.

Everything about the presentation was wonderful, in fact. The audio was excellent, the picture was lovely, and I didn’t hear a single cell phone ring. From what I could tell, the audience was truly engrossed. They laughed where they were supposed to, jumped where there was something to jump at, and were basically riveted throughout the whole thing.

After the screening, there was a Q&A with Paul and the cast. Most of the questions were directed at Paul, but someone did ask about Russell’s feelings about the roll, and what he had done to prepare for it. I’ve been to a couple of other Q&A’s and none had questions that were as good as this screening. I think that you can easily draw a correlation between the quality and depth of the questions, and the level at which the audience was effected by the film.

So all in all, it was a success. After the theater cleared out, we headed over to a place called Nacho Mama’s. Yea, that’s right, Nacho Mama’s. And threw back a few margaritas and spent a few hours giving ourselves and each-other much deserved pats on the back. Being a very self critical person, self-congratulatory behavior is not something that I indulge in often, but if ever there was time, this was it.

So now there will be four more screening over the next couple days. I’m going to skip the one tomorrow morning so that I can see Jeannie off the the airport, but I’m hoping to take in at least two more. At this point, I’m just as interested in the audience reaction as anything else.

So tune in later for more updates about that little film we like to call FORGIVEN, and its haps at Sundance ’06.

1 Comment »

  1. congratulations to everyone involved with making this film happen…it’s great to be able to follow the updates and see some pics from there.
    hopefully those of us who wanted to be there but couldn’t can someday be “forgiven”.

    aloha from the big island
    cousin chris

    Comment by chris — January 24, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

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