Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Email That Made Me Happy

Let's say you were making a movie of Hamlet. In fact, let's say you had already made a movie of Hamlet. Who would be the one person whose response to the film you would care about most? Shakespeare's dead, so he's out. Your mother has to like it, or at least say she does. The DP? That would be nice, but it's still not top of the list. The programmers at Sundance? Well, sure, but let's imagine for a moment that you're not that crass.

The top of the list, the top of my list, would be the person who played Hamlet. I mean, imagine if you made a movie of Hamlet, and your Hamlet didn't like it. That would be bad.

So, I was nervous last week when I sent Pat Shaw the movie, just before we moved. When I mail the thing out to festivals, I'm nervous too, but that's different. This time, as they say, it's personal. What if Pat hates it? What if he thinks he's good, but everyone else stinks. What if he thinks everyone else is good, but he stinks? What if, worst of all, he's bored?

I got an email today from Pat with the subject line: "wow!" I was cautiously optimistic as I opened the email. It turns out he's thrilled. I says this not to advertise the movie or boast; it's not an astonishing claim to say that the star of a movie thinks it's good. Rather, I'm sharing my relief and pleasure here. In the email, Pat thanks and congratulates me. Let me take this chance publicly to do the same to him.

Thank you, Pat, and congratulations.



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