It was my moment on the red carpet and I was trying to play it cool.
You know how these film festival events are, all flash and buzz and glitter. Everyone’s dressed to the nines and sizing you up and down, trying to figure out if you’re someone important, then looking through you like a cheap shower curtain when they realize you’re just a shmo with a press pass.
It was all activating some kind of a social anxiety migraine acid flashback, so I just kept my head down and minced along the velvet ropes, hoping I didn’t roll an ankle.
I’d almost made it inside without embarrassing my family when a man shoved a microphone in my face.
“Welcome! Who are you wearing?”
I looked down at my no-name jeans and undersized hoodie.
“Um, TJ Maxx?”
“Excellent!” he crowed. “Don’t trip on the sand!”
Whew, I almost forgot — this was the Savannah Beach Film Festival on Tybee last weekend. No Hollywood pressure here, just Huc–A–Poo’s owner/head pizzamaker Eric Thomas camping it up in front of a camera.
In true Tybee spirit, most guests arrived an hour late and by bicycle.Not a limousine in sight, unless you count a six–person golf cart. The paparazzi consisted of some loud ladies snapping photos of each other with their phones. The only stars were in the sky above, and the biggest spotlight was the moon.
Part showcase, part fundraiser, the SBFF screens almost anything any filmmaker sends in, as long as it’s under ten minutes. There were several satirical shorts from L.A. comedy troupe Ten13, a re–cap of the summer’s Tybee Idol contest and a historical bit on the Tybee lighthouse produced by a 9-year–old. Think of it as the fun–loving, boozy little sister to that other famous film festival.
Entries were minimal this year, which made my job as a festival judge that much easier. I was honored to serve along with Tybee Artworks co–owner Beth Martin and AASU film professor Mallory Pearce.
The latter did not see the irony in the remedial animation work of Paxton Willis’ South Park–esque Word Bird, but the film’s hilarious dialogue made it the audience favorite.
Sometimes, crayons and popsicle sticks are charmingly ironic. Especially when served with beer.
Speaking of, the family–friendly evening raised funds for the local Make–A–Wish chapter with a raffle sponsored by not–so–family–friendly Pabst Blue Ribbon. My kids convinced their father to buy oodles of tickets on the odds they could win a blue bike emblazoned with a PBR logo, or maybe the hammock. The bike went to another lucky winner, but we ended up with armfuls of T–shirts, hats, coozies and pins.
Really, who doesn’t want to see their 7-year–old decked out in PBR swag on the red carpet?
For more info on next year’s festival, go to thumbprintlive.com.
Film fun continued on the beach the next day with the shooting of Hellyfish, a project nightmared up by VFX wonk Pat Longstreth (who admins NewYorkIsBoring.com) and SCAD cronies Rob McLean & Kate Schuck.
With a script influenced by Jaws, Godzilla and other old–school gems, the high–tech horror flick features—you got it—a murderous jellyfish that has evolved to ginormous proportions after being exposed to radiation from the long–lost Tybee Bomb.
Director of photography Bob Jones and crew scuttled around the pier capturing terrified faces running from imaginary tentacles (effects to be added in the safety of Longstreth’s home.)
For the crowd scene, McLean and Longstreth put out a Facebook call to lure friends to the beach in exchange for—oh, good God—more PBR.
Hipsters, may I have a word? PBR is undrinkable crap. Yes, Blue Velvet is a really cool movie — ahem, film.
But now that Dennis Hopper has passed, I dare say the time is nigh to find another charmingly ironic cheap beverage to canonize.
Attention, Forsyth Farmers Market shoppers: To avoid tramplage from Saturday’s Rock ’N Roll Marathon, the market will move this week to Sunday, Nov. 6, 2–6pm. It’s back to regular day and time the following week. Produce lovers will be ecstatic to know the market has extended its 2011 season through Dec. 17. It’ll reopen Feb. 11.
Apologies to Becky Smith, who wasn’t credited for the images in last week’s article on the Jewish Food Fest. If you thought her food shots were fabulous, you should see what she does with pets: photosbybecky.net.