Although summer doesn’t formally end until September, it’s the end of August when many of us reflect on what we’ve done. For some reason summer says you have to do things. Personally, the summer is just another set of months for me, albeit it’s warmer! But from some cool day trips, to planning the 2nd anniversary screening of Justice Is Mind to adapting a book into a screenplay, I would say my summer has been pretty complete if not complex.
Regarding Justice Is Mind’s screening on August 18, I had a pleasant surprise this past week. Although I knew she took some pictures and asked a few questions, I didn’t know the reporter from the Sturbridge Villager was planning a follow up story. But follow up she did when this story appeared in the Sturbridge and Charlton Villager along with the Webster Times. My thanks to Olivia Richman and her enthusiastic post-screening coverage of Justice Is Mind!
Our record media coverage of this screening certainly helped our VOD placements. Just after the screening Yidio, a video aggregator, sent out a notification that “Justice Is Mind is Hot”. The only way that was possible is if an inordinate number of people were watching and/or searching for the film. I’ll certainly take it!
This past weekend marked another milestone. I finished the adaption of Winds of Fall into a screenplay. My work on this project was actually mentioned in the Sturbridge Villager two weeks ago when they ran a story on Al Mercado’s new book. This is a story that is entirely character driven and largely set in the late 1960s. More on this project as it develops.
As for projects, with fall around the corner, it’s also time to make sure First World, SOS United States and In Mind We Trust are up to date along with their respective business plans. The summer is a great time to write and update, but it’s the fall months where new activity really starts in the film world. Anyone involved in film finance knows this is a process. Presentations made months ago can suddenly start to yeild conversations.
It has been interesting. For the last few years, my summers have largely been planning stages while the fall has seen the most activity. In 2012 it was the making of Justice Is Mind, in 2013 it was the primary theatrical run, in 2014 it was the international premiere, let’s see what the next few months brings.
I arrived at the theater shortly after 8 AM on Tuesday for a complete run through of Justice Is Mind prior to the festivities that evening. Why? Although we screened the film twenty times before, this was the first screening in a DCP format. Although the file was QC’d (quality control), I had to make sure there were no issues. Here I was sitting alone in a theater watching the highest quality of the film unfold. I normally don’t watch the end credits roll to the end, but this time I did reflecting on the literal army of people involved in the making of Justice Is Mind.
No sooner did my mother and I arrive back in Sturbridge later in the afternoon did the reunion start. First Jeremy Blaiklock, our Director of Photography, joined us for a drink and then Vernon Aldershoff, who stars as Henri Miller, came over to our table for a visit. It was then that this screening took on a new meaning for me—it was a reunion.
One by one they started to arrive. While I have seen the majority of them at various screenings, I was particularly excited to see Robin Ann Rapoport who plays Margaret Miller. The last time I saw her was at the world premiere two years ago. In all honesty, while we are all involved in other projects and jobs, it was like we just saw each other yesterday. So many of us remarked that, for whatever reason, this project has kept the “JIM family” together. But in the end, it does come down to performing for an audience.
As the end credits started to roll for me a second time that day, suddenly the audience started to applaud. We’ve had applause before, but I don’t remember it being this enthusiastic. This was an audience that got the story. They knew when to laugh and when to take certain moments seriously. Their comments after is truly what this process is all about. When a reporter said to me the next day in an email, “The film was excellent! I loved the style! It definitely was similar to Law & Order, like you previously told me!” As a filmmaker accolades like this are always great to hear!
After the screening many of us went to dinner and for the first time in the history of this project we just sat and enjoyed each other’s company. And, shockingly, we talked about things other than the film industry! But, of course, we all want to work together again.
I cannot thank the “JIM family” the media and Cinemagic enough for making the second anniversary screening of Justice Is Mind such a special occasion. It’s one for our history books.
So while I continue to present Justice for future screenings, events and distribution possibilities, my primary efforts are focusing on the next project. As the last five years can attest, I don’t jump into projects lightly. I believe in quality over quantity because at the end of the day it all comes down to two words.