2010-08-20 / Columnists

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
Commentary by Sharon Gabriel

It’s just a few days away until the Rockaway premiere of “The Bungalows of Rockaway.” It’s very exciting to have a premiere here in our home town.

Though it’s not with the kleig lights a la Broadway, we couldn’t be more excited.

Every evening I receive four to five phone calls requesting tickets and when I tell the folks that in addition to the film we will have a little cocktail reception and a chance to speak with the director, they are even more excited, as most people probably have never been to a premiere of a film.

In my other life, Hollywood type premieres were not an unusual occurrence. If the picture was opening in New York there was always a big to-do. I can remember so many times when it rained cats and dogs when everyone would be dressed in their finest and had to run from their limousines into the theatre so as not to get wet. “Oh the trials and tribulations of the rich and famous”! But, we always got a laugh out of it. Weeks in advance when we knew a picture was opening I would say to get out your raincoats, and more times than not, it rained. Of course, the one time I remember that it did not rain was the opening of “Lawrence of Arabia.“

All I know is that when the intermission came, everyone was running to the water fountain for a drink. The arid desert can do that to you, but it was so uncanny.

But, to get back to our “Bungalows of Rockaway,“ I will guarantee right now, NO RAIN! At least, I hope not.

For those who are hearing about our film for the first time, following the screening we will be having a small reception, in the lobby of the theatre, with wine and goodies and everyone will have a chance to speak to Jennifer Callahan, the director of the film.

Jennifer is a delightful lady and she and her co-producer, Elizabeth Harris, have worked on this film for at least five years. They have literally put hundreds of hours into making the film into something that people would like to see.

These are two ladies who don’t have the track record of say, a Stephen Spielberg, who can go to almost any film company and obtain funding for a film. If you don’t have a record of prior profitable work, it is next to impossible to get film companies to listen to you, let alone give you the money you need to put a film together.

So, you have to do the legwork yourself, going to whomever you think might be a backer for your film and hope they will listen to your ideas.

Even if you have name recognition in Hollywood, it doesn’t always mean you will get the film made by the first company you go to. I know for a fact, that “My Fair Lady” was shopped around (in fact my company passed on it and what a mistake that turned out to be). It takes hard work, many hours and many years to get something up on the screen and hope it will be successful. It takes hundreds of hours and hundreds of people to put together what you see on the screen for an hour and a half. More film is literally left on the cutting room floor than is on the screen and then when you hear people say that they saw a film and didn’t think it was so good, I think back to the years and months, weeks and days it took to complete.

I don’t go to the films too often nowadays, because there is very little being released that interests me. Car crashes, flying saucers, outer space and aliens don’t cut it for me and I have a theory about all of it. Years ago, there was wonderful dialogue in films, two people speaking together without using four letter words, story lines that people could identify with, but today I believe the writers are lost as to how to write dialogue between a man and a woman if they don’t end up in bed together.

Why is “Casablanca” such a success all these many years later. It’s because of great acting and a writer who could make you believe what was being saidwithout four letter words.

Now to get back to “The Bungalows of Rockaway.“ There are no four letter words or scenes in bed, so come and enjoy a wonderful evening about our town and meet some great people.

Call me, 718-474-8353 and I’ll take your ticket reservations.

See you at the Post Theatre in Ft. Tilden on Sunday evening, August 22.

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