It is two weeks to the Tribeca Film Festival where my first narrative feature film Day Zero will receive its world premiere. The story takes place in the near future and the war on terror has expanded. The United States must reinstate the military draft to maintain troop levels. The film focuses on three friends from New York City who get drafted on the same day. They have 30 days to report for duty (aka day zero) and in that time must confront their beliefs about love, friendship, and honor. It is a timely story and exciting to be exhibiting a film like this during such a politically tumultuous time.
I love handling political subject matter because it provokes questions that need to be asked. It is a duty, really. In a democracy, we all play different rolls in this wonderful social discourse, and I've been fortunate to participate through my work. But let me talk about something far more practical: the premiere! Creatively speaking, the premiere has even greater significance. The film has never been screened for more than a handful of people during the editing process and never with a completed picture, score or sound design, up on the big screen with a captive audience - the way a movie is supposed to be seen.
Recently, I got to sit with the Producer, Anthony Moody and the Director of Photography, Matthew Clark and screen the color corrected picture with a pretty good mix at Technicolor. That was exciting. To finally see and hear the film in a large screening room with a nice projector allowed me to get an idea of what the experience will be like for those attending the film during the festival. We had a few changes, but overall we walked out with big smiles on our faces. That put me at ease.
Still, I'm going to be a mess. I've been making films for a long time (almost all documentary) and before that, live theatre, but I've never had this kind of opening night. We'll have most of our cast there (The film stars Elijah Wood, Chris Klein, Jon Bernthal, Ginnifer Goodwin, Elisabeth Moss, and Ally Sheedy), press, friends family, collegues, investors, the public...I calm myself with a two word mantra: "After Party."