Now for some more good news. I got a strange call the other day. The BARACK OBAMA campaign wanted to pay to advertise at the COWTOWN Film Series. The fact they had even heard of it blew me away. Now, I have been remaining quite Switzerland in terms of politics, so I must adhere to that here and turn them down. I cannot allow the screenings to become political in that regard, no matter how I feel about one candidate or another. I’m just blown away that they had heard of the screenings and wanted to advertise with me. We must be doing SOMETHING right!

Week Three of COWTOWN went well. Whenever Dino Tripodis can’t MC, I now have two very hot ladies doing the intro. I used to want to do the intros and take center stage, but I guess not only have I mellowed, but I want to work the projection booth and make sure things run smooth to get the show started.

SUMMER NUTS played very well. The mockumentary style rarely gets done well on the low budget, but this one nailed the Christopher Guest milieu better than any I have seen. We had a decent crowd too.

The audience always seems to contain the same core 25-30 people from our local film community, which makes a nice base for attendance, and the rest, and sometimes majority are the general public. Yes, I’m disappointed more people from our “film” community don’t attend. There are supposedly 200-300 people on various email lists. As was discussed the other night, it starts with the leadership. No matter what people say, it’s always their actions that speak louder than words. When people say they care about filmmaking or that they can put personal differences aside, it’s the actions that clearly show that they cannot. People follow the EXAMPLE set by the leaders, not their words. When the leaders only care about themselves and their own screenings, that’s what people take from them. If that’s what the leaders are like, people who are followers tend to be the same way, or at least feel the actions are condoned.

This is why another, much more positive and professional filmmaker group has formed in Columbus. I’m not involved, but I have been asked my opinion on aspects. I want no part of being in the leadership of a filmmaking group, but thankfully, I would like the opportunity to attend a real meeting of actual filmmakers doing bigger and better things. FINALLY, a core group of people are taking action instead of just complaining quietly in dark corners. If something is wrong, then FIX IT. Don’t just complain endlessly that something won’t change itself.

Some of the filmmakers with shorts or features in the series are attending every single show, whilst others only show up for their own screening. It says a lot about community and the interest in maintaining the “team spirit” aspect of the series. Micky Fisher and Johnny Wu have driven up from the opposite ends of the state to support screenings that weren’t their own.

I’m not angry or upset by this. I don’t know some of the filmmakers that well. These are NOT my first film festival or showcase screening, so the attendance from filmmakers is not a shock, nor is their motive. Some people just feel like all the work for a screening SHOULD be done for them, as if they are that good. In other cases, they just reach a point of being sick of their movie or never had much confidence in it, so they kind of DON’T want people to see their movie out of shame or self consciousness from the terror of actually finding out that the film is NOT as good as they had hoped.

GET OVER THE FEAR. Be proud of your movie. No movie is perfect. Every director dreads the moments that don’t work or where some blemish exists aesthetically. Become a “glass is half full” kinda person and embrace the unadulterated reaction of the audience to your artistic creation. No, not everything will go as you expect, and the amorphous beast known as the mob/crowd mentality can be different every single time the movie plays based on the collective mood and sway of the audience. Take it all in and enjoy the ride.

Some filmmakers go their entire lives or careers without having the movie play in front of audiences in a real movie theater. It’s an HONOR and a PRIVILIGE to exhibit on the big screen. This opportunity doesn’t come around that often. I cannot wrap my mind around the concept of NOT getting thrilled and fired up about a film screening. Now, bear in mind, I cannot sit through another screening of HORRORS OF WAR, but the idea of putting it in front of a paying audience again gets me jazzed. The adrenaline kicks in from the interaction the audience to the flickering images.

UNCLE PETE’S PLAYTIME has been playing very well at COWTOWN. So far UNCLE PETE plays very well at all the live venue screenings. I made these intentionally to be viral videos for the web. I’m surprised that they hit so much better in a theatrical setting. Every audience screening has yielded much more positive reaction than the singular viewing experience online. The infection of laughter makes it okay to be amused at the political incorrectness of the piece.

I’m, immersed in TV commercials as I dub over 100 spots to tape. I spent all week making the timelines so I can mechanically and mindlessly record them out to tape. Simultaneously, I will be digitizing and creating the shows for pretty much every single COWTOWN show that’s left. I want to get them done and not worry about it week to week. Procrastination kills the kitties of creativity.

That’s it for now kiddies. Back to the massive working weekend of catch up, COWTOWN, and commercials.

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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