Premiere for Cast&Crew and Indiegogo Funders!

Wow, is it already December? I meant to post right after our October screening, but submitting to film festivals has taken up a HUGE chunk of time. Stay tuned for acceptance (and rejection) posts!

Meanwhile post-production continues to chug along. Our fantastic composer Marc is finishing up our score and Dan is working on the final mix. We’ve also added another Assistant Editor to help with the final cut – a big welcome goes out to Andrew Cohen.

I’m not a party planner, but after organizing the cast&crew premiere I have a bigger appreciation for people who do that for a living. It’s not as simple as setting out a bowl of pretzels and a keg of beer.

Tips and pics:

The Venue: At this point our budget was beyond non-existent so finding a venue that was still legit but wasn’t beyond our wallet took plenty of research. Curious about rental prices?
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A vintage theater like the Vista in Los Feliz will set you back –

$5000.00 for three hours or $7500.00 for five hours.

For a modern feel, you can try ICM Screening Rooms which will cost you –

$1700 for three hours on a week night, $2000 for three hours on a weekend. An extra $500 for use of the lobby area.

I did find some economical options like The Echo Park Film Center which has a 60-seat theater, but there’s no staggered seating, which means the view from the back is not great.
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Luckily my associate producer Brian suggested J.E.T. Studios, an indie theater located in North Hollywood. They charge $60 an hour, and this includes access to their artsy lobby area which is a great place to set up a reception. We also had room for a Step & Repeat backdrop. Although the lighting could’ve been better, everyone turned out in their red carpet best and looked fantastic!

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Judith is the owner of J.E.T. Studios, a lovely and go-getter lady who pretty much runs the whole place on her own while also working as a nurse. The rate is low, but the studio is well kept and clean. Plus it’s also an art gallery so the walls are decorated with original pieces. Due to their limited staff though, if you rent the place, you’re responsible for EVERYTHING. I had to take out the garbage, administer the security system, and run lights, music, and the film from the projectionist booth.

The Reception:
I wanted to do a simple cocktail reception to thank everyone for their hard work, so Costco was the way to go. We also got plenty of candy from 99 Ranch. In retrospect I would’ve gotten more savory items because several people came without eating dinner and were hungry, so lesson learned.

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Luckily I had a few friends who stepped up and helped with setting up the food and drinks, and also played bartender so everyone under 21 got soda in their cups. A big thank you goes out to Nasaka, Elizah, and Jeffrey for holding down the fort so I could actually talk to people. And thank you to Stephanie for loaning us her dope speaker system, music helps encourage people to hang out.
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In retrospect I would’ve rented the space for an hour before doors open so I had more time to set up. In an attempt to save money I only gave myself 30 minutes to set up, and even with one helper, unloading took forever. Setting up the step&repeat took two people. And I had to set up the projection booth. So by the time people started coming in I was still trying to connect cables and totally not ready to greet anyone. Lesson learned: Always have an assistant and give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

The following night we held a second screening for everyone who had donated to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Afterwards actors Tiffany Kieu, Kat Johnston, and Pierce Joza joined me onstage for a Q&A moderated by Eric Toms. Eric did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing and asking us thoughtful questions.
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And then, at the stroke of midnight, we were done! I locked up the theater and drove home with half a bag of leftover candy and feeling exhausted but happy.

It’s now December and I’m done submitting to the the bulk of our target film festivals. We should hear back in January if we got into any, and will be sure to blast Facebook with victory news.
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