Monday, November 07, 2011

Hello (Again) To The South from World’s Largest

We spent a lot of time shooting down south for World’s Largest – it’s great to be hitting the road this time to screen! The tour kicked off in the mountains of Cullowhee, NC at Western Carolina University. Felt right at home as I pulled into campus and was greeted by WCU’s very own “world’s largest” – the big catamount statue guarding the entrance. In fact, everything about the inaugural stop put me at ease – from unflappable event facilitator Lori Davis to the well-attended screening in a first-rate space.

Next up was the Center for the Arts in Thomasville, GA. Thomasville reminded me a lot of places we filmed in its charm and hospitality but a big difference was the vitality I felt in its thriving downtown. I enjoyed terrific meals in bustling restaurants and coffee shops with superstar host Bonnie Hayes and other locals and spoke to three high school media classes (with some production facilities to envy!). The themes in World’s Largest also really seemed to resonate – much of the Q&A after the show focused on how Thomasville related to the sites featured in the film and the need to ensure a vibrant future for their own small city.
The week wrapped up back in the Carolinas at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston. Another good turnout from a truly engaged crowd – the post-screening discussions lasted over an hour. And that’s been the big takeaway for me so far – after all, for a filmmaker, not much beats getting the chance to connect with your audience face to face.