Friday, August 29, 2008

Well, that happened.

What a crazy night up in Humboldt. Captain Deadpan, Darren and I got picked up at the Eureka airport by Darren's famous Aunt Laura and Mary, the icon, legend and organizer of the wildrivers101 film festival. After checking into to our lovely hotel room, we had dinner and then headed over to the Eureka theater for the "Humboldt County" Humboldt County premiere. There was a palpable buzz and the line was pretty long. We sold out the 700 seat theater and after a quick intro, the film began.

Then horror struck. The projector at the Eureka theater is from 1950 and the sound system was apparently put together with technology from the 15th century. As a result, there was this weird blue line on the left of the screen and the dialogue was super difficult to hear. It was a shame because the crowd was fascinating. They cheered every Humboldt location that came to the screen and seemed to really enjoy the film in a way wholly different from any of the "outside Humboldt" audiences to see it so far. In fact, we were going to stay for the whole thing, but the technical glitches of the theater proved to heartbreaking so we had to leave. We found a bar and immediately pounded some whiskey.

That took the edge off.

When we came back, Darren and I went down for a Q&A and, to my surprise and delight, no stones or tomatoes were thrown in our direction. Obviously, there were some who didn't appreciate the film, but I'm pretty sure there was no film that could have been made about this region that those people would have been happy with. Thankfully, there seemed to be many people who honestly appreciated and enjoyed the picture. The most rewarding moments would be when people would come up to us and say things like, "Listen, I've lived in this county for 25 years and let me tell you something: You got it." Those comments were really lovely to hear.

Overall, Darren and I were just super appreciative of the kindness and generosity of all the Humboldt residents who came out with an open mind to see the film and, despite the terrible sound quality in the theater, seemed to enjoy what they saw.

Here are some pics:

Captain Deadpan out front before the show.

The line heading in.

And's a video of our intro for the film:

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