Animated GIFs? To promote a movie screening? Why not! I’ve already given advice on how to flirt with a stranger in a movie theater, created a map with pictures from places we filmed, a trailer, a web series, and posted an entire scene. Animated GIFs are the next logical step, right? Watch, be mesmerized, and go RSVP for Feb 7th please!
“Did You Kiss Anyone?” is premiering at the Bagdad Theater exactly one week before Valentine’s Day–a day many people desperately need a date. The easiest way to start a conversation with anyone at the screening is to ask: “Did you work on the movie?” Over 100 Portlanders worked on this movie, so your chances are good. And if neither of you did, you have that in common, so start making out.
If you need more inspiration to hit on a stranger, just imagine you’re IN a movie….
Romantic Comedy Style
As you slide past in the aisle, clumsily spill your beer in his/her lap. Apologize profusely and start dabbing napkins in inappropriate places (if a guy, on his crotch region; if a girl, on her boob region). Suddenly become mortified by your additional blunder. One week later, walk past the boutique shop they own and spill a frappachino on him/her. Talk about finding your one true soulmate, then discover he/she is engaged. Help plan their wedding. Just before the ceremony, spill champagne on him/her, profess your love, then dash home. Wait while he/she runs to your brownstone apartment in the rain where finally you kiss.
Quirky Sundance Movie Style
You’re sitting alone in the theater while everyone else is shallowly enjoying their unexamined lives, distracted by their iPhones. Then you notice a manic pixie dream girl sulking at the end of the aisle, also alone. She’s reading a used paperback copy of Cat’s Cradle, so you slowly raise your vintage copy of Breakfast of Champions. You nod to each other as the lights dim for “Did You Kiss Anyone?” After the movie, you’re stuck in the aisle behind shallow people tweeting their reactions and she gets away. But she left her book on the seat! There’s a name written on the inside cover. You write your name, cryptic geographic coordinates, and a date/time under her name then turn it into the Lost and Found. You sulk around while an Elliot Smith song plays. You do a lot of staring and have difficulty communicating with your overbearing mother/grandfather. On a gloomy day, you sit waiting on a park bench in an ironically outdated suit as a Menomena song plays. The girl from the theater arrives in a funeral dress: “Thanks for returning my book.” You notice scars on her wrists. You do not kiss, you simply sit on the bench next to each other staring ahead as a Decemberists song plays.
Spy Movie Style
He’s the most handsome man in the theater–and also alone. This works out well for you because you’re there to assassinate him. Somehow you manage to lose him in the pizza line. You take a seat in the balcony, scanning the crowd for him. “Looking for someone?” He’s in the row behind you. You feel a gun pressed against the back of your skull. “I’m here to kill you,” he says. “But you’re too beautiful.” “I’m here to kill you,” you say, cocking the gun already pointed at his heart. With guns pointed at each other, you watch the movie and fall in love. Over drinks at the Back Stage Bar, you hatch a plot to fake your deaths so you can live together on a tropical island. Operation Romeo and Juliet is a crazy plan… but maybe just crazy enough to work.
French Movie Style
You see her dragging her cello case down the aisle. Who brings a cello case to a movie? Only the most brooding and troubled woman in the world, whom you must meet. You immediately begin an affair that includes full frontal nudity, lots of smoking, but sadly, no berets. There is a complicated political metaphor that defines your relationship and which makes it impossible for you to stay together. She’s heartbroken and you find her on the Hawthorne bridge with her cello case. You are sure she is going to jump to her death. Instead, she plays a song on her cello that halts all traffic and people from all walks of life, all political views, are momentarily joined together by music. She kisses you on the forehead, then jumps to her death. Fin.
Meta Experimental Style
You ask, “Did you work on the movie?” They answer, no. You say, “I promise I won’t spill my beer on you or try to assassinate you.” They uncomfortably avoid eye contact and move one seat away. You explain that you were actually referring to a blog post the director wrote, giving tips on how to flirt with strangers at his screening. They ask, “Are you flirting with me?” You say, “Your exact response was predicted in his blog post. And even what I’m saying now is verbatim from the blog post.” “It’s like a movie within a blog post within a movie theater.” You point to the screen, where a Kiss Off message is being shown with those exact words. You begin making out with your future Valentine’s date until the movie starts and you both realize you forgot to silence your cell phones.
I sincerely believe any of these techniques have a 100% chance of working, unless you do something to blow it. See you at the Bagdad: Tuesday February 7th, 7pm!
Promoting a movie is glamorous. You may find yourself walking around with a stapler, attaching poorly printed posters to a telephone pole in a semi-legal fashion.
I need a bigger stapler and thicker paper.
These posters went up around Tender Loving Empire, the Belmont Stumptown, and Laurelhurst Theater. Not pictured: Cinemagic. More going up next week with better supplies.
February 7th at 7pm at the Bagdad! Please!
I’m getting ready to show my second feature Did You Kiss Anyone? at the Bagdad Theater on Feb. 7th. I tried to raise money for it over the summer of 2009 by doing a crowdfunding webseries called Did You Cast Anyone. I love Wainy Days and Curb Your Enthusiasm, so I wanted it to be like those, only less funny and without famous celebrities.
We only took a few hours to film each episode. It shows sometimes but that’s also what I like about them. The episode with Bryce was entirely improvised a few minutes after we met up to shoot it. Every single actor did an amazing job with improv. Working with funny actors who can improv is the best.
I’d love to say the crowdfunding webseries was a massive success. But this was 2009 and Kickstarter was still in private beta and you had to explain to people what crowdfunding even meant. We raised a little bit of money, all of it from people I know, and it ended up being about half of what the movie cost, which is about one-tenth of the minimum budget it should have cost. I understand crowdfunding is the future and it’s revolutionary and all that crap you read on blogs, but it also sucks. It should be called crowdbegging. That’s what it feels like.
I’m rambling. Here are all the episodes of Did You Cast Anyone? If you’re in Portland, come to the Bagdad on Feb 7th and see these actors in completely different roles. I’m also going to be showing a Lost Episode (not an episode of Lost, but an episode that was never released for a variety of reasons).
Please take the next half hour of your life and enjoy….
Did You Cast Anyone?
I’ve got two plush seats from @hollywoodtheatr on my porch! My first movie had its Portland premiere there. Our histories are intertwined!
Back in 2003, I got my first web-enabled phone. I’d been blogging since 2000 and wanted to be able to make updates to my blog wherever I was, without a laptop. For context, here are some things that did not exist yet: Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Firefox, and obviously, iPhones. Nokia was still king of cellphones.
I’d been using static HTML to do blog posts, but then learned a little PHP/mySQL and started publishing that way (add WordPress to the things that didn’t exist yet). I created a little mobile-friendly page that would allow me to update my blog by typing a short message and hitting a button. (My dream was an update using SMS, but that was beyond my ability.)
I worked for Oracle at the time and spent a lot of time traveling to set up webcasts: England, Japan, China, Brazil, France, Singapore, etc. So when the first camera phone arrived in the U.S., I got it. (Nokia 3650!)
I had to do the text update first, then add the image after. Even the new blogging platform recently acquired by Google (blogger) wouldn’t let you blog images from a mobile device. Also, I was writing updates without a QWERTY keypad. #firstworldproblem
What’s interesting is how I did self-portraits and pictures of my meals. By interesting, I mean, not-super-original. (I used to be one of those guys going bald who shave their head to overcompensate.)
When Twitter came out, I signed up as @mikev, did one status update and abandoned it because I was afraid I’d start doing as many as five updates a day. (If someone can help me get @mikev back, I’d be in love with you romantically forever.) I did end up essentially live tweeting a night out alone in London (6 28 2003 range on the England photos).
So why now? These pre-tweets were missing from my site after I switched over to WordPress a few years ago and switched hosts. I had an issue migrating the database. Recently, I was looking for a picture of my cat jumping really high, and realized it was one of the old mini-updates (I think I used to call them moblogs, for mobile blogs–it’s embarrassing, I know. But I’m 80% sure I did it ironically). The fix seemed much more obvious to me so I put them all back online.
It’s fun going back to read them. For a while there, I felt like I was living in the future…
I was walking around on my lunch break and crazy things kept happening everywhere:
Go see my other movie “Did You Kiss Anyone?” at the Bagdad Theater on Feb 7th!