Well, I would definitely say that the Chicago premiere of The Neutrino Project was a success. For starters, the whole thing actually worked. We had a few sound problems in the final scene, and it turned out that Greg didn't rewind one scene far enough and the audience only saw half of it, but that was the worst.
Minor victories: we got the 8' screen for the 6' price. Michael got popcorn nearly donated by the Davis Theater. Lots of people said they loved it. The door take covered the cost of the beer we had for the cast after the show. It worked!
There were lots of fun, weird improv-synchronities. From the suggestion of "nepotism," we somehow ended up with four stories of relationships gone wrong. All the stories had people getting wasted. Two different pairs of characters got thrown out of establishments. The whole thing ended in a big make-out scene that was high-larious.
Fortunately for us, there was no midnight show this week at WNEP, so after the show, we cracked open the aforementioned beer and the cast and crew got to watch the movie. Several of the cast commented on the same thing I thought would be weird -- knowing that people were watching the show while we were still making it. Oh, I did bring the camera to see what the audience reactions were like, but I forgot to turn it on. Oops.
I have to give a special shout-out to the runners -- Sean Cusick, Adam Devlin-Brown, Lance Hoffman, & Scott McNulty. Those guys acted as crowd control, were extras, ran like demons, and were really draconian time-keepers. Early on in the process I empowered the runners to be the final arbiters of when the tapes absolutely had to be back to the theater. And they were on it, barking orders at the camera people -- "gimme that tape now." We didn't have any late tapes...
And a super-big thanks, again, to Neutrino in New York for inventing this thing and then sharing their hard-won knowledge so freely with us.
"But say, Fuzzy, I just noticed from the time stamp of this post that you're up pretty late on a Sunday night." It is definitely time for me to get my own miniDV camera. When we first stared working on the show, I was trying to convince myself that I needed a new camera. But I managed to talk myself out of it, because I figured my Sony Digital8 camera was good enough. I think it is for the show (you can tell the difference between my camera and Michael's, but I think mine is OK). But tonight I'm blanking all the miniDV tapes for next week's show and I have to stay up late to do it, because I only have the loan of Michael's miniDV deck for tonight. If we do a run of this show, I'm definitely getting a new camera, just so I can do tasks like this at my leisure.
We had a great rehearsal this afternoon, where everything technical and acting-wise seemed to flow. I had a minor technical crisis with my crew, but we recovered and you could hardly tell when we saw the final movie.
Michael Starcevich secured us popcorn this afternoon (thanks Davis Theater!) so we'll have popcorn at our movie -- and that's just wau that should be.
I blanked all the tapes this afternoon and now I just need to run down to Radioshack and get a 30' video cable. See you at the show tonight!
A story from Wednesday's rehearsal I forgot to mention: The show takes place in actual real world locations, so we need to scout locations before the show. For the rehearsal, Shaun checked with two restaurants behind our house and at 7 o'clock both of them said "sure". At 8:30, one of our camera crews was kicked out of Paisan's Pizza by the owner. The moral of story, if there is one, is that we may end up doing a lot of shooting on the sidewalk, even if we think we've got our locations set.
Rehearsal last night went great. We had (nearly) everyone together in the same place at the same time and we ran a full show and it pretty much all worked.
On the acting side, things are butter. I love this cast like a bunch of candy. In a bad news/good news fashion, one of our cast members got a commercial gig and probably won't make the shows (good for her, but poop), but I called Jen Ellison and said, "Hey, I know you're super busy with the last rehearsals for your main stage season opening, but come be in my show." And said "OK". So, yay.
On the tech side, the show's gonna happen, but the details are what're going to kill me by Saturday (that and all the last minute details for the One Man Seen opening. Two openings in one weekend = poor planning.) I sat down after the cast left last night and made a long list. Projection screen. Platform for the projector. Animated logo (more important than it sounds). Cables. Sony vs. Canon playback issues (Agghhh! I was warned, but wished it not true. It's true.) Stop watches (Target doesn't have stopwatches. What's up with that?) Popcorn. OK, we can live without popcorn. But it'd be nice to have popcorn at the opening. It's a movie, there should be popcorn at a movie.
Oh, and thanks are owed, already, to Lance and Adam for running. Those boys can book.
Did I mention already that I know it's going to be weird on the night, not being in the theater while the audience is seeing the movie? I'm such a tech-control-freak that it's going to kill me worrying about things going wrong while I'm not there. And on an artistic level, it's going to be weird not getting audience feedback (laughs, groans, etc.) while the movie is playing. I've been thinking of setting up a camera in the theater just to see how the audience reacts to the movie.
OK, I'd better go get some lunch (and do some research on the Sony vs. Canon playback issue).