So I decided, as a gift to myself, that I would take a relaxing journey to Austin for SUNSET STORIES’ world premiere screening at SXSW 2012. I thought it would be a great way to unwind and reflect on the journey of the film, not to mention take in the beauty of the southwest. Plus, it was a straight shot for the most part through the 10E. Simple. Easy breezy. Until I got stuck on the side of the road for over six hours in the rain…anyway, like any film journey this seemed fated. It was long, hard, grueling, but my goal at the end was worth all of it. After being rescued, I soldiered on to Austin, well in time for the screening that night.
The rest was a BLUR. A bunch of our team and our two leads, Sung Kang and Monique Curnen, made it out for the screening that night at the Alamo Ritz, an amazing theater that served food while you watched the film. That may be annoying for some, but I thought it was comforting and completely reflected the spirit of the festival. If you ever make it there, try the fried pickles! The screening went well – I was told it did. I kept coming in and out of the theater, to check in but couldn’t stand to watch the film with an audience just yet. From the places I did catch, the audience laughed and were engaged. Our Q&A was fun and entertaining. For some reason, Sung Kang managed to talk about his fabulous hair and I had an experience that brought the BETTER LUCK TOMORROW screening from a decade ago back to full circle – but I’ll leave that for another blog entry.
In general, the film played fantastically and I couldn’t have hoped for a better reception when there are so many other films and events going on at the same time. And it was an amazing release–finally you’ve given birth, nurtured, and can push this baby out of the nest. It could fly or it could fall, but I was confident that it would do its own thing and I could sit back and just be proud of it.
After the screening we had a small gathering at a local bar and ate some amazing food from a gathering of trucks. There was a slight drizzle and we huddled in one table, under one umbrella in the mud just taking in the night. We had no big celebration or party, hell we barely got the film completed. But as I look around, everyone was all smiles, no one complained. It was how this film was made. The moment was simple, honest, and I loved every minute of it. And as I looked around at everyone, my thoughts turned from I WILL NEVER DO THIS SHIT EVER AGAIN to HOW CAN I EVER DO ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS WORLD? So I thank everyone involved from the very bottom of my often jaded heart.
We have one more screening at SXSW tomorrow night so spread the word (info here)! Tada Chae, our Associate Producer, Location Manager and all around amazing friend, chronicled our night in pictures. Hope you enjoy them.