I think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends. Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their busy celluloid digesting day.
By Joshua Miller: Facebook Page
Friday Night Frights
There is nothing better than realizing a life-goal far earlier than you ever dreamed possible, especially when said life-goal was somewhat questionably achievable in the first place. Previously here I was “thankful for” movie nights. Just as all foodies love hosting dinner parties, all film nerds love hosting movie nights. And just as all foodies probably secretly wish they had their own restaurant, I think all film nerds wish they had their own cool movie theater at which they could screen awesome films. I’ve never really wished I owned an entire movie theater (that seems like a headache), so much as I just wanted to program the content at a theater someone else owned. Since moving to Los Angeles and becoming twitterpated with the rep-theaters here, like the New Beverly, The Cinefamily and American Cinematheque, my secret dream was to someday become marginally famous enough that I could trick one of these theaters into letting me host some kind of screening series.
This wasn’t a pie in the sky dream, but it was certainly one I felt was distant enough to not bother actually thinking about much. So I was both surprised and fucking elated last fall when Sebastian O’Brien of The Cinefamily asked me if I was interested in helping him create a new horror movie series called Friday Night Frights. It was a wonderful confluence of events, as Sebastian has been a long time CHUD reader, and I had (then) recently premiered my Horror 101 mini-series. That made him think I might have something worth adding to the process. And as I started getting chummy with the fine folks behind the scenes at Cinefamily, including co-founder Hadrian Belove, things quickly snowballed from there.
Though FNF is still in its infancy (we officially began in January), it is already one of the most gratifying aspects of my life currently. I’m not going to bother pretending I don’t like being in front of a crowd – I perform stage comedy and have always found public speaking fun – but that’s not what I find gratifying about it. For one thing, no one is there to see me and Sebastian banter, they’re there for the movies. But that’s the best part! Exposing a friend to a wacko movie they’ve never seen before like The Unseen (1980) is great. Exposing a theater full of noobs to it is face-meltingly fantastic!
Programming a series is more work than I would’ve expected, but that has been gratifying in itself (my awkward phone call with Stephen Furst aside). Finally locating a print of a hard to find film, or finally securing that great guest; these moments have become things I enjoy almost more than the screenings themselves (almost). Writing for CHUD brings me into contact with a lot of filmmakers and actors, but the dynamics are always kind of unnatural when you’re viewed as “the press.” So FNF has also given me the opportunity for legitimate conversations with some very interesting people.
The knowledge that this is only beginning gets me even more excited. Already we’ve had some amazing moments, like Alan Tudyk drunkenly sneaking into the theater unannounced and crashing the Tucker & Dale Vs Evil Q&A, having to turn away a hundred people from the packed screening of Rubber, or Howling 3‘s director, Phillipe Mora, getting stuck in Berlin when he was supposed to do his Q&A, which – thanks to the quick thinking of Cinefamily peeps – ended up taking place via Skype on the movie screen, in a weird moment of Big Brother-like surrealism…
For that creepy great experience and hopefully many more to come, I am thankful for Friday Night Frights, Sebastian O’Brien, and the Cinefamily.
For those who live in Los Angeles, like Friday Night Fright on Facebook. And it’s not too late to enter the ticket giveaway for this Friday’s showing of Society with director Brian Yuzna on board for a Q&A. It’s gonna be a fun one.