As a filmmaker, the premiere of your film is sort of like your wedding day or the day you have your first child. It’s kinda that huge. You’re waiting for the bun to be cooked to order – you wanna make sure it’s really the one (this time!)… so everything needs to be just right. Then, when you haven’t even gone into labor pains, the MGLFF calls you on a Monday and asks if you will consider submitting your “WORK IN PROGRESS” in replace of a film pulled for technical difficulties, which screens WEDNESDAY! You want to say “Hell Yeah,” but you begin to realize that only half the color is done and there’s really crappy sound mix (because I, the director did it – and I don’t know sound from schmound. Ask Marina – she’s never once responded to me crooning a suggestive balad (“that’s not going to get you what you want!”) !!
So in less than 48 hours, your film is supposed to magically appear – this same film that for the past 16 months (yeah, long gestation!) you’ve literally almost destroyed every living and inanimate object on your single-minded mania to make this movie that is now taking over the planet and has taken every last toll on you is suddently just going to be TA DA having it’s premiere – it’s birth. It’s a little unnerving! Plus Barbara Niven, Fontessa and Melanie (my dearest pal and erstwhile manager) and Marina are all in different parts of the world and we’re all in knee jerk what are we supposed to do here. So we decide, “how bout raise a glass and cheer on our damn good film?” over the speakerphone. For Gabrielle it was champagne tulip-glasses filled with Sprite. For Barbara Niven and Fontessa it was a bit o’ bubbly with more kick. At 5:30 LA Time we told ourselves to “break a leg.” Including Jessica, Melanie, Marina and of course everyone connect to Camp Ape and our Soul Kiss Family — everyone who we really had no idea where they might be…. so at least we made ceremony where ceremony was called for.
Don’t know if you could have a more surreal world premiere as a Women’s Centerpiece in a prestigious festival – one we would have been ever so delighted to play had we been finished. MGLFF holds fond memories for me. “little man” won HBO’s Audience Best of the Fest Award — a documentary winning that very special first award speaks to the intelligent and sophisticated, literary movie-going Miami audience.
In fact, MGLFF has one of the highest documentary programming in relation to most other LGBT Festivals. For that reason alone I applaud them. But I especially applaud them for taking a chance on a WIP of “A Perfect Ending.” It’s hard to let something you’ve spent your heart’s blood and soul on go out when you know that while the color is semi-fixed, you (the director) did the sound mix and it sorta kinda (no it just really sucks) and we also have probably 30 percent music cues so you run the risk that your WIP is going to cause the audience to run out of the theater like the crazed teens did in the “Blob” (and we all know how they turned out — no careers whatsoever!)
I’m thrilled to report that when the reviews started coming in, they were far more than I could have hoped for: “The ladies at MGLFF are digging the hell out of A Perfect Ending!” That was a good sign. One of our Major Donors reported in from her 15 pals who attended: “LOVED IT…They all laughed in all the right places — they thought both leads were “Smokin’ Hot” and that “the story was really good.”
According to The Miami Mollys – the Miami ladies “erupted into applause at the ‘climax’ scene” !!!
I could breathe. I could stop acting brave for the girls! I’m just so overjoyed 1) To Repay all our Donors with a product of which they can be so very proud 2) That Jessica Clark was so beyond teachable, reachable and brought so much of her kindred tortured elements that are so raw and beautiful 3) That the entire cast was just one DNA-Festival of the Fair and Fairer: the most amazing group of people ever… it doesn’t get better! There were friendships forged for life- with Fontessa De Ridder, one of the Producers who’s now also one of my dearest friends… Much like Melanie, my manager, who’s my rock and every time I start heading off the reservation she’s like, “uhm, Nicole…last I checked we’re still on Earth.” And with Janelle, our other producer who has brilliantly brought so many of the gems of this film together as the great connector.
But the two women who I most thank is Marina, my heart, soul-mate and greatest partner who pushes me often beyond my limits but always nabs me back again. And finally but definitely most importantly- endless gratitude to Barbara Niven for being the insanely courageous talent that she is, for her commitment to her craft, her Gena Rowlands-once-in-a-lifetime performance and for giving me the opportunity after 25 years of our working together on a piece that goes far beyond this film and has so much to do with so many aspects of who we both are and our mutual journey. This feels like our greatest gift to each other and what a blessed way to honor it so…love and gratitude…xoNicole