Montclair State University

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Autumn Gem at Montclair State University

A short while after our first East Coast tour, we got an email from Montclair State University asking us if we would like to screen the film. It was this email and screening around which we scheduled our Spring 2010 tour. By locking in the date early on, we were able to plan all the stops before and after. For instance, knowing that we didn’t have to be in New Jersey until the sixth of April, we were able to schedule the Southwest and Maryland/Massachusetts portions of the tour. There’s a saying about beginning with the end in mind, and we followed that to a hilt!

After lunch at Kean University, Rae and I hopped back into our rental car and drove further up the highway to Montclair. As with the past few days, the weather was unusually warm for this time of year on the East Coast, and we saw many people wearing what amounted to summer clothes. On the day we left to return home to the Bay Area, the weather suddenly went from 80 degrees to 50-60 degrees! I doubt many of them are wearing t-shirts and shorts now!

Before the screening, Professor Roberta Friedman told us that we would be interviewed at the DuMont Television Station. We felt like television or movie stars while sitting in the studio, which had an uncanny resemblance to a talk show set. I wish we had a setup like this when we were filming our interior scenes! As we stated in our presentation, we built a set in our garage for the film. Because space was so cramped inside the garage, we could only film from the garage-door side. To get around this limitation, we rearranged the furniture and hung up different scroll paintings on the walls. And ta da! We had a “different” room! It would have been a whole lot better, however, if we had access to a setup like in DuMont!

I was glad that they had a makeup person, as my face felt and probably looked extra “shiny” from the hot weather. Roberta’s friend, Ellen Zweig, an artist living in New York, interviewed us with questions similar to those posed by the Chinese TV station earlier in the day at Kean University. The only difference was the three studio cameras pointing at us and hot lights all around (main, fill and hair lights).

After the television interview, we rushed back to the screening venue, where most of the students and community members were waiting. The primary audience at this screening were film students. Tough crowd, I was thinking as the movie played. I wasn’t sure how many students were seriously thinking about doing their own independent films or if they wanted to work in the industry doing production, writing or marketing. With Autumn Gem, we had to do all these roles and more! One student asked what aspects of filmmaking we wished we had more people helping us with. We think for our next film, we’ll definitely get help in those areas in which we were sub-optimal, like makeup and sound.

Another question from the crowd was about our next project. Now that I have an iPad I was able to pull it out during the answer and say, “From Abacus to iPad” as the working title of the next film. This title is really all we have at the moment, as we are in the early ideation / pre-pre-pre-production phase. The scope of a film about mobile computing can be either very broad or extremely focused, and we have yet to decide on the direction. We hope to have something more to say by the end of this year!

Here are photos from the Montclair State University screening.

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