The attendance at the event was both less than we'd hoped, but better than we'd feared. I'm guessing there were 75 people there over the course of the evening… although I doubt anyone actually did a head count.
I was exhausted before we opened the doors, but I managed to push through the evening. But when I got home I think I fell asleep in mid-sentence when talking to Eden.
I am still pretty scattered — it was a long haul up to yesterday and the event was preceded by the 48 hour film-competition, which I had committed to before we set a date for the launch. Hopefully I'll ‘reel it in’ (pardon the pun) in the next few days. So apologies for the dis-jointed nature of this post.
The short version is:
- Provost Pictures is a company formed in order to film a feature length film entitled The Beast of Bottomless Lake which I began writing with my friend Keith in about 1998. It was originally titled The Nightmare Beast of Blood Lake: A Scientific Overview and has had almost as many titles as drafts.
- Keith and I brought another collaborator on board in 2000. Craig March. Craig and I had been in an independent film together called Sons of Cohen (don't bother trying to find it) and he and Keith had long been looking for a chance to work together.
- In the late spring of 2001, just as we were getting a bunch of attention on the screenplay — during “National Bike Month” of all things — Keith was killed in a bicycle accident.
- Needless to say this wasn't good for the project or us, and despite our best intentions the film got un-officially shelved.
- Eventually Craig and I got back to the script and with the help of a story editor - Mark Leiren-Young - we finished a nice tight version of the script which eventually was read at the Final Draught Reading Series.
- The Final Draught reading was a BIG success. It was one of Final Draught's best attended evenings. And the seemingly endless laughter was truly vindicating. God how I wish Keith could have been there to see it. Janet, Keith's wife had it videoed for posterity.
- I read something — I can't even recall what now — in a newspaper about the latest stupid thing that someone had put up for auction on eBay… I think it was 'Run-away Bride Toast'… and it had sold for some embarrassingly high price. Just criminal. I thought to myself, I'd like to get a piece of that action, but it also occurred to me that there had to be a law of diminishing returns applied to it and that the fad of selling stupid stuff on eBay was bound to come to a crashing halt soon. I asked myself 'how could someone find a new and refreshing twist on the idea?' It struck me that the answer lay in finding something equally 'out-of-the-box' yet significantly more pragmatic than toast.
- I was riding my bike home from Eden’s when it struck me: The film… how many times had Craig and I tried to get money for the damned thing? We'd been so close several times, but it always fell through. I knew I had my answer.
- I called Craig the moment I walked in the door. I knew that it was only a matter of time before someone else tried it.
- Craig brought Wendy on board, and we formed Provost Pictures in honour of Keith.
ReelFast was ludicrously exhausting. I've done the contest four times before. Never has it been such hard work — but we only have ourselves to blame, we decided to shoot the entire thing one frame at a time with still cameras as stop-motion. But I digress…
Awake doing the contest for 48 hours, then a short night's rest, followed by two days of prep for the Launch.
The launch was a lot of fun.
We showed a trailer that Craig shot two weeks ago (and I edited in the week before ReelFast). And then announced our crazy scheme. When we announced the feature auction the room went crazy — a huge cheer. You could BUY Executive Producer Credit on our film. We'd clearly captured something.
Once we were done I was handed a number of beers (No wonder I fell asleep in mid-sentence — sorry Eden, I love you.) and finally got to relax.
I lost track of the number of people I chatted with over the next 90 minutes, but there was a lot of excitement in the room. A lot of sentiment along the lines of “Wow. What a great idea! How come on one has ever done that before?”
Today, we've had a number of media interview requests; the interest in our product placement has begun — we've had to answer questions of bidders already — and in the time I've been writing this post, the bids on our Executive Producer Credit has gone up by 10 bids. The money is still pretty low, but we're already getting to the point of breaking even on the launch — which at least means we're not losing anything.
I'm curious if this is just the beginning… when word starts to spread…
Of course that was always part of the plan.