On October 15th, three weeks from today, Gerrymandering will hit theaters across the country. That's the two year anniversary of our mishap-ridden first day of shooting which I chronicled at the old film blog. Right now we're set to open in New York (Village East), Los Angeles (Nuart), San Francisco (Lumiere), Berkeley (Shattuck) and San Diego (Ken). We're hoping to add Miami into the mix for 10/15 and will be hitting up other dates throughout the Fall (including D.C. at the brand-new West End theater on 10/29.) Our website will be updated very soon with a page that has all of the dates currently booked.
Our heavy California focus in the early stages of the release is in support of Proposition 20. Miami and other Florida dates will be in support of Amendments 5 & 6. I've written about both of these initiatives in this space, and if you live in either of those states, I'd urge you to consider voting in favor.
My home base is Brooklyn, but I'm currently writing from a hotel in San Francisco. As all independent filmmakers must, I'll be out flogging the movie for the next month or so. This includes appearing at screenings, taking many different flights, sleeping in many different beds and generally talking to whomever will listen about the film. I'm going to try and take some little videos along the way and post them here with updates as I go along. I'm new to shooting with an iPhone, so bear with me as I get used to the smallest camera I've ever used.
Last week I put together a quick schedule for the team working on the release so everyone could know where I am at any given time. I've been traveling for the film all summer (Seattle, Maine, Rhode Island, Long Beach Island, Las Vegas), but those trips were short and spread out. This next month will be a whirlwind, and I was more than a little daunted once I saw the itinerary laid out for the first time:
9/24 - Sonoma: Wine Country FF
9/25 - Stanford: Common Cause Award
9/26-28 - Milwaukee, Milwaukee FF
9/29 - NY: Agenda Project Screening (6:30PM) / New York Film Academy screening (7:30PM)
9/30 - Woodstock FF
10/1 - Toronto (wedding, not mine)
10/2 - Woodstock FF
10/3 - Los Angeles, UCLA screening
10/4 - Los Angeles, Press Day
10/5 - San Francisco, Press Day
10/6 - Ann Arbor, UMICH screening
10/7 - Detroit, Common Cause screening
10/8 - Back in NYC
10/12 - Emerging Cinemas event
10/13 - DC Press
10/14 - NY: Soros Open Society Event
10/15 - Open NYC
10/16 - Philadelphia Film Festival
10/17 - Atlantic City FF (hometown)
10/20-26 - Hawaii, Hawaii FF
10/29 - DC open
So this is a view I'll be seeing a lot of in the coming weeks:
Gerrymandering was shot in nine different states, including D.C. (For those counting, they are: CA, FL, IA, LA, MA, NY, OK and TX). Part of the allure of making this film was the possibility of traveling the country, meeting different folks, investigating different situations and coming up with an intelligent, entertaining and respectful synthesis of everything we captured. The film may be called Gerrymandering, but our real subject was America. I think we came close to pulling it off, but for all the positive feedback we've received since our Tribeca premiere, we're really going to find out how successful we were in the next few weeks.
The idea of opening the New York Times on 10/15 and finding a crushing review of the film terrifies me. The possibility that no one will buy a ticket is certainly very real, as it is for any independent film working with a small release budget. Things could go in any number of directions from here. Even so, looking at that travel list, I'm making it a priority to remember that I'm incredibly lucky to be able to spend this time crisscrossing the country, discussing a film I've spent the better part of the last three years obsessing over. If I can put the nerves behind me, it might just be a great trip.
Hope to see some of you on the road.