It was the day my film Baby Baby Baby was premiering at the Austin Film Festival and I had never seen rain like that before. My phone was beeping incessantly with different texts from different people telling me that they had been stranded, rerouted, or were stuck. The editor and a cast member had been sent to Dallas and rented a car. They were driving the rest of the way. The executive producers were delayed for hours on end and the star of the film, Adrienne Palicki, was stuck on a plane at LAX that would never take off because of the conditions in Austin. I was more than frazzled, but that was just the beginning.
One of the the producers of the film, Bobby Bauer and I, braved the torrential rain and walked over to the theater where the movie would premier later that night. At that point to call it a theater would be a stretch, it was more like a lake. Rain was pouring in and pooling at the base of the screen and the theater manager, Steve, was standing there in shorts mopping up the small ocean. Luckily, the festival coordinator, Barbara Morgan was there, and with the help of Bobby, they were able to talk me off the ledge, telling me it would all come together. I guess Barbara had a direct line to the festival Gods because the rain stopped. The day went on and people arrived, late and worse for wear but they made it and then the moment finally came for the movie to premier. Somehow, miraculously, the staff at Austin pulled it off. The theater was dry, the projection was wonderful, and the movie went off without a hitch. There is something so wonderful seeing your film on the screen with the people who worked so hard to make it happen: with cast, the crew and the producers all of whom bled to make a small movie, to make something special.
The next day the rain stopped and the weather was clear and perfect. I spent the day watching films and enjoying the city of Austin with my family and the cast and crew of Baby Baby Baby. I couldn’t have asked for a better festival experience and the cherry on top was winning the Comedy Vanguard Jury Award and Audience Award. They say sometimes rain is good luck and for me at the Austin Film Festival, it was most certainly that. Although, I still get little shudders of post traumatic stress syndrome when I hear the sound of thunder off in the distance.
Brian Klugman is an actor, writer and director whose latest feature, Baby Baby Baby, won the Comedy Vanguard Jury and Audience Awards at AFF 2015.
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