Friday, April 24, 2009

Marvelous Mobile

So I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record when I talk about how much I've enjoyed the audiences at my screenings ("no, this was my favorite audience, no THIS was my favorite audience, no THIS REALLY was my favorite audience...") but can I tell you how great the audience was tonight? First of all, they entirely endeared themselves to me by being the first audience to proactively take advantage of my Feed An Independent Filmmaker Program, and bought several DVDs of the film BEFORE THE SCREENING. That's right folks - presales. These wonderful people didn't even know if they'd like the film, and they were already buying copies of it. So right there, they're getting bonus points.

Of course it didn't hurt that Mom was in charge of selling them. She was on fire - like the Vanna White of 'Bama Girl DVDs.

It was an entirely different audience from yesterday, older, whiter, not very many students. A lot of 'Bama alums or parents with kids that had gone or are going to 'Bama currently. They clearly knew of what I spoke. I do like playing to Alabama audiences -- I get nervous because I worry they'll feel defensive, or that I oversimplified, but I also appreciate being able to have sophisticated conversations about the film where everyone already knows the backstory. Anyway, the film got an overwelmingly positive reaction and inspired a great Q&A, though interestingly some people seemed uncomfortable talking about the Machine (or more precisely, using its name in public) while others wanted to make sure I knew they were proud of their kids even if they were currently involved in organizations affiliated with the Machine. Overall a very interesting evening.

And I SOLD OUT of my DVDs. Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

After the screening we went out for a drink with our host, the thoroughly delightful Charlie Smoke, who is an asset to the Mobile arts community, with a lot of passion for and knowledge about the field. They are lucky to have him here.

But a recap of the day would not be complete without a nod to our lunch destination, the legendary BBQ destination in Hattiesburg MS, Leatha's BBQ Inn. I'm not sure why it's called an "inn", since it's not anywhere one could stay, unless they rent out the space under the tables. It's a little shack off the 98W, with plastic laminated tableclothes, faded newspaper articles about the founder on the walls, and the sweetest sweet tea this side of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. The BBQ was abundant and delicious, and we ate so much of it I believe I could live off the stored calories for a good fortnight. (Not actually sure how long that is, but it sounds long, doesn't it?)

Tomorrow is Alexandria, and the last stop on the tour. Which would really bum me out if I thought about it. So I'm not going to. Yet.