Last night was the first semi-public screening of the short I directed last fall, Beyond the Door. Invites were sent to all the cast and crew of the film, as well as to select supporters, local filmmakers and other industry personnel for a premiere screening of the film. Being that the film itself is still in the process of festival submissions, many of which have strict guidelines for screenings, this event was not wholly open to the public and was a free screening for only those closely involved with the project.
The event was held at Aperture Cinema in downtown Winston-Salem which is a small, independent movie theatre that shows arthouse films, foreign movies and other selections that the area multiplexes usually don’t screen. It was a perfect atmosphere for the screening and I strongly urge anyone who is thinking of a Piedmont, North Carolina screening to consider this quaint two-screen theatre.
Needless to say, my nerves were at an all time high. For projects that I shoot I usually get anxious, but nothing compares with being a producer/director in the hot seat during a first screening. The screening was to start at 8:30 p.m. and I think I started feeling butterflies in my stomach about noon yesterday. Relaxation didn’t fully set in until the opening title credit appeared on the screen.
Before the screening, I took some time and thanked the many people involved with helping get this film made. I feel the silliest and most pretentious thing a film can promote is the “A film by ____” credit, because filmmaking is most definitely a collaborative effort from many technical and creative personnel. As a director, it is my job for a singular vision to be achieved; however, this film is not “my” film, it is “ours”.
I was elated to sense an overall warm reception of the film last night and am greatly looking forward to its continued life. The film, which is based on Philip K. Dick’s public domain short story of the same name, has already been submitted to a handful of festivals and more submissions are going out with each passing week. After a festival run, a limited DVD edition will be available for sale to the general public and, eventually, marketing through various outlets on the internet.
A sincere “thank you” to all of those who were able to make it out last night for your kind words and support! I look forward to continued life in this project for the next year to year and a half and am already bouncing around ideas for future films. Don’t be mislead, however, as I am still a DP at heart and am continuing to shoot projects. I will be shooting with a team for this year’s 48-Hour Film Project in Greensboro in June and in talks with several other directors about upcoming short and feature length projects as a Director of Photography.