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March 21, 2005

I imagine (hope) that some day, not too far from now, I won't really care too much about when someone writes something about a film I've made; well, I'll care, certainly, but I won't necessarily feel the need to obsessively link to everything that might offer an opinion on, or even mention the name of, something I've done.

However, being at the stage we're at, that day has clearly not yet come. So bear with me here...

I actually don't have that much press to link to, now that I think about it. There's the obvious: the wonderful AICN review that totally erased the scathing piece from the Daily Texan from our minds (a piece I'm still not linking to, by the way, because I want it to disappear from the first page when you do a Google search on our film - but until it does, you can read it by doing just that). It was especially great coming as it did right after that very first screening, which we weren't sure went that well.

After the second screening, we were reviewed, briefly but positively, in The Austin Chronicle. And that was preceeded, of course, by that first positive piece at Moviehole.net, which has been reprinted by several other sites.

Only one person has rated us at eFilmCritic so far, but that person gave us a score of 100 and called the film "(an) intricate thread of pain and hope and love and desire illustrated by a sublime cast." Likewise, we've had one vote at IMDB - an eight out of ten. On the other hand, on the last day of the festival, I was talking to a random woman in line for a film, and she mentioned she'd seen "that one called Deadroom," which she thought was "not quite there" and "too much like a play." Oh well, at least she saw it. Had I been been more alert, I would have tried to engage her in a constructive conversation about the film (while remaining anonymous, of course).

There may be more to come. A critic from Variety said he'd attend a screening and review the film, but we don't know if he did, or will. We'll also be getting video from our appearance(s) on the Austin Movie Show, and perhaps News 8, who focused on our opening night film status. We won't be getting a copy of our radio interview, which we all were half-asleep during, and that's probably a good thing.

More gratifying than any of these reviews, though, were all the people who stayed long after the Q&A following the second screening to talk about the film with us; these were people who really loved it, who seemed to get exactly what it was we were doing. One of the best parts of that screening was when I was sitting in the back of the theater and I looked across and saw a woman sitting forward in her chair, and just smiling. It made my spirits soar even higher than they already were. So, I'd like to express a sincere thanks to everyone who saw the film, everyone who spoke to us about it, and everyone who wrote about it (even the guy from the Daily Texan, who made our skin a bit thicker).

So as for the rest of the festival...well, it was great, of course. I didn't realize until I went to Berlin that I've never had a full fledged film festival experience; I'm certainly making up for that shortcoming now. My slew of hastily-written capsule reviews is up at AICN. Just as wonderful as seeing these films was meeting all the filmmakers and having the chance to talk with them, on a peer-to-peer basis. We'll be staying in touch with many of them. And then there were other people who I've become acquainted with online but finally had a chance to meet in person: Chuck Olsen, and also David Hudson and Bryan Poyser. And, of course, Kat Candler and her wonderful production team.

Also, the open bar at all the parties was a nice touch.

So now I'm home, trying to keep track of all the things I have to work on before I leave next Monday for the Texas Film Festival. Deadroom is the closing night film, but James and I are running a panel on Tuesday called 'Artistic Integrity In Independent Film' (which we really need to plan out sometime in the next couple of days). While we're down there, Yen and possibly Nick will be heading to the Ozone Film Festival in Louisiana, where out film will also be screening. Then, two weeks after that, it's off to Philadelphia (I really like their catalog description of the film). I booked my plane tickets this morning, allowing for a few days to take the train up to New York and have lunch with a few producers and other folks we met in Austin.

And amidst all of this, we've hardly even thought about the Cleveland Film Festival, where our screenings occured late last week; Yen did talk to an aquaintance who attended the first show, though, who said about 150 people showed up. I hope they left happy.

I think I'm done with this post. I need to go work on polishing Drift for my Nicholl Fellowship submission.

Posted by David Lowery at March 21, 2005 11:59 AM


I still, well over a year from DP's festival debut, obsessively troll the web for the slightest mention of the film. I think everyone does. Probably even Todd Solondz. Actually, I don't think he knows how to use a computer.

It was great to finally meet you guys. Maybe we'll have a chance to hang out in a less hyper environment next week in College Station. I'll just be there for the night of DP's screening. Unfortunately, I have to work a half-day before taking off so I think I'll miss your panel.

Posted by: Bryan Poyser at March 22, 2005 9:31 AM

Well, given the circumstances, you may not be missing much - our panel has a name, but as of yet no actual content (aside from a jumble of ideas and philosophies). We're trying to figure out what the consituents of our audience will be before we plan too much.

Maybe after the DP screening we can grab a bite to eat or something...

Posted by: Ghostboy at March 22, 2005 3:53 PM

Maybe before the screening - it shows at 9pm. While you were in Austin, I didn't get a chance to ask you about your Berlinale experience, so I'd like to hear how that went.

Posted by: Bryan Poyser at March 24, 2005 9:37 AM