Looking Back on T/F

Check out the story I threw together for MyMissourian.com. It is meant to be read fast, and I recommend you hold your breath as long as possible while you read it. This will help give you a sense of what Ryan and I were feeling during the festival.

Local directors look back on True/False experience

[published March 16, 2011]

Opening Night

Columbia has to be one of the top-five coolest places to live. When we are asked “Where are you guys from?” we answer proudly, without hesitation, Columbia, Missouri!

This town made “Zielinski” possible, and it was such a great feeling to see it play on our home stage, The Blue Note, on opening night. We had a great audience that night. Four hundred strong and all ready to hear John’s story. It was so cool to see the audience chanting ZIE-LIN-SKI after the film.

Ryan Wylie was the moderator of our Q&A. Class act.

My favorite moment was when someone asked John: “You’re such an amazing photographer. Why don’t you just stick to that, man?” John replied, “If some of you would get out there and help expose child slavery, then maybe I could go back to being a photographer.” Amazing!

Hung out with Ted and Matt. Lost my briefcase.

Day 2

Found my briefcase. Made it to Broadway Brewery for our interview on NPR. Fat breakfast. Nap. Panel discussion about whether we are laughing at or with our film subjects. Tornado!!! Get to the basement! Screening at The Hive. Said goodbye to The Pasta Factory. I worked there for four years and met my lover there. The restaurant is moving west by Hy-Vee. P-fac, downtown will miss you.

Went to say what’s up to Ted at The Blue Note, and we watched “KNUCKLE.” Made my way to the @ction party. Way cool. Good peeps. Even got to see Rob Rassmussen, one of the stars in “Zielinski.” Went home early to get some sleep for the True Life Run at 8 a.m.

Day 3

Early start. 5k run. So cold. 26:16. Fattest breakfast in the world.

Noticed a familiar face on the front page of the Tribune. It was the three of us (John, Ryan, Chase) from the Thursday night screening at The Blue Note.

It should be noted that page two had two articles on human trafficking and child pornography. You could hold the paper up to the light and see John’s face peeking through. Great press! John is loving it.

We geared up for our Saturday night screening at Little Ragtag. We went to see Chad Freidrich’s film, “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth.” It was a packed screening at The Globe Theater.

After the Q&A, I went to get ready to introduce our film while Ryan went to The Blue Note to show his short film for Gimme Truth. I talked with Becky and Mark about all kinds of stuff. Films, bombs, weird laws and the new Chow Wagon.

Ryan made it back in time to do the Q&A. We had a great discussion with a wide variety of intellects. Two women had a very heated debate during the Q&A. It was nice to have the pressure taken off for a minute and sit back and watch the show.

It was late and time to go to another party. The super secret party was the jam! Ran into Channing Kennedy. It’s been a while, bro. That was cool. Also ran into my old friend Zeb. Way cool. Stayed out way too late and did the zombie walk home.

Day 4

Woke up to a text saying, “See you in 15 minutes.” I’m supposed to be at this breakfast. Luckily I still had my clothes and shoes on. I made it there, no problem, and had some great conversation with some of the female filmmakers from the festival who were interested in Citizen Jane. Breakfast was served on the top floor of the Tiger Hotel. Sweet view. I think I saw Fulton.

Time for lunch. Used a coupon, ate a sandwich. Fair trade. Took it real easy. Getting ready for the last screening of our film at Windsor Cinema. Around 300 people watched “Zielinski” that night. We had a wonderful Q&A and headed to the closing night reception.

On our way downtown I noticed that the moon was waxing again. With just a sliver showing, we were escorted downtown with an ear-to-ear smile. How perfect. I had nothing left and went home afterward. I hear the volunteer party was tight. They deserve a night of madness to shake off all the questions they have had to answer. See you next year. Long live True/False!