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By Mark Bell | June 24, 2008

I was at the Target Red Room last evening when I got into a conversation with someone whose name currently escapes me, and they asked why I, and Film Threat, wasn’t covering LAFF this year? To which I responded with, “What do you mean? We ARE covering LAFF.”

The confusion was thus: over the course of the last few years, folks have started to read the blog entries of festival coverage and, in many cases, have begun to equate that content with the breadth of coverage period. In other words, if there’s not a blog entry with a silly pic of me or some other FT’er out there, then we must not have covered the festival. This, quite simply, is not so, as recent coverage of the 2008 Seattle International Film Festival, deadCenter Film Festival and SilverDocs would show.

If you look at the right now, you’ll see a sidebar with all the LAFF films we’ve reviewed thus far, and that list is growing daily. On top of that, though they have not made it to the site yet, I happen to know of a number of interviews both in the final stages and/or soon-to-be-conducted for LAFF films and filmmakers. In other words, we’re covering LAFF. We’re covering it hard.

Now, I’ll admit to being a bit lax in the blog entries category. Most of that has to do with the fact that, when it comes to festivals, I tend to be the one who hits the blog keyboard most often with the various pics I take and, in all honesty, I haven’t had the full opportunity to immerse myself in LAFF in much the same way that I can at out of town fests.

See, hometown festivals offer a different set of challenges, and require a certain perspective re-boot. Why? Well, when I’m in another town for a set number of days, everything to me feels picture or story worthy. Everything is an adventure. When you live in the town you’re covering, all of a sudden something you may’ve taken a picture of and talked about becomes, well… Westwood is Westwood, etc. On top of that, festival coverage is not the only thing I do here at Film Threat, nor is it the only thing we run on a daily basis. Everyday brings new reviews from all over the world, new video content, other festival coverage, interviews… when I’m at home, I’m more likely to try working on everything whereas, at an out-of-town festival, I tend to focus only on that fest for the few days I’m there. Plus, being home brings other concerns, like laundry, groceries, gas for travel to and from theaters, etc. It’s an entirely different experience.
But to bring this all back to the reason I’m writing this, we are covering LAFF. Eric Campos has been seeing films like his life depended on it, Pauline and I have been picking up flicks day in and day out since Sunday and Zack will be gracing the site soon with his own reviews and interview coverage. We’re on top of this, believe me, so if you only read the blogs… check out our main site. THAT’S where the gold is. The blogs, to me, is dessert, but the full meal and sustenance exists on the frontpage.

Oh, FINE! Here’s some pics too…

The sun was so bright (and hot) on Sunday, that I didn’t even know this photo was out of focus because I COULDN’T SEE when I took it. This is the view of Broxton Street (Ave? Rd?) from the top of the parking garage adjacent to the best Philly cheesestake shop on all of Los Angeles, South Street.

The Target Red Room lives up to its name. There’s the Target logo, and the lights throughout are red. Monday evening’s Red Room experience brought wonderful conversations with everyone’s favorite festival attendee John Bernstein, MethodFest’s Don Franken, the one-two punch team of Sarah Harris and James Faust of AFI Dallas and brief hellos to Cinetic’s Matt Dentler (who exec produced fest film “Trinidad”) and’s Karina Longworth. If you recognize these names from the CineVegas blogs then, yes, you’re right, because they were all in Vegas too. Nature of the festival circuit, really.

Is someone you know in this picture? Quite possibly…

I also ran into James Rocchi from Cinematical and Steve from Collider, but they weren’t at LAFF at the time, they were at the press screening for “Hancock.” Still nice to talk to so many movie geek’ed friends.

Finally, it is a Film Threat tradition to get at least one picture, at some point during their tenure, of a Film Threat writer at a film festival double-fisting drinks. We’ve all got pics circulating of us with big smiles and two drinks, and now we can add Pauline to the list…

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  1. God says:

    And perhaps there would be more artfulness in photos taken. No more, “Oh, that picture is too shaky. I’m deleting that one. No, wait, that one’s too blurry. I’ll delete that one too.” You’ll have one roll of film again, 24 shots available. For once, you clay toys of Mine will actually have to concentrate on what you’re shooting.

  2. Dave Lawler says:

    At least we’d have some decent photographs – I don’t mind waiting an hour.

  3. God says:

    Jesus Christ, Dave, I know already! I’m still having major problems with mine. I’m tempted to throw the lot of you back to the days of one-hour photo development.

  4. Dave Lawler says:

    God, again – I must point out my hatred … for digital cameras.

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