Monday, July 10, 2006

Film Fest decision day...

Okay, the passes for the Toronto International Film Festival go on sale today and I need to make up my mind before the passes sell out.

Pro:

  1. I always see amazing films -- many of which never hit the theatres or don't hit them until a couple of years later

  2. Most of the films screened have excellent writing... I find I can learn alot about character development or storytelling from watching well written films.

  3. I must admit, I love the excitement of seeing the films first and seeing the stars and having the opportunity to ask quesitons of the actors and film makers.

  4. I've met some cool people at past fests -- many of whom I run into each year.

  5. Cool stuff happens -- like Bono showing up at the screening for BREAKFAST ON PLUTO last year. Very interesting film, by the way... Cillian Murphy rocks. I had seen him in RED EYE and BATMAN RETURNS in theatres around the same time... and talk about a different role! And yes, Bono just showed up. Was hanging around the lobby shaking people's hands and then leaned against the wall near the back during the film. I could list more cool festival moments... but perhaps will save them for another blog entry...



Con:

  1. It's a lot of money... Over $500 including taxes for a Festival Pass -- which is what I've bought the past 2 years... A festival pass entitles the holder to up to 50 films... It's pretty tricky to actually see 50 films... It's officially 11 days, but other than the opening night Gala, for which it's impossible to get a ticket, there usually aren't many interesting (to me) films screened on the first night... And there's often not much on the final Sunday, either... so that leaves 9 or 10 days... Which makes, yes, 5 movies a day. It's possible to do six, (9ish, noonish, 3ish, 6ish, 9ish, midnight) but I never have. I had tickets for 6 one day during the 2004 festival, but ended up skipping the last one (which was THE MACHINIST with Christian Bale, another very cool film, which I eventually saw... but not at the midnight world premiere at the TIFF, big pout -- I was just too tired...) But I did do 5 per day most days last year...

  2. It's grueling -- see above. I basically have to be out of the house by 8:00 am for the first screening (even though I'm lucky enough to live in the city quite close to most of the theatres) and I'm rarely home before midnight -- usually closer to 1:00 am... It always takes me an hour or so to wind down, before I can sleep... so yes, very little sleep for Maureen during the festival. About 5 days into the festival last year, I was getting a cold, was very, very tired and swore I'd never do it again... But I do love it...

  3. It sucks up a huge amount of time... During the festival, I'm basically unreachable and don't get anything done... Not only is there the 11 actual days of the festival, but even with the amazing festival pass, there's a lot of work to do pre-fest... More on this in a subsequent post.

  4. I eat badly and don't exercise for a week. Okay, so anyone who's met me or has seen a photo is probably thinking, "She normally eats healthy and exercises????" But actually, while consistent healthy eating is a big problem for me... I do work out and missing that for a couple of weeks makes me feel crappy.

  5. I usually get a cold -- undoubtedly related to the popcorn and hot dog diet and the lack of sleep and exercise... not to mention breathing air shared by several thousand people in a confined space all day.


Hmmmm, my con list looks longer... but it's just because I ranted about the cons. Bottom line, even though the festival is really about standing in lines for 2 weeks... interspersed with great films and the opportunity to see movie stars... I love it.

Still slightly on the fence... Wish I had a crystal ball that would tell me what else will be going on for me in September... will I have a book deal? Will I be making revisions? Will I have something else pressing on my time...
Gah! Must Make Decision....

6 comments:

Kristin said...

Why do you have to go to so many films? Can't you just decide to see one every day? Or do you feel obligated to get your $500 worth?

That sounds very neat, though. I am a big movie addict. Must be the writer in me...love to watch stories unfold...how the characters develop, how the movie ends.

Maureen McGowan said...

Yes, Kristin... That is a VERY good question! LOL

Problem is, as soon as I get the program book, I want to see everything...

My blog entry didn't get into the options between a full pass and nothing... There are options to buy books of 10, books of 30, passes for specific theatre venues... Lots of choices.

Must choose one and go for it :-)

Lara said...

I've never been, which is really rather disgraceful since I live in the GTA and all.. But I don't know how you do it. I'm a movie buff and I still don't think I could sit through that many movies a day. I'd get total numb bum. *grin*

Could you compromise, and get one of the smaller packages and that way you get the best of both worlds?

Maureen McGowan said...

I did 27 films the first year... and just did it on last minute picks the day the single tickets went on sale (in line fo 10 hours)... but I got hooked. I kind of feel like it's all or nothing for me now... And I don't like that 10 hour line to get just what's left over after the pass holders have made their picks...

Re the numb bum thing... You spend time between each movie standing in line. (I know, sounds GREAT doesn't it) But actually the lines are mostly outside and the past few years the weather has been gorgeous (actually, it rained one day last year) so you get these hours long breaks outside either walking between theatres or standing in line talking to people about what films they've seen... I suppose that's really one of the things I most love... Chatting with the other festival goers.

You should go, Lara!

Eileen said...

A friend goes to the Vancouver fest. She carries this backpack the size of a small Volvo and hoofs it with healthy snacks, some hand weights, a book to read while in line. Basically, she lives out of the backpack. She wouldn't have it any other way. Let us know what you pick

Maureen McGowan said...

Your friend is smart, Eileen! Last year I had these great plans to bring food... but with 11 days of the festival, the stuff I'd cooked/prepared before it started ran out about day 3 and I was too lazy (tired) to keep it up... I do make some pretty wicked homemade protein bars. I'll try to do those again this year... (they're basically peanut butter (or almond butter) oatmeal and protein powder... But I usually put in some honey and cocoa powder so its like a little treat... And at about 250-300 calories they're a meal.

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