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Monday, July 18, 2005

Out-and-About Fest

Let me start by saying that the past week has been both incredibly fun and utterly exhausting. Between attending OutFest events, doing industry meetings, and pimping out our little movie to the masses, we've been running around West Hollywood like women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So a few hours ago, we were happily ensconced in our seats at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles for the OutFest awards ceremony. The ambiance was delightful...the setting sun illuminated the flora behind the stage, while sounds of the nearby Hollywood Bowl concert wafted in on a light breeze. We were enjoying ourselves so much, in fact, that we were lulled into a contented stupor - and we were thoroughly surprised (and grateful) to hear RED DOORS announced as the winner of not one, but TWO awards! The first was the Audience Award for Best First Narrative Feature, sponsored by HBO. After overcoming our initial shock, we all went onstage to accept the award. Knowing that the people who saw our film two days ago loved it so much is a reward unto itself - but we certainly appreciate the cool (and suspiciously phallic) trophy as well! A few minutes later, Georgia won the Grand Jury Award for Screenwriting - a gratifying victory for the story and script that got this whole thing going. We made the long trek back to the parking lot amidst a flurry of congratulations shouted from departing cars - another testament to the enthusiasm and support we've received from this truly wonderful festival audience. Georgia, Jane and I drove home, tired but thrilled, and celebrated over sinfully delicious cheesecake from Greenblatt's Deli.

Song du Jour: "Take Your Mama" by Scissor Sisters. "We'll let the good times all roll out..."


Sunday, July 17, 2005

What about that one with the lesbian detective?

Jane here.

We had our Outfest screening last night - two nights ago I guess since it's the wee hours of Sunday morning. What a fantastic crowd and phenomenal response! First of all, I have to gush about the gorgeous DGA theater 1. It is big (about 600 seats) with state-of-the-art sound and projection systems. The digibeta we screened looked almost as good as our HD print from Tribeca.

We sold out again. Mia, Georgia, and I spent all week going to all the other lesbian films and major party/events and shamelessly plugged our film and handed out postcards. We had great support from the programming staff, especially Kirsten, David and Kim - all of whom plugged our film during their intros of other films. I think my favorite was when Kim plugged our film to a room full of women anxiously awaiting the start of the lesbian porn shorts program. There's a big calendar of screenings in front of the main box office and they put a yellow dot over sold-out films. We made it our mission to get one of those dots and we finally got one on Thursday morning.

Every seat at the screening was filled and there was a line outside snaking around the block for cancellation tickets. Those of us involved with the film willingly gave up our seats so more audience members could get in but many people were still turned away at the door. David Courier, the senior programmer who programmed our film introduced us as a comedy which I think paved the way for people to start laughing from the opening credits. Scenes that had never really played funny before - like Sam running on the treadmill during the title sequence - elicited audible giggles and laughs.

I was able to catch the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes of the film by standing in the back of the theater. Couldn't stay there the whole time because the fire warden kept kicking me out. The audience response was really fantastic - laughing, gasping, crying...

Georgia and I head back to New York in a couple days. We've really enjoyed our time in LA and at Outfest but I think we're ready to go home. We're tired and worn-out but exulted to have had this amazing experience.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

California Dreaming

Georgia here.

Sorry to have been absent on the blog for a while. Writing always seems like such a daunting task to me. Even emails.

So Jane and I have been out in LA for half a week now and soaking up the sunny days. It's been great to escape the muggy humidity of New York for the breezy cool haze of LA but I am beginning to miss Gotham a bit and look forward to returning next week.

Outfest has been a blast. We've seen a few films at the festival and all of them have been of very high quality. Over the weekend, I got to see the DGA Theater 1 where we will be screening this upcoming Friday. I felt like a child entering a temple. I think Jane, Mia, and I all caught our breath as we saw the beautiful 600 seat theater. I can not properly express the excitement, anxiety, and well... giddiness of seeing a bona fide theater that you know will be showing your film on its hallowed screen.

Our schedule here has been filled with panels, screenings, meetings, parties, and more meetings. It's been very productive but exhausting at the same time. I've decided to try and take a walk (brief as it might have to be) every day up Mia's road and along the top of the hills overlooking LA. It's so easy to get turned-around in the hustle and shuffle of Hollywood that I really love the perspective you get from above. On a clear day, you can even see the ocean.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

You Like Us, You Really, Really -- Well, You Know...

I could get very used to this awards thing; it's rather addictive. We're two for two with the festivals and keeping our fingers crossed for OutFest next week. Tribeca got the party started with our Best Narrative Feature award - and hey, the cash prize didn't hurt either. Winning Best Ensemble Acting at CineVegas was particularly gratifying, not just because (*ahem*) I'm part of the ensemble, but because of the intense preparation, rehearsal, and on-set mojo put forth by our amazing cast - they brought the juice and rocked the house, family-style with a side of rice. So yeah, it feels good to win. I'm so hooked, in fact, that I have decided to create my own awards to bestow upon myself, my friends, and unsuspecting strangers. Without further ado, I would like to present the Mias, an annual, monthly, and/or daily awards program with absolutely no precedent or purpose whatsoever. I am the sole and unapologetically biased juror. Awards may be given without notice or permission and may be rescinded, switched, or bartered for crack.

First up, Jane Chen is the distinguished recipient of the June 2005 Most Unused Frequent Flyer Miles Prize. Yes, it's true - Jane has hundreds of thousands of miles on Continental that she is hoarding for that day when they finally add a hub on Venus. Either that, or she's going to eBay those suckers to fund our second feature. Double nominee Michael Bartholow delivers a one-two punch with wins for Best Pole Dancer Liaison and Most Strategic Placement of Red Doors Merchandise. What happens in Vegas... And last but not least, the award for Best Hot (But Probably Gay and Therefore Non-Threatening) Guy who Waits Tables at Hugo's goes know who you are, you naughty minx. And yeah, you can keep the change. Oh wait, I almost forgot - Georgia's being recognized (for real) as one of the Five in Focus directors at OutFest next week - something about Best Queer Filmmaking...? Or Queerest Best Film? Or Bestest Film of All Time? Yeah, something like that.

Me? I'm holding out for Most Sensitive Portrayal of a Gouda-Loving Lesbian. Stay tuned...

Song du Jour: "Friday" by Goldspot. Find it, you'll thank me later.

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