Since our premiere in August, Justice Is Mind has had seven screenings. And in each case audiences have thoroughly enjoyed the film. While I’m sure there have been detractors that didn’t care for it, the positives have far outweighed the negatives. Take for example our screening in Plattsburgh last weekend. Here we were in a beautifully nearly completed renovation of a classic theatre from the 1920s and Justice Is Mind was playing on the big screen. People, who had zero connection to the film, bought a ticket to see the movie. But even more importantly, they stayed after to ask questions. They were interested in how this project all came together. As a filmmaker, that truly means the world to me, that someone was so thoroughly engaged in the story they wanted to know more.
Indeed, the production of a feature film is akin to a symphony orchestra and I, as writer/director, am the conductor. I’m sure I speak for all involved in the film, when I say “If nothing else, there’s applause… like waves of love pouring over the footlights.” There are so many moments in All About Eve that are applicable to the world of filmmaking. The character of Bill Sampson also says it when it comes to those that call this industry a career “It means concentration of desire or ambition, and sacrifice such as no other profession demands.”
For anyone that has worked with me they know I am ambitious and concentration is something I excel at. I make zero apologies for it. I am fiercely determined and, yes, I’ve had have my fair share of sacrifices along the way. If you say NO to me I will keep moving along until someone says YES. By recent example, if you are a festival director that wants to criticize my film and then admit you never watched it, I will find a theatre to premiere the film in your home state. If you are a sales agent that says to cut an hour, I will find a sales agent that likes the film as is. Simply put this is an industry that requires staying power. It doesn’t matter what side of the camera you are on the emotional roller coaster from sacrifice to applause is unrelenting. Ask anyone who has been in this business for any length of time and they will share both the war stories and the victories.
But what is important to me, and always has been, is making sure audiences enjoy the work or at least see it. When I was publishing magazines, I wanted the largest possible circulation. I didn’t care about industry awards, all I cared about was how many were reading my magazines. And in the here and now, how many are seeing Justice. That’s why I’m determined to get Justice into as many venues as possible. Whether these be theatres, law schools, sci-fi conventions or other platforms, it’s about getting the work seen by as many as possible. Isn’t this what we want? To have our work seen? To get out of our comfort zone and show our work to the world? It’s easy to say, this is what I want to do. It’s the doing it that tests character and resolve.
There is a quote from a fictional character Paul McGill from one of my favorite authors Barbara Taylor Bradford that I believe is particularly fitting. “We are each the authors of our own lives. There is no way to shift the blame and no one else to accept the accolades.”