From Jeff


Hi, this is Jeff. This might not be brief but I’ll keep is as simple as I can. 1. For the Santa Barbara screening in Feb 2005, there were technical reasons to either call it or not call it a World Premiere. But yes, I called it and other people called it a World Premiere. Not to mislead anyone, but that’s what we considered it to be. It was the first time the completed movie was shown for an audience, and we were very excited about it. 2. We soundchecked the movie less than an hour before it ran, and the volume, the left/right balance and the synchronization all checked out. 3. I still don’t know how or why this happened, but either the projectionist or someone else involved with the theater, changed the settings and re-routed the sound through a different board, causing the movie to go out of sync and bringing the volume and left/right to punishing proportions. 4. In that kind of situation, we were too shocked to know what to do. Looking back we should have stopped the movie and begged everyone’s patience so that we could fix things, and wouldn’t life be nice if we could all look back and do things like that sometimes. Instead we just sat there and hoped that maybe the thing would right itself, which didn't happen. That is a mistake I am still paying for, and in some respects I figure it's probably never going to go away. 5. The idea that we could make an entire movie and not know enough to have the sound and the picture match each other, is a little silly, although we have been accused of that too. 6. Like a lot of other movies at a lot of film festivals including Santa Barbara, we learned from seeing it with an audience that the movie wasn’t ready in the form it was in, and needed improvements. That was a bitter pill that cost us time, money, and a lot of professional and personal grief. 7. Between that night in February and July 2005, we restored something like 20 minutes of footage that we had taken out, we hired a composer to create original music when formerly we couldn’t afford it, we brought in a new post production team and a new effects house, and when it was all said and done we had a much improved movie, that we premiered again, at Lake Tahoe, to a much improved response. So there were, in fact, two world premieres, because there were two different versions of the movie. In neither case were we lying or misrepresenting anything. We made a movie, got our asses kicked in a big way, changed the movie and now it’s better and is being distributed for all to see or not see.

9. I personally engaged in the regretful practice of posting a positive review, and not saying it was me. To my knowledge this was not the first time something like this has ever happened, and in fact I'm pretty sure it happens all the time - but that doesn’t make it any more right. 10. I apologized for doing that, and didn’t do it again. Once more, with the ability to go back in time, things would have been different. 11. The amount of righteousness and rage that this brought on, and the “continued dissing” of the film and my mistaken attempt to support it, seems a little disingenuous at best and outright mean at worst. 12. I have gone on this site in the past to try and rectify this, to no avail. A few of you have appointed yourselves to be defenders of all that is pure and good, and apparently you have never done anything in your lives that you’ve regretted in support of something you cared about. Fine. Spend your time as you like. 13. If it’s your $17.50 you’re concerned about, I suggest you calculate whatever you make per hour at whatever it is you do, and you’ll probably come out with more than $17.50 that you’re behind, due to all the time you’ve spent attacking and re-attacking not only me, but a version of a movie you saw a year and a half ago, that no longer exists because now it has been re-cut and finally released. 14. There has been a lot of honest criticism of the movie, and that all comes with the territory. What I have seen on this site goes way beyond that, and I guess that comes with the territory too. You never know who's out there, until they show up. And I’m sure that this posting will be picked apart, measured against former postings, and spit back out, and so go ahead and do that too. You might even number your responses like I am doing here, and what can I say but wouldn't that be awesome. 15. You can also just let it go and go on with your life, but something tells me that isn’t going to happen. 16. There have also been a lot of good things said about the movie, and – get ready to be shocked here – this just might be because other people had different opinions and liked what they saw, and don't necessarily agree with you or see things the way you do or the way you want them to. I know that’s hard for at least two of you to accept, but there it is. People we don’t know, never met and could never possibly have been in contact with, have actually bought or rented the movie and had a positive response. Can you believe it? Whether it was Netflix or Amazon or other online or retail places, total strangers saw the movie, came to their own conclusions and posted a response. And then – once again, brace yourselves – they went on with their lives.

So let’s sum up. There were two different versions of the movie – different enough to have two separate festival screenings and have them both legitimately be called world premieres. I did a stupid thing that apparently no amount of explanation or apology can cover. The movie is out now, in stores and online, and getting both positive and negative reviews. I wish we had more money to make the movie the way I wrote it - but I guess that's a wish that's shared even by directors who have more than a hundred million dollars to shoot with. In our case we still have something that I and the other people who made it are very proud of, and proud to stand behind. I have put my email address on here in the past and offered anyone the invitation to write to me personally, but no one has. I guess the brave defending of righteous truth does not include either the time or the courage to deal one on directly with the person you are having so much fun attacking. Anyway here it is again: [email protected]. I think it’s probably pretty likely that Frosteey and Sinjin are local Santa Barbara residents, so why not identify yourselves, take off the mask and cape and let’s sit down and have some coffee or something. Or if you prefer, just keep on hammering away – as of now it’s still a free country, so get your licks in while you can. As for me, I have a lot of work to do and I might not be back on here for a while, or at all - but I do answer my email, so feel free to write.

For everyone who has seen the movie, thank you for your time and for your comments. Unless you've done this yourselves, you can't imagine what it takes to put a product out there and what it means to finally see people responding to it. To Sinjin, I do want to thank you for your initial review because it seemed honest and well thought out, even though I wish you thought better of it. As for Frosteey, I've tried to get in touch with you privately and publicly, and the offer's still there. Enough said about the ways you've chosen to respond.

Take care, all - and if you get a chance, try and see the Al Gore movie that's out now. Some things actually matter, and "An Inconvenient Truth" deals with a lot of them. Meantime, hasta la vista -- Jeff


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Jeff, I commend you on your post. Unlike David's continual denial of wrong doing, you came out and admitted and that takes a big person.

As I'm sure you've noticed, I have never attacked the movie on these boards. Just the dishonesty in the discussions, mostly from David. I did take offense when David started telling us that we have no right to have an opinion on the movie we saw because it was only a 'rough cut' screening.

I am a local and I'm surely not hiding behind any masks or capes...my website is listed at the bottom of every post here on IMDB.

Andrew
www.andrewnixon.com/movies - Short Reviews, Top Tens by year/decade, etc

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Sorry that you took my response the way you did, which was unintended. My point was/is that the trashing the film took as a result of the issues at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival screening were unfair to us and to the film, due primarily to the fact that the technical problems at The Arlington that night were blamed on poor filmmaking rather than a really poor technical set-up and operation. My comments were certainly not meant to be dishonest. Thanks for your post and most of all for not hiding behind an anonomous screen name.

David

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