Tuesday, August 28, 2012

IMAX Screening Thanks

The screening at IMAX at Marbles was a huge success. I've been getting lots of positive feedback about it, and will write that up very soon. But first ...

Events like Sunday's screenings don't just happen. There are a bunch of people involved with making it come together. Here is a list of people I want to thank for making it possible:

The folks at IMAX: Tim Hazelhurst, Katy Burgwyn, Emmaus Smith, Sarah Walston, and Taylor Leslie. They were all so kind, helpful, and supportive. They worked hard and taught me a lot about the IMAX at Marbles in the process. Big thanks to them for their support of local, independent filmmakers.

Bill Leslie, WRAL news anchor, who served as our Q&A emcee. He's such a pro: took questions, kept the conversation going, and prevented us from rambling on (which I'm prone to do). I was able to relax and listen to the questions because he was our emcee. Bill also interviewed me about the screening last week. I owe a very special thanks to Sally Smith for greeting me at the WRAL station and keeping me calm before going on camera. She's one of the coolest people I know.

Our panelists for the Q&A: Christopher McClure, Mike Benge, George Shepard, and Joe Rimar. Some of these guys traveled pretty far to be there. They know a lot, and I'm so grateful they took the time to share with us.

Event volunteers: Astra Barnes, Kenneth Ball, Hilary Allen, Tracy Dixon, John Dixon, Arwen Carter Buchholz, Paul Stanford, and Gordon Watts. These folks were a huge help making the event a success. They're smart people who need very little direction, and they know how to make things happen. Some of them gave out movie tickets and others were behind the scenes, hustling to take care of things you never knew needed to get done.

Photographer Bobbi Whittemore agreed to capture the event for us. She sent me photos, which I have started downloading and will share with you soon. A very special thanks to Bobbi for making sure we have photos from such an important day in the life of this film.

Lisa Sullivan was kind enough to sell DVDs for me during the Q&A. She's someone I trusted to handle such an important task, and she did it with a huge smile! Thank you, Lisa.

Crystal Roberts, my marketing / communications specialist for the film, also did a wonderful job on Sunday. She chatted with folks, took pictures, and kept folks at ease. I'm so grateful to have her on my team to provide communications guidance. What a woman.

Scott Rucci, David Iversen, and Andy Poe all had a hand in producing DVDs of the film. They also provided support while making the film--offering technical expertise and commiserating about the challenges one faces while making a film.

Ashley Maria and Lea-Ann Berst, who have helped nurture my filmmaking career. Ashely Maria screened her films at IMAX at Marbles in 2011, letting me photograph the fun (related blog post here). Both of these women constantly inspire and encourage me. I'm stronger and more confident because of these two incredibly smart, talented women.

Patrick Jones, who designed many of the graphics in the film (including the Abandoned Allies logo), hustled to get the finished poster to me in time for the screening. He did a fantastic job, as always, with the graphics. He pours so much of himself into each design, laboring over the concept and tweaking the final version to perfection. Everyone raved about his work on Sunday, standing by the posters to have their pictures taken. Thank you, Patrick, for being a friend and an incredibly talented designer.

All of the folks who helped make Abandoned AlliesSo many of you were at the screening and ready to talk about your experience working on the film. Thank you for being there, meeting others involved with the project, and sticking with this thing for several years. I appreciate your time, talents, and generosity. I got so many compliments on your hard work. You should be really proud of yourselves for all that you've done--and all the things we learned together.

My executive producer: Surry Roberts. When people ask me how I chose this subject, I point to Surry. He served two tours in Vietnam during the war. He works closely with the Montagnards in North Carolina. And he's been a mentor and a friend for years. He constantly challenges me, and I'm better for it. I appreciate his insight, encouragement, and friendship.

My fiancee, Derek Roessler. This man is amazing. I would list all the wonderful things he does to make my life more enjoyable, but some of you might get sick on the lovely-dovey talk. Just know that I'm supported by a seriously tall, funny, and encouraging man named Derek. His parents, Tom and R Roessler, also deserve a big thanks. They've been so supportive and encouraging. Tom let Derek borrow his video camera so we could capture the Q&A, too!

My parents: Gordon Watts and Carole Watts. They are smart, supportive, and loving people--always willing to help me think through the next hair-brained scheme. They offer the kind of support you need from a parent, plus so much more. They dare me to dream, break through barriers, and reach for the impossible. And when I'm at my worst, they still love me the way only a parent can.

Bill Leslie, emcee, and the panel for the Q&A: Joe Rimar, Mike Benge,
George Shepard, Camden Watts, and Christopher McClure.
Photo credit: David Leblond

Tracy Dixon and Arwen Carter Buchholz helped guests
check in and get their tickets to the film.
Photo credit: Crystal Roberts

Lisa Sullivan helped by selling DVDs of the film.
Photo credit: Crystal Roberts

Mike Benge and Surry Roberts, two of the folks who were
critical in the making of Abandoned Allies possible.
Photo credit: Crystal Roberts

Derek Roessler and yours truly in front of the Abandoned Allies 
poster, which was designed by Patrick Jones.
Photo credit: Crystal Roberts
Please note: If I've neglected to include your name here, and you helped out in some way ... please do not take offense. I'm recuperating from all the hustle and bustle leading up to the screenings, and appreciate your patience while I rest up.