Sneak Preview

I had a chance to see The Dark Knight last night, at a screening on the Warner Brothers lot. It was for employees, mostly executives and their assistants. Usually when I see movies ahead of time, it’s with LA Weekly or Campus Circle; the crowd is mostly wearing flip flops and t-shirts. Last night was a more staid affair, with most people in shirts and ties (or skirts and heels).

I won’t go much into what I thought, other than to say that the audience cheered, actually cheered, at a certain point in the movie. It’s quite a compliment to the filmmakers that this bunch of jaded studio folks could still get excited. (You’ll know the part I’m talking about when you see it.)

Screenings are free and plentiful in LA, which is why I went to a lot of them as a poor film student. Besides the movie itself, there are often guest speakers, too. I saw Kevin Spacey at a screening for American Beauty in my first month at school. I even got to ask him a question! If I recall correctly, it was something along the lines of, “Mr. Spacey, why are you so awesome?” (This was before 21, mind you.)

A couple years ago, I went to a screening of King Kong.  We weren’t expecting any special guests that time; just a big monkey, some dinosaurs, and maybe Naomi Watts in a skimpy white dress. But while we were waiting in line, I heard a voice I definitely recognized.  It took me a minute to place it, and then I realized it was Brad fucking Bird!

I pointed him out to my friend, who responded, “That’s not Brad Bird.”

“Yes, it is.  I recognize him from my Incredibles DVD.”

“I don’t think that’s him.”

“I’m sure it is.”

It went on like this for a while, until I finally went up and asked the guy, “Excuse me, are you Brad Bird?”



That’s pretty much the end of that story.  I said I liked his movies, he said thanks, the end.

In any case, my point is, if you start going to these screenings, you too can meet minor celebrities and prove to your friends that you listen to way too many commentary tracks.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

5 Responses

  1. I dragged a few friends a while back to a public afternoon screening at TIFF (Toronto International Film Fest) to see ‘Noel’. I like chick flicks (yeah, I know) especially at the time ‘Love, Actually’. Based on the description in the program book it sounded like another lovely ‘Love, Actually’. Chazz Palminteri (who directed it) showed up as well as Susan Sarandan and I think Penelope Cruz.

    The movie stunk to high heavens even including an unnecessary cameo from Robin Williams.

    After the film my friends and I were talking outside discussing which screening we should go see next after that stinker and all of a sudden a strange man walks up to us.

    It turned out it was the editor of the film who told us we were the youngest girls in there and we were their target demographic and he wanted to ask us a few questions as they weren’t quite done editing and were unsure how to market the film.

    He then proceeded to ask us how we liked the film. We fell silent. What were we to say? You have a real piece of shit on your hands? Then Chazz Palminteri comes out!
    We ended up just telling them it was ‘interesting’ and that they should market it just like ‘Love, Actually’ and people would love it.

    The film is now in Walmart $3 bins. At least somebody had the guts to tell them the truth.

    I try not to talk to people I recognize after a screening now. Only before.

  2. Oh yeah, purple? Try sitting in a room watching dailies on a movie that you suddenly realize is a horrible P.O.S.

    Talk about uncomfortable!

  3. I get a little weirded out by the director or anyone in the movie being in the audience. I’ve only met a handful of low budget directors, some very friendly and good, one I hid behind a bush to get away from them. It is nearly impossible to form a natural opinion of a film with a director watching you or sitting next to you or talking shop nonstop.

Comments are closed.