It's been an exciting time for MADISON COUNTY these last few weeks.
We've been prepping the final details for distribution and finally, we're able to sign the dotted line and make everything official! The movie has found its home.
Pop the champagne...or in our case, apple cider!!!
It had been almost a year of dealing with a few companies in different ways to find what would be the best fit for our movie. I really feel we've found it! One company was playing a solid game of, "come here/go away" and couldn't really pull it together to make it happen, another wanted to try to throw its weight around, another wanted to offer little and even less for, "future rewards" and then the other...we signed with!
In the end, it was a lot of waiting around and we knew we could have made this happen a year ago. However, the rest of the business doesn't move as quickly at times and while there is a lot of, "Hurry up, and wait..." It was a valuable experience...one that continues to teach many lessons. It's trying and also tests you in a lot of ways. It takes an edge off, but also creates more pressure. It's funny how it changes so many things. I focus on the ground...must keep my feet firmly pressed against it.
"When does the movie come out?" "When can I see it in ________?" (<~~ insert your city there) Those are always the fun questions. As quickly as we've moved, it's never fast enough, and if that was the case for THIS film, our follow up, ROADSIDE has even more haste surrounding it. We've heard it's a marathon, but even we are learning how the race really is run. Must. Be. Patient.
It's rewarding to have some of these fun things to share though. Aside from the excitement I get from someone watching the movie, these little notches on the bar really put a smile on my face the most. I've mentioned before, I just like to genuinely SHARE EXPERIENCES.
A few months ago we were contacted and it looked like we were going to have a chance to share the experience on another level. THE LITTLE ROCK FILM FESTIVAL was creating another festival through it's growing yearly program and it was going to be specifically focused on horror. With the attention we've been getting in the genre, and us being a home grown Arkansas film, they reached out and asked us if we would be interested in being the opening film of their new festival branch!
We had submitted the film for their bigger festival, but thought this would be a great opportunity. What better way to possibly bring the film, "home" than to kick off a NEW festival as the eye candy of the series??
This wouldn't prove to be the easiest thing because we were not sure if they would be able to bring Eric, Daniel and I out. We've worked closely together since the beginning of this thing. All decisions are made between the three of us and this movie and brand has tied into the three of us directly on more than one occasion.
It's actually amazing to me how many of my friends or peers will talk to me about the movie and bring up the other two fellas. Maybe I'm just good about paying them their due. They deserve it though, and no one has done this solo, that's for sure. No I's in this team, as much as that gets tested. It's caused challenging moments, especially on ROADSIDE, but it gets worked out.
Well, the festival was graciously offering to fly us in, put us up, bring us to parties where we'd drink for free and have drivers to get us around. The only catch was...it was just for two of us.
From the jump, I told the guys this wasn't going to cut it. I knew Daniel would probably be the first one to take one for the team and not go (it was also on his birthday lol), but I would want to fight for us, "All for one, one for all!" It wasn't like we were trying to be greedy, we really just wanted to all go back and I was/am working on another deal that would bring the movie back to Arkansas and I didn't want to spoil the possibility of premiering in that area if we couldn't all be there to complete our cycle, so to speak. They couldn't afford the extra ticket as an upstart, and we couldn't either as broke film makers.
Daniel and I spoke and decided we'd make it work and as I suspected, he bowed out. So we were headed back to Arkansas!
We were all pretty excited to say the least! Our Arkansas fans have been pining over this film for some time. Some came out to LA to see the world premiere at Screamfest! They have even been mentioning that they'd drive to a neighboring state to see it, if they had to (More on that later). Well, we wanted to bring this back for them. As soon as we announced, the Facebook LIKES were coming in like mad, but so were the complaints of it not being DIRECTLY in their backyard. What happened to driving to another state?? Hopefully, this would pass..
As it got closer and we were promoting, it was clear people were not going to be letting up. Not only that, but the festival was going to be only offering a single pass for once price ($40) that included the entire festivals weekend lineup. While not a bad deal overall if you were planning to make a bunch of the flicks, we started to get complaints from our fans. Not only would they be driving a good deal, but they didn't want to be spending the full price when they were only coming to see our film. This was going to be an issue.
Eric and I joked bout Kevin Smith charging a buttload for the chance to attend his Q&A in the past and here we were in a position where it would almost be double for us! Lmao. There definitely was more innocence behind ours, I mean, it wasn't even our choice, but we didn't want to just let that slide...especially if that meant people were not going to come out. I would expect people to be able to afford a hotel, gas AND $40 per person.
The festival meant well, it was simpler for them to just have one option. They also had to pay for...yea, the flights, hotels, drivers and bar tabs for all the filmmakers not to mention every other expense for this new project they we're hoping to make a yearly thing. We ended up finding out tickets could be purchased at the door for $5-- problem solved!
Well, we found out we were going to be having not ONE, but THREE screenings of the movie. GREAT! Apparently they were anticipating HUGE crowds and wanted to offer another screening 30 minutes after the first one and then one more a few days later on the last day of the festival.
So, it comes time to fly out and it seemed like Eric had a voodoo curse placed on him. Someone did not want us in Arkansas. Perhaps Daniel was growing sore that he would not be attending? Lol. Our flight was at 10am and Eric was supposed to pick me up at 8am. At about 9:00 when he got to my house after INSANE traffic kept him stuck in Beverly Hills, we thought we might be cutting it close. We pull up to the airport at 9:30, surely people were beginning to board at this time. We make it to the security checkpoint at 9:35...thank god we were not checking bags. I get through. Eric doesn't. His ticket won't scan. I take my shoes, belt and watch off...empty my pockets and proceeded through before looking back...Eric is still searching on his phone for something that would scan. I get dressed and look up-- he's gone. I'm trying to text him so I could pull up his info, no luck. He finally reemerges with his recently printed ticket that he just jumped in front of all the first class passengers to get. He gets through, we board.
We land in Dallas for our layover and head to our next gate, "that was changed to C27." Shit. That means we have to hit the tram sky link. We have 20 minutes, no problem! Then we start talking and we get into a really passionate conversation about a project of ours and start brain storming about how we intend to get it off the ground. We get on the tram and get off one stop early. We get back on and make it to our gate...nope, they moved it...again, And it's back to where we first stopped! As our time is ticking and the moment intensifies, so does our conversation. We have to stop chatting to focus...then we go RIGHT back into it. We finally get back to our gate after another trip on the tram and don't know where we are sitting because of the mobile boarding pass. I look at the plane and ask if it was expected to be full cause I see so many empty seats, "yes it is." We make our way back and see a set of two empty seats and grab them, hoping no one is going to be seated in them. As soon as we sit, "Ok prepare for takeoff." (or whatever it is they say). They were TOTALLY waiting for US! No one else was coming on the plane to fill those empty seats she claimed would get used. Whatever, we made it...
We land in Arkansas and were picked up and it looked like the guy HATED his life at that moment. He ended up being very nice and was great the whole time we were there thankfully.
We got to the hotel and Eric didn't know that we each had our own room, SCORE!! King mattress allllll for me!!!
Every night we were there, there was at least ONE party planned for the evening. Some nights two. We also had a driver to help us get where ever we wanted to go which was really nice. Weird, (cause we had never experienced that), but nice.
Eric and I met up with his family and grabbed food and got our hair cuts courtesy of his Mom who is one of the best stylists ever, before heading back to Little Rock for the movie screening on Friday night.
We had been curious to see what the turnout would be because as I mentioned earlier, people were still complaining about the distance. Maybe we should have just said Little Rock was in a different state? Lol Thankfully, we had good turnouts for both screenings from the buzz, even without a good portion of our fan base missing. Booooo.
Regardless, people really seemed to like the film.
Sunday seemed to go just as well. I wasn't there because I flew home on Saturday, but not before Eric and I would stumble upon an amazing rap group called LORD T & ELOISE. Thanks to the military homie we met, Josh Mitchell, who treated us by paying for our cover to get into the club that lead to our discovery of this gem! Check them out live if you can!!
Sunday night came and I got a great text. It was this picture
We won AUDIENCE CHOICE! The people had spoken! The festival director made sure to let us know it wasn't attendance based, but purely vote calculation/percentages and I have to trust it since it is not Florida.
Of course, that only created a new problem, who gets to keep the award? It never ends.
We are so happy to have our first award and even though we wished months before that Screamfest was still giving their own version away
(since we were the only film to sell out and get an encore = sounds like audience choice to me), it was only fitting that our first award could be given to us by its very own Arkansas family!
Thanks to The Little Rock Film Festival for treating us like KINGS. Thanks to the great people of Arkansas who came out to support the film!
While official details have yet to be released, I will say that May 8 will be a great day :)
As always stay tuned! My next two blogs are on the way. One deals with the Aladdin show I've been doing for the sat three years, and the other is about a very strange Valentine's Day experience!
TiLL NeXt TiMe...