Where to start? There is so much to tell, I'm going to break this up into two posts. Part One starts now...
Remember all that drama with our DCP (digital film print)? Well it arrived on Friday, just enough time to make sure everything worked for our Sunday screening. Altogether now, "NOT SO FAST!"
At approximately 10PM last night (Saturday) just as I was settling in for an early night, I received an email from the Santa Barbara festival director. It read:
"Just got word that the DCP for BLUMENTHAL is not working. Not a KDM issue. We received it yesterday afternoon. It is scheduled to screen tomorrow at 2pm, theater 4."
Ouch. I'd love to say that we all sprang into action, but that would be false. Ryan and Garrett sprang into action while I, Mr. Director, curled into a fetal position on my bed and tried my hardest to hide from the angry film gods. Garrett ran to the theatre to confirm that this was not a practical joke, while Ryan desperately called everyone at the post-production house in NY, where the DCP was made. Keep in mind that it was 1AM in New York on a Sunday, and everyone was either asleep or drunk or both. Naturally, no one was answering their phone. Eventually, after confirming the problem with the DCP at the theater, Ryan managed to get someone in NY who got someone else who got someone else who eventually woke up someone else who could begin to trouble-shoot his problem.
After an all-nighter, Garrett and Ryan managed to get someone to get someone in NY uploading the movie file (HUGE) to their Burbank location beginning at 6AM Pacific Time. The plan was to get the file to Burbank, make a new DCP (yeah, our third one) and courier the thing up to the theatre by 12:30PM so the projectionist could load the film into the system. Fingers crossed, everybody nauseous.
As we all waited by the phone, at 10AM we got the update that the file has been downloaded to Burbank and that a new DCP would be ready in an hour, putting us at 11AM. Enter E. McCabe Walsh. This young man and old friend of Garrett's answered the Red Phone in his bat cave, and came to the rescue. There was no way we would trust a random courier after all this. McCabe, fresh from a Saturday night on the town in LA threw on some flip-flops, hopped into his car and headed for Burbank. From there, he strapped our new DCP into the passenger seat (seatbelt and all) and drove like a madman up Highway 101.
Meanwhile in Santa Barbara, we were pacing outside the theater, handing out guest tickets to family and friends who had no idea that they might be watching Blumenthal off of a DVD of which 20% has messed up audio. Then, McCabe arrived at the curb blasting "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross. It was 12:20pm. A line for our movie, BLUMENTHAL, was already long and steady outside.
After handing the drive to the projectionist, he told us "I can't promise this will load in time." Apoplectic us, we walked down to the theater lobby and waited. "What a fatalist," I said. "Don't listen to him," said Garrett. "He's from Jersey."
Then we stood in silence and waited and I took this photo of two exhausted men.