There are so many times during the making of a film when it doesn’t feel worth it: waiting out weather on location for weeks on end, spinning wheels during all-nighters in the editing room, watching your cash fly out the door as your forearms get weaker.
Bet then comes the premiere at the Boulder Theater.
Last night, the thousand-seat theater was packed to the gills for the launch of REEL ROCK 08 and our new film, The Sharp End. People I knew from all walks of life were there: family from both coasts, old friends from high school who are still climbing locally, college buddies, trad climbers, mountaineers, boulderers, film buffs. Considering the size of crowd, I’d expect to a feel a lot of pressure, but I didn’t. I think its because I knew that people are psyched to be there, hang out with friends, talk beta, get a little drunk -- even without the films they would be having a great time. Last night at the Boulder Theater there was great energy; the audience was rowdy and psyched on the films. The whole evening made the last year of hectic travel and a summer spent in the editing studio all very worth it.
Huge thanks to all the locals who came out. Windstopper and Gore-tex had their mobile weather machine there, and 99.5 The Mountain radio from Denver was broadcasting live. Here’s my quick synopsis of the event.
By 6 PM the sponsor booths were set up, my partner and REEL ROCK tour director Joss Corkin had everything inside the theater organized. Outside people were gathering in line, testing out the Windstopper weather machine. Peter from the Boulder Vibe was doing interviews with climbers and filmmakers outside. The weather was perfect sending temps – 70s and sunny, but people were headed indoors.
At 6:15 Josh Lowell and I escaped to the Lazy dog for a beer and burger to map out our introductions for the evening. By 6:45 we were back and people were filling the theater, The drinks were pouring. A large crowd was gathered around the Windstopper pull-up bar, seeing how many they could rip off in 30 seconds (there were some impressive numbers, topping out at 31).
We ran the Reel Rock trailer at about 7:10, an unusually prompt start for us. With the show sold out well in advance there wasn’t a last minute scramble for tix and everyone got in pretty quickly. Josh and I introduced the winning films from the comp (you have to go to an event to find out who won– or check someone else’s blog), and it was great to have a couple of the filmmakers there. Then Josh introduced Big Up South Africa, Grand Canyon and the other shorts while I raced out side to track down Dean Potter and Brad Lynch who were still hanging in the sun with a large crowd that hadn’t made it in yet. Dean and Brad introduced the Aerialist and Dean gave a great speech about all the work the filmmakers do and all we bring to the project – I really appreciated this a lot and I think Josh, Nick and Brad did as well.
I missed most of the short films because I was trying to orchestrate getting the pull-up bar from the atrium to the stage for intermission. We tried to take it through the kitchen but that failed so we got it through the back door. I made it in time to watch the second half of South Africa which was getting huge cheers from the audience.
The gear giveaway was as hectic as ever, but the pull up competition was fun as hell – impressively strong people on stage, and Timmy O got the dudes to take their shirts off to show off their amazingly ripped lats. Nick Rosen, Josh and Tommy Caldwell helped pass out gear.
By the time The Sharp End started I was able to sit down and watch the film, listening to audience reactions, occasionally running over to tweak the audio with the sound man. I was psyched that ,except for a few drunks in the back, everyone watched the film intently, and responded as we hoped. The after party at the b-side lounge was a blast with DJ Dirt Monkey spinning tunes. We all grooved out a little, drank a bit more, and enjoyed a perfect Boulder fall evening, getting psyched to be out on the rocks over the next few months.
The second show is tonight – we’ve never done two shows before at the Theater and we have no idea how ticket sales are doing. But last night was such a special evening for all involved that we will be psyched however it goes.