That was another great theatre-going experience to mark down in my book. The Tivoli was PACKED OUT. I got there just before seven (when the show was supposed to start, but it didn’t get started until 7:15), and there were people lined up outside, not able to get in because it was sold out. Wow. All to watch a bunch of ten-to-fifteen-minute-long shorts that amateur filmmakers wrote, shot, and edited in one weekend. Of course, given that they were all made here, each filmmaker probably only had to get twenty or so of his friends to show up to fill up the place. Still. It was great to see that kind of support for the filmmaking community. In total, 48 teams set out on the project, and 40 of them completed their films on time (the rest are shown, but not in competition). Those films were split up between four, I think, different screenings. Each audience member got a ballot to vote for their three favorite films in the grouping, and the votes will be counted and a “best of” will screen next Thursday. I sort of want to go, but I probably won’t. Especially since I didn’t get a ticket while I was there tonight, and it’s probably sold out already.

The films were of varying quality, of course. Each one was a different genre–drawn by the team out of a hat at the beginning of the project. Each team had to include a specific character (a bank manager), a specific prop (a shopping bag), and a specific line of dialogue (“Is that all I am to you?”) in their film. Some of them came up with really interesting twists on that…like the team whose bank manager worked at a sperm bank. Most of the films had interesting storylines. The downfall of the less impressive films, I think, was sound. Sound is hard, yo. Which is why I always hated working with sound, and why I chose to emulate silent film in my biggest film project in school. ;)

What was really great, though, was how much the audience was into it. Again, partly because they were watching their films, or their friends’ films, on a big screen in a big theatre, with a big audience, which is cool in and of itself. But everyone pretty much enjoyed all the films. There was more laughter and applause and hoots and hollers than I’ve ever heard at a theatre. That made it even more enjoyable. I just looked at the website for the project (, hoping to find a list of film titles to jog my memory, but they don’t have them listed yet. They do have last year’s listed, so hopefully after the screenings and competition are complete, they will.

Overall, great experience. Thanks, MK, for letting me know about it. (She doesn’t even read this, but what the hey.) I will definitely be looking out for this sort of thing in the future. Actually, I imagine they have more stuff like this in Austin than they do here. Will have to check that out.