World Premiere of "For What it's Worth, Milk a Goat"
What a great evening! We had 37 people come out the evening of March 3rd to the world premiere of my second feature length documentary. People from various parts of my life (long time friends, cohousing, church, work) and a few strangers who came with some friends filled the seats at 7 pm. Blaise and Acadia came too, watching the movie from a blanket on the floor in front of the first row.
I introduced the film upstairs at the West Hillhurst Community Association before clicking play and turning out the lights. Then, sitting with my own anxious thoughts, Amber joined me and I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the movie. More so, I was able to enjoy watching and hearing others watch the movie. The audience laughed consistently at all the parts I thought were funny, and then some.
Before and after the film, the audience enjoyed some snacks we provided (goat cheeses with baguette, liquorice, M&Ms, veggies, Jones Sodas). I had to veto Amber's wish to provide potato chips. Chips!! at a movie!!
After the 72 minutes were up, the audience generated some good applause. I conducted a Q & A with them and got some great affirmative feedback saying I captured many of the aspects really well. I had anticipated most of the questions: What happened to the goats after you left Guatemala? What is your next film project? What life goals are you working at now? What were you doing in Guatemala? Will I ever keep goats again? There were some more unexpected ones: Tell us your thoughts on pasteurization. How much milk could a goat produce? The supportive and complimentary feedback was really nice to hear from everyone. I recognize that, yes, they are my friends, but I can tell feigned enthusiasm and it wasn't feigned. And really, that makes it worth producing the film.
The best part though, from my seat, I could watch Blaise and Acadia's response to the movie. They laughed with everyone else and sat mesmerized by the goats the entire time. I'm proud of them for staying up 2 hours past their bedtime to share the evening with us. Acadia's thankful words this morning: "Thanks that we got to stay up late last night."
What to do with the film now? Several people have told me they are interested in a downloadable version and so I'll look into that. I may organize a couple more informal viewings here in Calgary or send the film to friends who want to screen it for others. I'm pretty open to whatever.
Last night has injected some filmmaking life into me. After having "For What it's Worth" rejected at all 6 festivals it was submitted to and having no time to dedicate to my current projects, I've mentally just abandoned my film production aspirations. After watching the film again and enjoying the viewers' positive reaction, I'm more hopeful of producing more movies in the future.
Finally, to everyone who contributed to the film as characters, camera operators, as the narration recorder (Angus) and as the soundtrack composer/performer (Justin): Thank you!