I saw Cole

Jessica and I went up for a test screening for Cole on the 16th. I had butterflies in my stomach all day. Here's a quick recap of the events:

  • Noon. We pack up the White Shadow and head north. 
  • Noon thirty. We stop at Panda Express. I can barely eat my orange chicken. I tell Jessica I'm nervous. It's a weird feeling, getting ready to see your first produced feature film with a crowd of Canadians who will be judging the film for its flaws.
  • 3:30pm. We cross the border. The border guard warns us not to give away the Crown Royal we bought at Duty Free otherwise we will be subject to duty. Now you know. 
  • 4:30pm. We make it through Vancouver traffic and a confusing parking structure to meet up with Dylan and Kimani (Cole's producers at the Blenz coffee shop at Seymour and Richards. They fill me in on Cole (it's on its third cut, it looks great, they really want me to see it to get my feedback). They just got back from the Toronto Film Festival, having meetings about Cole and Northbridge, the other feature I optioned to them. They hope to wrap up the work on Cole by December and film Northbridge in the spring (if all goes well). We talk about my new script, A Change of Fate (they like it and give me a couple of notes for a rewrite), and a new script I've started. A girl at the coffee shop gets her purse stolen and asks to borrow Dylan's cell phone. Flustered, she realizes Dylan is acting agent (she is an aspiring actress), and stresses out between canceling her credit cards and pitching her talents to him. 
  • 6:00pm. We make it to the small theater at Vancouver Film School. A theater I routinely had classes at just two years ago. Sean Minogue, a former classmate, sets up the theater for us. People arrive. Irene Nelson (producer). Richard de Klerk (Cole Chambers). Kevin Eastwood (line producer). Jason James (producer). Carl Bessai (Director). about 20 test viewers. Hugs and handshakes all around. I barely recognize Richard with an attempt at a beard and slick-back hair. He says he wanted to come in disguise. 
  • 6:20pm. Carl introduces the movie and we're off. Everything sounds echoey. we realize that the theater sound is set to "Sci-Fi." Sound is fixed and we start over. 
  • 6:30pm. Unbelievable. 
  • Around 7:00pm. I watch a scene and it hits me that I wrote this. The dialogue, the actions. Crazy. People are laughing when they're supposed to laugh, and not laughing when they're not supposed to laugh. I squeeze Jessica's hand. 
  • 7:30pm. I find myself wondering what comes next even though I know. The movie is surrounding me and I believe that it's real. 
  • 7:45pm. There I am! I made the cut (at least this one--at dinner, we all agree my scene needs to go. Oh, well, I had my 15 seconds.)
  • 8:00pm. Black screen. The words, "End Credits." Lights come up. Amazingly, everyone claps. Crazy. 
  • 8:15pm. Irene asks me if I liked it, if it met my expectations. Everyone is smiling. They look like they just had a good time. They fill out their comment sheets and filter out. The movie needs another edit or two to fix sound and a few rough edges, but it's there. It's really there. 
  • 9:00pm. Dylan, Kimani, Jana (Kimani's wife and a bartender in the movie), Sean, Jessica and I all eat dinner at the Yaletown Brewery. We all are happy. We just saw a good movie. we rehash just about every scene, smiles on our faces. Jana asks me how I feel. All my  words are gone. 
  • 11:30pm. We cross the border back to Seattle. The border guard asks me what the purpose of our visit was. "I'm a screenwriter," I say. "We saw a test screening for my movie." "How'd it go?" he asks. I pause. "Good. Really good." 


Cool Dad said...

Congratulations! Very happy to hear that it is a success that will just get better.

I have my first script, and I'm going to start mailing out to agents. I'm hoping screenwriting is the reason why I'm unable to get any other job. :/