So I just got home from my first time running MovieBar. Loads of people came. Everything worked, although one of our technical glitches resulted in half the pub having near heart-attacks and the other half losing 80% of their hearing. But otherwise it went really well.
I'll post full details on the MovieBar blog in the next day or two but I thought I'd write about the immediate and still slightly Guinness-fuelled reaction here.
First of all, I have to say I was ridiculously nervous. This was a combination of not knowing how the technical stuff would work, not knowing how many people would definitely turn up, not being too sure about how well I'd do at introducing the films and talking to the filmmakers (public speaking is not something I have ever been particularly keen on) and so on. I was nervous to the point that the night before I had a very vivid nightmare in which for various reasons my team and I didn't arrive at the pub until five minutes before we were due to start, and then everything started to go wrong. This was so cripplingly terrifying I then had to lie awake in bed figuring out exactly how I would cope in this situation if it should happen in real life.
It didn't happen in real life because I made sure we arrived over an hour and a half before we were due to start. Also, my team were super-awesome and sorted out all the technical stuff while I sat and worried about what I was going to say.
Then we started, and I realised that having been to almost every MovieBar that's been on before this I knew exactly how it should work and there was never really anything to worry about. We had a couple of technical issues. My DVD player cleverly remembers at which point you stopped each film the last time you played it, which meant all the films started about 30 seconds in because that's when we stopped when we were testing them. The very first film came on extremely loud and nearly deafened/killed everyone as mentioned above. But otherwise it ran pretty smoothly.
Lots of people came which was ace and I don't think there were any spare seats in the place when we started. A good chunk of the audience left before the end and a few people didn't make it but I couldn't really have asked for a better audience for my first night.
The Q&A's went really well. I sometimes fell into auto-pilot and started rattling off questions without really thinking, but for the most part I think I did okay and we got some really interesting stories. My two favourite moments were the Q&A with Sam Milletti who has an infectious enthusiasm and is annoyingly young to have made a film as good as Daisy (yes I am jealous), and the Q&A with Brother Pete which teetered on the brink of becoming an Abbott & Costello-style double-act.
Thanks to Ross, Rich, Pete, Charlotte and Andrea for their ultra-hard work which meant I really didn't have anything to worry about other than standing up and rambling every now and again. Thanks also to all the filmmakers who came along to talk about their work, thanks to Helen for putting up posters around Brighton and to Terry for coming to the rescue with that rather essential audio cable, and thanks to the staff at the Cornerstone who helped things run very smoothly indeed. I've got a plan sorted out for next month so if you are in the vicinity of Brighton and can make it along please check out the MovieBar blog in the next few days for more details.
On an unrelated note, Manor Hunt Ball got a mention in The Sun today. Look, it's here! That's a film what I wrote being mentioned in an actual newspaper! Yes, it's a film that doesn't exist yet, but it's a start! I was, as you can probably tell, disproportionately excited by this.
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