William Shatner’s autograph on the 95ers movie poster… That about says it all.
Comic Con was awesome. It’s where legends, upstarts, and fans cross paths. Ali kissed Bill (on the forehead) in an epic moment of boldness that will echo amid warp trails for ages to come, and he graciously signed. I think it says: “To Tom, Bill Shat.”
The movie screening itself went great. We had a decent crowd and people seemed to enjoy the film (which incidentally won BEST VISUAL EFFECTS at the Con (which incidentally had over 70,000 attendees)). After the screening, one very sweet attendee (forgive me I can’t remember her name) said: “I won tickets to the Con and I’ve enjoyed all three days. But this was the highlight.”
There was sort of a strange nostalgia combined with a gravitational shift in the universe while the movie played for the thousandth time in front of my eyes. A weight lifted. With the domestic distribution deal signed, and this last massive output of energy for the Con… the “95ers:ECHOES” chapter of my life is ending. I’m not talking about about the 95ers sci-fi universe in general (which you’ll be seeing more in this blog in the coming months), I refer specifically to the strange, painful, and joyful experience of making this particular movie in this way. On my way home after one last panel where we had fun comparing potential apocalypses (robot vs. zombie vs. alien), I asked myself: Was it worth it?
Well, was it worth it?
I’m not qualified to summarize Ali’s challenges during this adventure, but for me… I am several years, millions of dollars, and a dozen director’s chairs behind where I had hoped to be in my professional life. Many tears have been shed. Many checks have been bounced. There has been enormous waste learning things I had to learn the hard way. Pride is a cruel taskmaster. Countless more months were spent wearing hats I had no real desire to wear. For years, Reaper-like fingers have hung over Ali and I as we balanced our nerves and bills against the need to shoot the perpetual “next” sequence of the movie. The crews got smaller and smaller as the years dragged on until the final months which became a lonely procession of interminable nights. Then followed a certain “innocence lost” as I learned, again the hard way, how the movie industry works. And even after deals have been signed, the debt monster laughs, and must be fed. Gradually over the last six years, the supernova of enthusiasm that started the whole thing had condensed into a black hole that was my near constant companion, a Sysiphustic stone to be—
Okay OKAY! This is getting a bit melodramatic. In a nutshell, it was really really hard.
But the dream! Mustn’t it be chased? Even in ignorance? And the story! Mustn’t it be told? And though this movie only scratches its surface, haven’t the depths of it grown far richer? And weren’t there triumphs enough to keep us going? A good scene here, an effects shot that worked there? Maybe maybe maybe…
But what really scintillated throughout were the people—supporters and fans, cast and crew, and especially Ali. I have sampled the love, support, and awesomeness of a shocking assortment of cool people around the world.
I will selfishly add that in the end, I am a slightly better person than I was. And I like to think that the world is a very slightly better place because this movie exists. Finally, though there were many seeming cataclysms that brushed by us, Ali and I were careful to NOT sacrifice our marriage nor our kids.
…So, the answer has to be, obviously, YES it was worth it.
Thank you again for your support. We’re already planning our next one… Get in on the ground level!
Here are a few pics from the Con...