SXSW BLOG: ANNA HIGGS’ PREMIERE DAY, PART ONE
So, it’s day 2 of the fest and D-Day for THE PEOPLE VS. GEORGE LUCAS. It’s our world premiere tonight and we’ve got a day packed with final preparations, the premiere, party and hopefully not too much panic!
The day started well with the news that our screening sold out on the Xpress pass tickets in less than 20 minutes. Some people were in line from 8am. The booths don’t open until 10am. Could we be creating a mini STAR WARS phenomenon here?!
Then it was time for Alexandre’s Studio SX interview with Lewis Wallace from Wired Magazine. There was a good turnout and some great questions on our digital engagement and including audiences from the outset. It’s nice when people get the film is so much more than a thing for fanboys.
Alexandre did a great job considering he’s coming down with the inevitable filmmaker ‘flu. He’s been working day and night with the post production team to get it all up on the screen, and is essentially running on adrenaline at the moment. Us producers are doing our best to make him rest in the tiny moments of space we have, but from now on our schedule is like an unstoppable train. The buzz is building, and it feels great but also a little intimidating. It’s all eyes on tonight, but we’ve planned in a bit of time to calm our nerves…
… at the Fantastic Fest Crawfish boil. Tim League – an Austin legend – has built a great reputation for the festival in just a few years, and he had an equally great set of people at his lunch. Gareth Edwards, director of the white hot competition feature MONSTERS, was there with his producer Allan Niblo, the team behind RED, WHITE & BLUE, as well as Eddie Dick, producer of OUTCAST fresh off a great set of first reviews from last night’s screening. You could really feel the friendly vibe of SXSW as people chatted and happily everyone wanted to see each other’s films!
After stuffing ourselves with crawfish, corn & sausage it was a quick dash to the South Lamar to meet up with Darth Vader. I kid you not. Derek Brown, Chancellor of the Austin Fan Force, has offered his team’s costumed services to act as representatives for the film and was standing guard outside the Alamo Lamar cinema for the afternoon, handing out flyers and making people ‘feel the force’. It added a nice touch of fun and awareness for those that hadn’t heard about the film yet.
The way that fans and filmmakers have embraced our film is one of the greatest things about making this film. Wherever we’ve gone and whatever we have needed to do has been supported wholeheartedly and we truly wouldn’t have the film we set out to make without them – both in terms of the 634 hours of footage we received as response to our open call for contributions, and the support from the fans and filmmaking community in general.
After setting up at the Lamar it was a dash to Alexandre’s interview with IFC at their very cool Crossroads house. Filmmaker tip – they have a really good, really free, coffee bar there. Small things make you happy at full-on festivals like this one!
Today feels like it’s dominated by racing between places, and the next sprint was back to the house to change in time for our tech check. When we got to the theatre we were met with an amazing view – a line around the block for the film. If we weren’t excited enough already… this was quite the sight to tip us over the edge!
— Anna Higgs, producer The People vs. George Lucas