March 11, 2002
By AF Grant

 
 

AF GRANT'S COMMENTS ON F4 AND WINNING THE AWARD

I bolted upright in my seat like I had been shot as I exclaimed "Oh my God!" I stood trying to make sure I'd heard what I thought. "The Audience Award goes to We've Got Johnny!"

I'm still in shock.

The screening itself went very well, but it was shown way back around 10am. By the end of the night when the voting was finished it was 12 hours later and the crowd was much bigger and the level of films was much greater. I saw casts of 8 people voting for their own movies. Other comedy shorts were done with budgets of $10,000. But all the buzz was on Johnny.

I Overheard many people complaining that they had missed it. Others said the festival organizers had specifically said "you've got to see We've Got Johnny." I was told the audience vote was a landslide - and not just rigged voting. Many people who said they were coming to see it, didn't show. Chuck (Jack Leblanc) was the only cast member who made it. Myself, Lori, Del and Chuck didn't even vote. I thought it was sleazy to vote for yourself, but wasn't sure that I could resist the temptation so I abstained all together.

Johnny seemed to be the favorite of all the staff and many local students. Two people asked to buy copies as I was wandering out of the auditorium in a daze.

What I recall of the screening itself:

The audio sounded quite good, which was a concern of mine with the film being amplified in an auditorium for the first time. The projection looked very good and it was quite cool seeing it all on a big screen. BIG laughs for all the "bitch" lines, the "postcards", Chuck with the Axe, every spork mention, even the professor saying Johnny was loved for bringing alcohol to the frontier. People even laughed just at the Jack of all Trades sign and the Leslie reporting mistakes.

I heard people say "oh, she's still there!" and cracked up at the end when Sarah is still ranting apple facts all night. The best responses were for Flu as Johnny and Del with his 3:16 sign.

A few people asked if I hired professional actors for it. One woman tracked me down to say how good Aly was. She said she "had something special about her and was very beautiful."

Lori, I and Del stood in the parking lot for a while after the awards were announced, still shocked as more people kept coming out and saying congratulations. I expected some sort of token award like "best no-budget local silly thing" but not the coveted audience award. Hell, I spent far more money on the wrap party than the actual production. This wasn't a low budget short, it was a no budget!

Way Cool. Wish you had all been there. Guess I'll have to throw a bash. Hell maybe I can even charge admission at this point.

Thanks to you all for participating, supporting and dealing with We've Got Johnny. You can all now add award winning actor - filmmaker - writer - boom guy - etc to your resumes.

Johnny Appleseed Rules!

AF Grant

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