While I was in London I was staying in the hotel where 44CON was being held. There was a pub on the second floor that overlooked the parking lot and then over a couple rooftops. It reminded me of the time I went to Paris. There is something distinctly European about the roofs. Maybe it's the curves. Maybe it's the way the houses are all made of stone instead of Wood. Maybe it's just the knowledge that I'm in a place that doesn't feel like home but instead brings to mind the past.
The pub had burgers. It might have only been one burger. I ordered it. It was amazing. I had it at least two more times while I was in London. When I told Adrian, the festival organizer how good it was, he told me it was just okay and that I really should try one of the restaurants in the city. I never did that. I always at the hotel, usually just snacks.
One night, while I was out wandering, after I'd walked to the Thames because I wanted to see the Thames while I was there, I walked past a restaurant, and above it was a theatre where there was a nightly staging of Othello, which I'd never scene.
I was in London, and Shakespeare was playing within walking distance. Of course I went. It was a small upstairs crowded dodgy theater. The stage wasn't a stage at all but the floor and it flowed right up to the audience, as did the acting. The lead of the play was amazing, interacting and reacting as good as any actor I've seen. He also engaged the audience, either by pointing and waiting for a reaction or just looking into our eyes. It was powerful and perfect and it's something I'll never for get.
* * *
I had to print a poster out for the hallway at the Orlando Film Festival, a huge one 27x40. I had to actually print two of them, but one of them had a foam core and I couldn't bring it back. But, the other one, the non-foam-core one? I brought that back with me. I went with Memi to Target and got a frame and hung it on my wall. It's the bets looking piece of art I've got.
The strange thing is, it's the first physical reality of my movie. I've burned a bunch of DVDs and Blu-rays; I've sent a variety of files to different people, all digital. This poster that now hangs on my wall and is the first thing that you see when you walk in my apartment, it's physical. It's real. I can look at it and touch it. And it's the product of my mind. It would never had existed had I not run this marathon of making ALGORITHM.
That strange feeling. Maybe it's success. Maybe that's what success feels like. More than the 230k hits on the site, more than the festival accolades or my collaborators wanting to work with me again because together we make great art… It's this poster. It's the thing I grew up seeing as a kid when I went to the theater. It's the result of my making something and refining it and taking it around the world. it's mine. I can look at and say, "I did that. That's me. That's my work."
When I felt that feeling, I called Memi out, I put my arm around her and we just looked at it for a minute. I wanted to share that feeling with her. After my marriage, ALGORITHM is the thing I'm proudest of in life, so far.
* * *
The accolades ALGORITHM got at the Orlando Film Festival have emboldened me to submit to other festivals. I submitted ALGORITHM to these festivals last year, but it was a very rough cut. This time, I'm submitting a finished version of the movie. I suspect the results will be very different.
I had to transcode another version to upload to www.withoutabox.com, which is the primary method of submitting to festivals now days. After it's transcoded, I had to upload it. The first attempt failed. I tried a second time and left my computer on overnight to do its work. When I awoke, the movie had finished uploading and was being processed.
Here's the thing: I was submitting to the Seattle International Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festivals, and both those festivals' deadlines were today. In other words, if the upload didn't work, I had to go to the post-office because the DVDs would have to be postmarked no later than today.
It was 4:00pm.
I filled out the submission forms and paid the submission fees for both festivals, including a $4.00 fee just in case I screw up some part of the process. The total was $153.00 for both.
When I got the confirmation emails, there was a bit that said I hadn't submitted a digital screener. I had to have a screener sent today. If I didn't, ALGORITHM be excluded from consideration.
The screener was still processing.
The post office closes at 5:00pm. I panicked.
I burned a second DVD. I labelled two envelopes, one for each festival . I labeled each disc, put it in the bubble-lined envelope and sealed it in. Just as I finished burning packaging, sealing and labeling the second envelope, I hit refresh. It was 4:40pm. The file had finished processing. I hadn't viewed it to make sure it played all the way through, but I attached it anyway.
For the record, I don't recommend doing things this way, but I've kinda gotten used to it. Winging it, jumping off the cliff and hoping I end up flying. So far, I've yet to hit the ground.
I did end up watching the digital screener. I finished it after 5:00pm, after it was too late to make any changes.
It played flawlessly.
* * *
We're also trying to see if we qualify for Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca is a top-teir festival. Getting in would be a very big deal. The problem is, their rules state that the movie can't have been available without a password online. However, I called them and told them that the SAG New Media Agreement says that's how we had to premiere. They said I should send them an email and see if our special circumstances call for special allowances.
Mandi wrote the initial draft of that. She sent me a copy, which I modified and then returned to her for her review. The problem is, we've really pushed the edges of the way things are done. We're not sure where ALGORITHM will fit in the industry, or if it will fit anywhere at all. The only way we'll find out is by trying to fit it places.
* * *
The Orlando Film Festival opened with a movie by some filmmakers from New York. At the after-party I went up to one of the actors and asked her about a certain aspect of her performance. As we talked, she asked me what my movie was. I told her. She told me that she'd been reading a lot about it in her Facebook feed.
* * *
I remember doing some wild things in college. I remember a lot of people coming up to me and knowing who I was. I couldn't remember them, but I got pretty good at faking it. I'm sure I'd met them and everyone likes to feel important. Anyway. I was kinda famous in college. Maybe infamous is a better word. Whatever the right word, people I didn't know knew me.
Maybe that's what fame is.
There's a surreality to it. All my life I've been thought of as strange, categorized as an anomaly and valued accordingly. The only people who knew about me were people with whom I had had direct contact, or who had had direct contact with someone who had had direct contact with me. And, the latter was rare.
Now, people all over the world know who I am. I have this feeling that more people are listening to my words, that they have more weight. I find myself taking in the reality of this and thinking that perhaps I should be more careful about what I say because the world is now listening.
It's a good thing I'm an introvert and spend most of my time alone because I think if I had to be guarding and processing everything I say, all the time; I think I would melt.