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PREMIERE DAY "A wild night in Montreal..." PDF Print E-mail
Written by By Alexandre Michaud   
Nov 25, 2004 at 07:00 PM
Saturday, November 6th 1999. I wake up around 8am. Today is going to be a great day, as they say. Today is the premiere of my own little movie - URBAN FLESH. It's been three full years now since me and a good friend, JeF Grenier, first talked about making a gory cannibal movie set in a city. The idea was good and we stuck with it until the end.
Being a young director hungry for experience, and Jef being a professional special effects artist, the project quickly took off. We wrote the script in less than four months! In June '97, we started to shoot all around Montreal on weekends. The 11 day schedule turned into a very quick 14 days over three months and in September we were finally done.
After many problems with promised editing rooms and a session studying finance in Finland, I was finally back in Montreal and ready to edit the movie all alone in my tiny apartment. Editing started in November '98 and was completed in August of the next year. That's a long time filled with many very lonely nights in front of a stupid computer!
Anyway, the movie was completed and ready for a first screening. The premiere was today, November 6th, 1999 at 8pm. I was twelve short hours from the final test.
My family arrives in Montreal early in the afternoon, and a couple of beers later JeF and I have to leave to pick up some friends (in fact, some web-buddies I had never seen...) from the States at the train station. At 5:30, Ron Bonk from B-Movie Theater/Sub Rosa Studios and Carlo & Mike Russo show their faces out of the Amtrak train from Syracuse, NY, U.S.A.
A crazy overcrowded taxi ride and a quick visit to the hotel later, I'm at the Goethe Institut chatting with the technician about the sound and the picture quality. I am finally seeing URBAN FLESH on a big screen for the first time...
People start to pour in around 7:15pm and the lobby rapidly becomes crowded with all kinds of people who were friends of friends of people I had invited. I found myself acting as both a bartender giving beers and Ricards away as well as running PR for my movie! In between all that I am having a very hard time remembering everybody's name while keeping an eye on strangers who are trying to steal all the press-kits, tapes and posters! By 8, all the actors and technicians are there. Ron, Carlo, Mike and JeF are there. My family is there. My friends are there. The show is ready to start... I give a look into the theater for the first time... DAMNATION!!! The seats are full and there are still about twenty persons in the lobby!!! Hell! It's a sell-out crowd!
The theater staff gets all the chairs they can find and I am ready for my (OH! SO IMPROVISED...) speech in front of the 100+ crowd. JeF says some words and we are ready to roll... Lights out. I'm out in the lobby for the next 15 minutes before coming in for an awfully stressful hour and a half standing up against the wall and chewing on an empty foam cup.
That's when I realize that filmmakers really do live and die with the crowd! Every time somebody in the room makes a sound or moves, my heart jumps. Fortunately, after a while, I see that the crowd seems to react where I wanted them to react. From this moment on, I know that either they liked it or not - THE MOVIE WORKED.
9:45pm. The credits appear. Half a second of silence. Then... Applause!!!
The moment of truth! People are getting out of the theater into the lobby and passing by me at the door. I shake a hundred hands and get a hundred kisses... and I get comments. I think they liked it... Good.
Lobbying once again. "Yes, I loved it..." "Yeah, I liked it but..." "I liked some of it..." We get all kinds of more or less coherent comments about the movie. I'm very glad. The pros seem to like it a lot for our technical efforts and our new ideas. The actors seem to like what I did with the editing. The technicians are thrilled with everything. People who know underground filmmaking like it because it was gory and cruel. People who had no interest in underground filmmaking like it because it makes them feel something different than any other movie. My friends like it because they saw my cameo as the "kid selling chocolate to the cannibals!" And my parents like it simply because they are my parents... Actually, only one stupid fuck hates the movie and neither JeF nor me know who this creep is...
10:20pm. What I've been waiting for all day! Beer time!!! We take Ron, Carlo and Mike for a typical night out in Montreal. We walk to Le Saint-Sulpice, a huge legendary French bar on St-Denis Street. I get drunk with JeF, Dany Fortin (my AD) and the ever perfect Mireille Lévesque who plays Samantha in the movie. My family and my friends are also there to celebrate. Beers, tequilas, "blow-job" shooters (Man! That's disgusting!), strippers, cigars... I'm dead drunk.... It's three o'clock... I'm going home to die. The End.
8am. Sunday morning!!! Oh! My God! My head hurts... I go and pick up Ron and the two Italiano-Americanos to the train station. They are almost late for the 10:10 train but we run a little bit and they finally catch it. That's it. I am alone. That's really THE END. I come back home and drop dead once more on my sofa.
URBAN FLESH is a Canadian independent gore movie made on video by HELLTIMATE STUDIO. Fans of extreme gore Italian horror flicks are urged to check it out! This is one wild movie! It's like RABID DOGS meets ZOMBIE!

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