Thursday, March 8, 2007


We screened Billy the Kid at Bowdoin College in Maine last Sunday. I wanted to show my thanks to the community for their support during the making of the film plus give Billy a chance to have his peers see how I see him!

Chiemi’s good friend John Bisbee was kind enough to hook it all up!! MANY THANKS!

Chiemi , Nina and I drove up, and of course I was freaking out the whole way there thinking no one was going to show. So Nina and I started making as many calls as possible during the six-hour car ride.

When we finally arrived with only half an hour till show time I had the butterflies bad!!! IT WAS MY FIRST OFFICIAL SCREENING WITH THE FILM DONE AND WITH STRANGERS plus Billy and his extended family! That said, I had to go to a bar a do a shot. We all did!! To my surprise I also met some nice men, and one of them was the uncle of Tyler Hubby, who was the editor of "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" , one of my favorite docs! Was this a sign?? I'm in a small-ass town in the middle of Maine at a bar at 5pm on a Sunday!! It had to be a good omen!

Anyways, he asked me the name of the film, and I said “Billy the Kid”, and he said, “You have a great publicist! I've heard about that film!” I said thanks and thought to myself, “What publicist? Me, Nina and Chiemi in our portable car office!!!!” Actually the college did a great job spreading the word and hooked something up with the local paper .

So we finally get to the venue to check the film for sound levels, and I was horrified by what I saw. The film looks muddy and dark like there is a haze over it!! I'm so bummed! We had been working on the film in post on an “hd up rez” (you film people will understand), and this was a dvd projection and it wasn't pretty. Anyways, my good friend, director Carter Smith, assured me no one would notice but me and also said the director is never satisfied.

The screening began and I sat in the way back with my eyes half open thinking, “Geez, this is taking long. Why aren't they laughing at the right places? Oh my gosh, I can't believe Heather showed up and Billy is sitting right next to her!!!! I'm so embarrassed for her. Are they getting it???” and so on, and so on, etc .etc.!

Then it was time for the Q and A, and a man in his 40"s (not sure) stood up and .........................

then kids from billy's school said

then a parent

and then a teacher

then Billy got on stage..................

It was like they had received a script on exactly what I wanted them to get from the movie!! Everything I had worked and fought for no matter how many times people said you need more of this or that and I didn't listen. It finally paid off. A group of strangers from young kids to elderly people from all demographics got it!!

That said, this director is trying to feel satisfied with that! As much as my mind wants to race to what's next (“Why doesn't this sales person get it or that press person or this festival?”), I really am trying to be grateful for this wonderful gift the Maine community gave me. Even if I can only do it for this moment! I really hope what you have seen will be passed on and on and on!!!

Just a short time ago, I didn't know I would ever make a film, didn't know how to start or how to do it. I still didn't know when I met Billy, but day-by-day, I learned and now YOU GET IT!

It's so funny how soon we forget where we started. When I first decided I was going to do this I thought it would be a 10 minute short on Billy! Soooo dream big boys and girls!!!!!


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