Monday, October 25, 2004

Closing Night: Morgan Freeman Wins, We Don't.

Sunday, October 24.
Well, I practically mowed Mr. Freeman right over on the Red Carpet. Since I'm such an important filmmaker, I get to walk the Red Carpet just like the celebs. Last night I was moving rather briskly along, people watching instead of watching where I was going, and looked forward just in time to stop from plowing into Mr. Freeman. Thank God for my ninja-like quick reflexes. I spoke to him for a brief moment and then headed inside for the Mayor's Reception before the evening's presentation. I chatted with Mayor Hickenlooper for a little while -- super-nice guy. Lisa Kennedy, the Denver Post's head film critic, introduced herself to me and said she'd made it to our screening Wednesday night and enjoyed our film. She said she'd definitely give it a mention when she writes her wrap story about the festival. Other than that we drank some free drinks and debated on whether or not Hempmento had a chance at the People's Choice Award for best short. I contended it didn't, not so much because it wasn't the best (which, of course it was) but because, since it was shown with a collection of shorts from other Colorado filmmakers, the audiences would be weighted toward the movie they came to see. In other words, while our friends and perhaps the few people who weren't there for any particular short might have given it a 10 out of 10, people who worked on or were friends with people who worked on other shorts, no matter how much they enjoyed Hempmento, would give it a lower score than their own. Okay, that's my Kos brand of rationalization. But I was right. We didn't win. I can't even remember what short won, but I believe it was a short that showed before a feature (which means everyone in the audience could have given it a 10 because they didn't have any vested interest in it or any other short). We're still proud as hell, though, as should be everyone who worked on it. Huge, huge thanks and congratulations to all of you!

After they did the film awards, they showed a highlight reel of Morgan Freeman's work, then interviewed him onstage. He was so engaging and charismatic, and told some great stories. Afterward we hit the Last Reel Reception at B-52's. We waited in the food line for about 1/2 an hour, then pigged out for a while.

After making a couple rounds people watching, we were done. Out. Kaput. So we called it a night, said goodbye and thanks to the festival, and headed home.

This was such an amazing experience, made even more special because I was able to share it with friends. Without these people, Hempmento never would have gotten made:

Brad Stabio
Kirk Anderson
Michael O'Shea
Lisa Rosenhagen
Dave Shirley
Lowel Pierce
Mike Ackerman
Brook Aitken
Chris Thomas
Steve Zammar
Lisa Rucker
Matt Hemphill
Brian Steele

Thanks again, everyone. You all kick ass.

So what's next? The HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. At least, we hope so. Entry deadline for films is 11/5/04, so we're getting our stuff together for that. Unfortunately we missed the Sundance deadline by a month -- obviously we were so preoccupied with Denver we didn't even think about Sundance. Oh well, it's probabaly better, because it'll give us a year to try to get a few more festivals under our belt before we go for the big one.

I'll keep the blog alive, writing updates as I get them.

Peace out!


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