Sunday, August 21, 2011

Washington, D.C. Day Two: And the winner is...

This was the second year of the World Music and Independent Film Festival and the second time Shawn and I were here with a music video; last year, "Essenger" was up for Best Alternative Rock Video and Best Cinematography, this year "Sine" was up for Best Alternative Rock and Most Creative video. We didn't win which, believe it or not, is okay. Don't get me wrong, it's always disappointing on some level to not win when you're up for something, but as long as the work that won deserved it, it's all good.

Last year was fairly disorganized, but I figured that it was the first year. It happens. I love Laura Hartman and Master June Daiguso, they're really great and they're trying hard, but this year was almost as disorganized as last, if not more so in some respects.

Last night, I counted 58 award categories, but they'd forgotten to put one in the program so there were actually 59 categories to announce yesterday, most with at least seven nominees. Plus, musical acts, I think there were six? And all of this was to take place in the space of four hours. Everything started late, too.

The filmmakers and special guests were asked to arrive at 10 am for the red carpet and interviews. That didn't get started until 10:30. Lunch was supposed to start at noon and that would've been the time to catch up and get back on schedule. Instead, lunch started at maybe 12:30 or 1:00.

At 3:30, they were maybe a third of the way through the awards and realized that they had the space until five. They cut one musical act and a few categories and were able to finish the show around 5:45. Now, I know the Oscars are God-awfully long and they have a special day for all of the awards that no one cares about, but this seemed excessive. And, you have to consider that the Oscars are that long because of commercial breaks, witty reparte, and their face-melting opening number (which should only be done by Billy Crystal.)

I can't vouch for the festival part of this event. Last year, I had no idea until the day of the gala that they even showed the films they accepted (which I did find strange) because the schedule wasn't posted on the website until too late. This year, we just couldn't afford to come for longer than a couple of days. I do know how hard it is to put on an event like this, but some mistakes shouldn't have been repeated and some mistakes shouldn't have happened. Maybe the third year will be the charm for them.

I'll enter again...I'm just not sure I'll come for the gala. It's entirely too long and most of the winners, at least in the music video category, didn't show. At least the afterparty was fun! The band Dirty Bath Water played and I quite liked them, I'll have to check out their music when I get home which will be tomorrow. While I don't necessarily have to hit the ground running, I do have a lot of projects that need my attention.

Either tomorrow or the next day, I'll post about our day at the zoo. :D

Friday, August 19, 2011

Washington, D.C. Day One: Our Arrival.

My brother and I are in Washington, D.C. for the second World Music and Independent Film Festival. The music video I made for World Collision, "Sine," has been nominated for Best Alternative Rock Video and Most Creative and we placed fifth in the People's Choice this year (they had some website issues, too, so I'm really happy with our placement.) We're also presenting an award at this year's festival. I'm nervous, but I'm trying to focus on the positive: this is a great way to work on my sliver of stage fright.

Anyway, none of that is until tomorrow. Today, we arrived in D.C. The flight was okay. No screaming children, no women sitting next to me with purses smelling of decomposition (yeah, that totally happened on the way back from Indiana...) Check in was a breeze; they offer free lemonade in the lobby. I think they used an entire bag of sugar plus the entire thing of Country Time. Holy crap, was it sweet!

Luckily, most things in D.C. are within walking distance so we head out for Chinatown. At the first stop light, this older man approaches me and says, "Listen, bitch, if you mess with my family, there's gonna be trouble," then walks away. My expression: o_o because I was like, "Kay?" but I saw he was clearly nuts so I made a joke like, "How'd he know I'm a bitch?"

Two blocks later, a random bicyclist started yelling toward my brother, wondering what kind of chopper he rode. A block after that (or maybe it was before) some dude wouldn't lay off his horn at the person in front of him. The dude in front of him rolled down his window and reached behind his seat and I thought, "Oh, yay, I get to see a shooting." But dude didn't do anything except keep his arm behind his seatback. Weird.

On the corner of H Street and 7th, which is Chinatown, there was a Black Power protest. I didn't catch the name of the organization, though. Something about Islam, but they weren't the Brotherhood. I don't know why they were doing their anti-white thing in Chinatown, but it gets a little more strange because we were walking by them again and I heard this snippet: "From Chocolate City to Sodom and Gomorrah..."

Finally, after dinner (and after passing a few more crazy shouting people,) we find out that the American Idol tour was playing the Verizon Center tonight...and suddenly things made sense...

We wandered around downtown D.C. a bit and then a storm suddenly whipped up so we came back to our hotel and called it an early night.

D.C. wasn't this nutty last time we were here. Yeah, there were a lot of sirens and horns and some shouting, but it seems the crazy is amplified this year. Or we were just really lucky / unlucky. Of course, the political and social climates are a lot different than they were even last year. Is the crazy a reflection of our politicians or are our politicians reflecting the crazy? I think it's the former.

More to come tomorrow.