I really don't know what to write here. "Sweet Pea" officially premiered today and the only word to describe it was overwhelming. I mean that word in both good and bad ways.
I honestly thought the festival mishandled my premiere, but they honestly have been mishandling a lot of things. Part of me though is glad that I experienced this because I've learned so much about festivals. It also though has left a bad taste in my mouth that tells me deep inside that I don't care if "Sweet Pea" gets into another festival.
I have met a couple people in the last couple days. I talked to another short filmmaker today, who probably is in his 30s and living in LA. We even exchanged business cards and I might actually call him up sometime when I get back. Hell, the guy even gave me a dvd of his short film, which I though was a very generous gesture.
The big problem with "Sweet Pea" being in this festival was that we were not 100% ready for it. I'm forced to do everything myself with this film and it gets hard on me. I put a lot of stress on myself since I hold everything I do in such a high standard. For example, I didn't have time to make a digibeta (one of two formats to screen on for this festival, the other being dvd), so we screened on dvd. The quality wasn't horrible, but I knew the color and image was much richer.
The short program was disappointing. There were probaby 40-50 people in a theatre that could hold close to 300 people. Then, the film festival programmers could not even make an appearance to bolster its profile. So, you could forget any introductions or Q & A's (John promised me a Q & A).
We also had the unfortunate task of screening with films that were honestly on a different tier than any student film I've seen. I was in a program with a film written by Shane Black and starring David Morse and John C. McGinley. I guess that's really why I was overwhelmed in the theatre. It also didn't help that the audience was kind of cold and barely reacted to any of the films screening.
It's just tough to screen with films with bigger budgets, more accomplished actors, and more experience. I'm not trying to take anything away from my film, cast, or crew, but when you screen in the same program as those films it's harder to make an impression on the audience. I would have much rather screened with fellow student films or lower end shorts. It would have made my experience much more enjoyable.
I also have an old saying that is simply, "Fuck it." At least we made it to one festival and the internet movie database (hopefully soon).