This past weekend was the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival. It was my second year as co-director of the festival. It’s still a little scary to me that I’m in charge of running a film festival, but I know that I can do it.
Our festival was going to be held at the same location as last year. That made me happy because I know the venue well and at the last festival we didn’t really have any technical issues.
On Friday, we had our opening night party. That is a good way to ease into the festival. It’s a fun party and everyone seems to have a good and relaxing time. I tried to figure out what to wear as a film festival director, and I think I came up with a good outfit.
My job at the party is really to be the hostess for the event. I tried to have fun while I had some amazing volunteers who helped to put together programs and check in our filmmakers. And as I went around the room, it seemed like everyone was having a great time.
The next day was the first day of screenings. When I got to the venue, I had to take a picture of their sign promoting our festival.
We screening in the ballroom again. The employees there were able to set up the chairs, couches, and bar stools in a way that it was almost like stadium seating.
On the first day of screenings, it went pretty smoothly. We had some issues with sound because of the noise in the other areas of the venue, but nothing too horrible.
Sunday was our second day of screenings we had our biggest glitch. One of the movies playing was sticking and freezing. While inside I was freaking out, I had to remain calm and handle the situation. I had the employees pause the DVD and I walked in front of the audience to apologize for the technical issues. Then I let them know that we had a backup DVD for that particular film (many of our films didn’t send us a backup so I’m glad this one did) and that we could start the movie over from the backup or to just go back to where we paused it.
Once we got the backup DVD in, things seemed to work better. While I probably looked fine on the outside, I was holding in tears inside. I just want the festival to run smoothly and have all the filmmakers happy. But when I talked to some of the audience later, they all said that they appreciated me coming out to speak about the technical issues and that it was fine. The filmmakers for that particular film didn’t attend, so that probably made things a little easier for me.
We have 7 screenings over the weekend (4 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday). And it pretty much all ran the way that I wanted it to. We also had our awards ceremony on Sunday. And while I don’t love speaking on a microphone in front of a crowd, I love giving out awards!
Before I knew it, the weekend was done and all the filmmakers were thanking me for putting on such a fun festival! I’m still coming down from the adrenaline rush of the festival (and lack of sleep over the weekend). But I had so much fun being co-director again!
I am hoping that the other co-directors can come out to the festival next year because it is way more fun being there with them. But now with 2 festivals under my belt, I feel pretty confident that I can do it again!
And now, I’m going to work on catching up on my sleep!