Saturday evening, Summit screened at Scare-A-Con. Matt (AD & Edior), Ryan (Actor) & I decided to make a day of it. We drove up in the morning and arrived around 3pm. I had never been to a fan convention, so was excited to see what it'd be like. We walked around a bit. There were maybe 200 people there at any given time (don't know if they were the same 200-ish or if people were in and out throughout the day). Getting autographs and pictures with b-movie celebrities wasn't really our thing, but it was fun seeing all the people in costumes and references to some of our favorite movies. We decided to check out the rest of the Turning Stone (a place I had been once before for my fiancé's cousin's wedding). Matt had never been in a Casino, so decided to try his luck at the slots and poker machines. It was silly fun. He walked away having made 50 cents. Then we grabbed dinner at a restaurant in the hotel, had some coffee and made our way to the Summit screening.
I thought the convention itself was really well done and clearly enjoyed by the horror fans in attendance, but the film festival aspect was kind of an afterthought. There were no signs advertising the films and, unless I wanted to rent a both (which I did not), no opportunity to plug any individual film or screening. Also, there were a bunch of signs pointing to the convention, but the film screening rooms were in the opposite direction. On top of that, the room Summit was screening in was incorrect on all the schedules handed out and only mentioned on a sheet posted outside the correct room (there wasn't even a sheet on the wrong room telling people where to go instead). AND, even on top of that, they scheduled a party at the same time as the Summit screening. I was fairly certain that we wouldn't have any convention goers there. But I didn't mind. It was a fun day with the guys regardless and I had family coming, my fiancé's extended family. They had been eager to see the film since supporting it on Kickstarter and I was happy they'd get to see it out at more of an event rather than just on their TV's at home. To my surprise though, there were 12 other people that showed up to the screening! It was cool that some strangers were interested enough in seeing the film just based on the title or maybe the poster & synopsis they may have seen on the website. So in a room of 50 seats, we had 23 filled, including the 3 of us, my 7 family members, the projectionist and the 12 randoms (one of whom I think was a reporter or blogger because he was taking notes, and thankfully seemed to like the film). The picture, though smaller, was way better than at Manhattan Film Festival. The quality and dynamic coloring of the film were really evident on screen. The sound, though, was a disappointment. The film is mixed in surround sound & kind of meant for that set up. It was a little low in the room with just one speaker at the front. But more than that, the speaker had this awful tinny feedback that would happen after every line and occasionally last a few seconds through multiple lines. Ryan heard the speaker make the sound before the screening started, so we prepared ourselves for hearing it during the film. But it made it no less frustrating to sit through. Regardless though, the film seemed to be enjoyed by the audience. My family orchestrated their own Q&A and were clearly very engaged with the film. Others in the room seemed to like it as well. It didn't get laughs at all the staple lines I've come to expect laughs, but the general reactions throughout were consistent with what I'd hope for. Overall, it was a good experience. Seeing my family and having their support was wonderful. They were so excited about the film and that made me excited about it too, which is kind of hard to be after having seen it hundreds of times and only being able to notice the aspects I'm not happy with. It's impossible to know what a first time viewer is experiencing, so my family's comments and observations were great to hear. Having them there & just spending the day with Matt & Ryan made the screening a success, regardless of tech issues. However, I do hope the third festival screening will be technically sound. It'd be nice to have a public screening where the audience gets to experience the film at its best because we put a lot of work into it.
Some photos from our day below.
Additional photos from the actual convention can be found on Scare-A-Con's Facebook page.
The next screening of Summit is October 5th at 7pm at the Unreal Film Festival in Memphis, TN. I probably can't go, but hope they can skype me in for a Q&A. In any case, I'll be sure to keep everyone updated on more festival news for the film. Our plans right now are to release it on VOD in January. Then everyone will get to see it!
P.S. I came across this tweet shortly after writing this. Pretty sure it's by the guy who was taking notes.