I posted one of these shots several years ago and promised to say more about it later, but after some thought I realized I didn’t know what to say. So I let it go.
Now, however, is the time.
The photos were taken at the Dishman Museum on the Lamar University campus in Beaumont, Texas, where David and I attended the Boomtown Film and Music Festival for a screening of one of his videos. We walked into the Dishman to register and found this piece of Art looming over us. It reached out and pulled my camera from its bag. I began snapping.
The Boomtown Film and Music Festival went off without a hitch—at least in the view of the four Austinites there to watch David’s video.
One mini-hitch occurred at the party downtown Saturday night: the hotel shuttle stopped running at 11:00 p.m. but the party ended at 2:00 a.m. David called for a taxi at 1:00 a.m., which arrived about 2:30 a.m., and reached the hotel about 2:45 a.m. The driver said there was only one taxi available. The other one was busy elsewhere.
David also said the music was so loud that he and the two friends who were with him couldn’t hear each other speak.
I couldn’t hear them either because I didn’t attend. After insufficient sleep the night before, I didn’t feel like partying. Furthermore, my father returned from World War II profoundly deaf from bomb concussion, and I see no reason to play games with my possible genetic inheritance by allowing myself to be bombarded by zillions of decibels.
So I partied back at the hotel, lying on the bed, eating vanilla crème cookies from the vending machine across the hall, and reading Elizabeth George’s latest mystery. [Insert smiley face here.]
I’m sharing some pictures I snapped at the festival. Most were taken before and during the red-carpet ceremony on Friday afternoon. They demonstrate, among other things, that I was right to abstain from shopping for new clothes. Jeans and sweaters were just the ticket.
The first screening of “Invisible Men Invade Earth” was an unqualified success.
I should say the first two screenings.
David’s video was scheduled to run at 7:00 p.m. However, due to the enthusiasm of the folks operating the projector, it began at 6:47, right after the Doc Bloc had finished.
Most of the audience had left the theater for the break, so very few saw “Invisible Men.” Just in time, however, the manager appeared and announced the mistake. And “Invisible Men” ran again at the official time.
Now about the unqualified success: The audience laughed. Those who saw it the first time returned after the break telling others, “It’s about a space ship and aliens and cats.” Then they watched and laughed again. So did newcomers.
I don’t know what David learned from the experience, but here’s what I took away from it: When making videos, cast cats in starring roles. Viewers laugh at cats, even when said cats do nothing but lie around being cats.
Viewers laughed at David’s script, too. One line in particular drew a roar. It elicited the same response during a showing for friends in our living room.
The laughter of friends is good.
But when strangers laugh, you know you’ve done something right.
And if David doesn’t know that, something is radically wrong. Because Mrs. Producer Davis has informed him of the fact at least ten times this evening alone.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. ~ Henry David Thoreau
David’s video “Invisible Men Invade Earth” will be screened at the Boomtown Film and Music Festival in Beaumont.
Asked whether he’s excited about the event, David said, “Well, I will be.” He doesn’t like to expend emotion in advance of need. At just over three minutes, it’s the shortest of the Short Narrative Fiction, so it will be the first in that category to be shown.
I, on the other hand, feel rather giddy. I will be going as the Producer’s Wife. Mrs. Producer Davis, to be exact. At times like this it’s okay for a liberated woman to drop Ms. MaidenName and assume her husband’s surname.
(It’s also okay to do that without a film festival, but this Ms. MaidenName is afraid she’ll slip up and then various governmental agencies will get things all out of whack. And then she’ll never get her passport renewed ever again. She wants to return to the family castle [several times removed] on the Isle of Mull and to eat haggis in Oban. She can’t do that if TSA agents bar her from boarding the plane.)
Anyway. Wanting to dress appropriately, I googled “film festival dress” and pulled up several million hits, most of them concerning what to wear to Sundance. First on the list was a Sundance catalog, the highlight of which (to my mind) was a pair of denim crops (pedal pushers for those who remember their first incarnation) that have been “destructed by hand” to look like something my mother would not have let me wear in public if I had ever managed to destruct any denim to that degree. Price: $176.00.
Moving right along, I searched for images of past Boomtown festivals.There was no Boomtown catalog, nor was there any photo that suggested I should grab my checkbook and run out to the mall. The festival is in Beaumont, not Dallas. Thank goodness. My Austin wardrobe will suffice. That’s just as well, because David and I will match. His Austin wardrobe goes everywhere.
“Invisible Men Invade Earth” stars William and Ernest. They’re born thespians. Rotten at taking direction, but good when called upon to ad lib. And they work cheap.