I have to say, the Johnny Boy showing was pretty incredible. Seth, Mike, Ian and I showed up to the festival when it opened, I set up the press table, and then we checked out some of the short films. Attendance was pretty low in the morning; there were maybe five people in the audience aside from us, which I guess is what you get when you schedule films on a weekday morning. By the time 1:30 rolled around though it was a different story. The place was packed (well, comparatively) and I started to wonder if we had taken the festival staff by surprise having such a large group of people show up out of nowhere for one film in particular.
From the moment the movie started a strange feeling washed over me that was extreme excitement mixed with dread. The excitement part is obvious, the dread came from being in a theater full of people judging this movie that we have put an incredible amount of time and effort into. Will they hate it? Did we waste our time, as well as the the time of everyone else who helped us? What will the actors think? Of course I've never viewed even a second of our work on the movie as a waste of time, but it's hard to keep those thoughts out of your head when your work is on a screen a mile wide for all to judge.
Of course there was no need to worry, it couldn't have gone better. There were laughs and gasps in all the right places (we made people gasp!) and it was just an incredible feeling. I'm really not sure I've ever felt anything like it. When the crew stood up at the end and everyone applauded and whooped and cheered...it sounds cheesy, but I really just felt on top of the world. I'm not sure how much the experience affected the other members of the crew who were much more vital to the whole project than I was, but the experience left a huge impression on me.
Like I have explained to some of my colleagues, my favorite part about the whole thing is that we DID something. We MADE something. Everyone at some point says "If I made a movie it would be like this..." but we actually did it. We started something, saw it through to the end, cared enough to get frustrated with each other from time to time, and never settled for a low quality product when we saw an area that was in our power to improve. Especially Mike, who probably spent about 200 more hours staring at this thing on a computer screen than he wishes. We didn't do it for a class or a prize or because someone bet us to, and actually sacrificed many aspects and hours of our personal lives to get it done.
I am very proud to have been a part of it, and of everyone I worked with. And if things go the way they're looking, it's only going to get more attention from here.
WILLIAM HENRY BLENKO JR ORBITUARY - WILLIAM HENRY BLENKO JR., 94, of Milton, W.Va., passed away on Friday, February 5, 2016, at his residence. Born in 1921, he was a son of the late William H...