September 16, 2002
By Matt Proietti

 
 

"JOHNNY" FAILS TO WOW BIG BEAR

Greetings from the Left Coast. I am just back from Big Bear. The audience response was tepid. Really only a couple of audible laughs.

"Johnny" screened first in a group of three 20-something minute shorts, which was followed by a terrible 2-hour group of shorts. I'll bet if "Johnny" was shown later in the pack, more people would have appreciated it. At least I'd like to think so.

It was on a huge screen, like at a regular movie house but the screen was square. There was a bit of a problem with pixelation, which grew to insane proportions about 30 minutes after "Johnny" screened. They stopped a movie and hooked up a new machine.

They asked if anyone wanted to ask me or another director any questions, but there really weren't any. A guy came up afterward and said he liked it. He was confused as to whether the city really pushed Johnny Appleseed even though he left at age 6. Oh yeah, he thought Alyson was a professional actress who had been in "Scary Movie" or something.

My opinion of other short-film folks hasn't improved since I saw just a terrible group of films in Palm Springs a year ago. The two that played right after "Johnny" looked more professional, but their stories sucked. Actually, all of the stories I saw ranged from poor to terrible. A few were incomprehensible. It seems like the writers/directors don't enjoy people -- or life for that matter.

Hey, I just remembered that the movie that followed "Johnny" had real actors, including Robert Guillame (sp?) of "Benson" and "Soap" fame. He played a doctor like Jack Kervorkian who helped a guy kill himself -- not exactly light fare like "Johnny."

Next up is three showings in Temecula next Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Wish me luck.

Matt

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