It was a very busy weekend in May when Gordon had his second Open Studio weekend, and I got to drive to Vancouver BC for the Canadian premiere of BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton.
|The house was full, and the audience expectant|
We'd spent some time in the garden getting ready for both Open Studio weekends, and I must say, it's looking great.
As soon as I set out the signs to point people to Gordon's Bell Studio, I headed north for Vancouver. The drive was smooth, the wait at the border was short, and I was soon at my friend Gary Atkins' condo. (Gary is author of the recently re-issued book, Gay Seattle.) After a bit of catch-up, and some lessons in international calling without paying through the nose, I took a much-needed nap.
Gary and his friend YK took me out to an astounding Japanese dinner. And the amazing and inspirational Ian Hinkle joined us for conversation about everything from global warming to ink blots.
The Vancouver-based Radical Faeries organized an informal before-party, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe) hosted an exuberant after-party, so Vancouver celebrated the film well.
The Sisters gave a rich blessing for the film.
|As usual the Sisters were resplendent!|
It was the first festival where I was only there for my own film, so I was disappointed I did not have time to see other filmmakers' films, nor to visit with them. Dorothy Woodend and her team put together what appeared to be a very rich festival.
But it was also the first festival where I got to reunite with Cinematographer and Producer Ian Hinkle, who helped guide me through the early creative process of thinking through the film, including some early editing. And it was the first time in years I had been in the same room with our incredible animator Michael Mann of Global Mechanic in Vancouver.
Both added their individual stories to the Q&A. Ian told how the first day we met in 2008 he shot our opening Big Joy Project ritual at Broughton's gravestone in Port Townsend; when he was handed a glass of champagne, and James's ashes were added, it bubbled over. "I don't know if that happens with all ashes, or only with James'," he said. Michael told how he was given great creative freedom to "follow his weird" as he worked on the animations for poems and journals, and the film titles. He also learned, seeing the film for the first time, that we used his sketches as background for the closing credits of the film.
After the screening, a woman said to me, "Now I am inspired to make the film I've always wanted to make." That's the kind of response we have hoped the film would get!