For years I have been going to The Music Box theatre. They show many foreign and independent films. What I tend to love watching are the midnight shows. They show all kinds of films at midnight on Friday and Saturdays. Whether it’s cult hits like ‘The Room’ or even childhood favorites like ‘The Dark Crystal’ and ‘The Muppet Movie’. They also help put on these events put on by Movieside Film Festival which includes a 24 hour marathon of horror films done every October called the Music Box Massacre. In the spring time they do the Sci-Fi Spectacular which is a mix of science fiction and horror science fiction films which they just had this past weekend. This year’s line up included such classics as ‘Them!’ and even more recent cult favorites like John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’.
One big addition was the showing of ‘Q The Winged Serpent’ with writer, producer, director Larry Cohen in person. I have wanted to meet him for years because his way of making movies was a huge inspiration on me. He would write the script the way he wanted and then just go out and make the picture. Sometimes literally just showing up somewhere and start shooting without a permit or anything. That gung ho attitude was something I tried to emulate while making ‘Distortion’.In fact, it was a big reason why I think the film got made because I knew I needed to just plunge ahead and make it. As an added bonus a great store called Horrorbles had a discussion group the next day with Larry Cohen. It was a small affair of only about 20 people so I was excited to be among them. To hear him talk about his writing process and different anecdotes was just so great. I tried hard when I talked to him to not be overly fan boyish but how could I not be? The guy inspired me in so many ways.
Getting back to the Sci-Fi Spectacular – one last bit happened. The week before I was at a special screening at The Music Box of ‘North By Northwest’ which was part of the Turner Classic Movies film festival featuring Robert Osbourne and Eva Marie Saint in person(!). Such a great night. Afterwards as I was coming out I ran into the guy that puts on the Sci-Fi Spectacular as well as the Music Box Massacre. He asked me if I wanted the new ‘Distortion’ trailer shown. I was about to jump out of my socks I was so excited. The theatre that I go to all the time to watch all kinds of movies new and old was going to have the trailer for my film showing on that same screen. So after I meet Larry Cohen after the ‘Q The Winged Serpent’ screening they played my trailer (a double whammy if there ever was one) in front of what had to be at least 400 people.
The picture above is a bad one because it doesn’t show how big that screen really is. Nor does it show how big the theatre is. Nor how big the audience was. Trust me, the answer to all is big. I was both nervous and excited. Luckily I had a few friends there cheering it on. It didn’t exactly get an introduction so it played like any other trailer would have. While I couldn’t garner the reaction since I was in a surreal state at that moment I did notice one girl screamed out at the very last shot of the trailer when William’s face changes as he roars. The title pops on and there was applause. Some of it may have been just people being polite since I’m not sure they knew what to think. But for me it was a big moment. So many times have I sat there wondering what one of my films would look like playing on that very screen. Kind of funny how two of the big influences on me and the film were part of that evening. John Carpenter was a big influence on me and to see ‘They Live’ two hours later in the exact same spot my trailer showed was amazing. And to meet the man himself Larry Cohen right beforehand and the next day was just incredible.
As I said the whole thing was surreal but then again so is making a movie. In one day I shared the screen with two filmmakers I greatly admire at my favorite theatre. I’d say this is one of those moments when that little kid who dreamed of making movies one day would be proud.