The Beverly Hills Film Festival was certainly an interesting and validating trip. Our screening went well. Justin Donais, Glastonburykids, who we met at True/False showed up and one of our actors in the film, Brigitte Hagerman was there as well. While waiting in the lobby I had the pleasure of meeting Mardik Martin, the writer of such films as Mean Streets and Raging Bull. The man is 79 and so full of life and funny. I watched him give a seminar to screenwriters as he shared his experiences of working with Scorsese and how to pitch your script. Really nice guy.
At the Friday night party I wound up meeting a group from Alaska with a short film titled Way Up North. Levi A. Taylor’s creation is a 20 minute Rock Opera that’s a mix between Sin City and the last half of From Dusk Till Dawn without the vampires. Lot’s of blood and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Very entertaining. Also had a good time talking with Way Up North Cinematographer, Mike Collier. He told me when someone learns he’s from Alaska they always ask him about Gov. Palin. I don’t know about Palin but if other Alaskans are like this group then Alaska is ok with me.
Sunday night was the awards dinner held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Real swanky place. Before it started I wound up meeting John Stamos in the lobby. He was there with Bob Saget, not for the awards show, they just happened to be staying there. In the back of my head I was thinking Full House reunion? The awards dinner started and I wound up sitting at a table with the crew from Way Up North and sitting next to Larry Hankin. Most people will know Larry as the upstairs neighbor on Friends. Super nice guy who also had a short at the festival called The Outlaw Emmet Deemus and The Porno Queen. Larry was kind enough to give me a copy. It’s hilarious. As he says, “It’s Don Quixote on a motorcycle”.
The awards part of the dinner started and Way Up North wound up winning Best Short and Best Editing. Best Documentary went to Life After Death, written and directed by Shawn Thompson. When we lost I figured, oh well, no big deal, we didn’t win. They then moved on to the next award and opened the envelope, “and the award for Best Feature Film goes to…” I was absolutely shocked. I honestly could not believe they called out War Against The Weak. I’ve never heard of a documentary winning for Best Film. It truly was a great feeling especially for anyone that works in this business. We’ve been working on this project night and day for almost 2 years and anyone can tell you it’s a grueling process. We do it because it’s what we love. I just wish Justin and the rest of the crew were with me. It would have been that much more if everyone was there. Still, it was an incredible night and I hope more good things happen for the film as we move forward.