The Festival is here! Everything I’ve done this summer has built up to this week. To be honest, when I got to work on July 31st, (the day of the Opening Night party and eve of the official festival schedule), the vibe was anticlimactic. We carried out work as usual, but with longer hours in order to be of service to the stream of guests arriving in town and in need of credentials, directions, and other various paraphernalia and information.
Our 3-person PR Team still has our day-to-day tasks of updating the website with announcements/blog posts and creating content for the TCFF Instagram and Facebook pages, but now with the additional responsibility of granting and giving out press credentials to various news representatives who want to attend and report on the festival. It’s proven stressful at times, such as when we’re greeted by “old friends” of the Festival who didn’t apply for credentialing this year but show up with the assumption that we’ve prepared materials for them anyway, but the chaos of those instances comes more from the situation than the people. Generally speaking the shift from emails/phone calls to face-to-face interaction has been refreshing, and most of the people we’ve dealt with have been very patient with us. Might be that Midwestern friendliness everyone talks about up here.
As far as movie-viewing goes, I haven’t seen much. Daytime showings are obviously a no-go because of my other responsibilities, but last night I and a group of other interns made it to a showing of The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Thought not revolutionary and heavily reminiscent of the 2000 cult classic, But I’m a Cheerleader, it was entertaining and definitely a step forward in terms of LGBTQ+ representation in coming-of-age movies. I also made it to a live recording of Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies podcast, after which I got to meet Doug, Freaks and Geeks‘s Samm Levine, and Geoff Tate. All very pleasant. According to Tate, that night’s show was not one of their best. I believe it, but I’d still be open to tuning into the podcast again at some point so it’s not like they bombed.
While we’re talking celeb-interactions, I’ve also now met Michael Moore and watched him interview Jane Fonda from a window in the State Theatre’s projection booth. So close, yet so far away. Other Festival fun has included me dressing up as the Wicked Witch for the Opening Night Party (the party-planning intern wrangled a couple of interns into posing as Wizard of Oz characters as “entertainment”, aka photo ops), and spending a day as an extra hand for the interview team, which involved accompanying a couple filmmakers on cigarette breaks to keep them from getting lost on the way back to the studio. I’m learning a lot, but I feel like I should make an effort to catch a few more movies before the fest ends; it would seem shameful to leave here having only seen one.
A side note: the Stop Making Sense screening was a magical experience. There was no holding back on any account. I have never seen or experienced so much joy in one place, and would love to return to Traverse City to experience it again some day.