Dailies: March 23-24, 2013
We woke up with butterflies on Saturday morning because IT WAS THE DAY OF THE GRAVELBOURG SCREENING! These nights are a big deal for us for a number of reasons: 1) You never really know how many people are going to come, 2) You never know what is going to happen to the projection, and 3) You never know the kinds of questions you’ll get after. It’s so much fun too, we love being able to show off a format that most people probably haven’t seen before. Compounding the nervous energy on Saturday morning was the fact that, owing to the weather here, we didn’t finish processing until yesterday and so I hadn’t actually seen any of the films on projection.
It had been looking pretty dodgy late in the week in terms of the weather. Guylaine had done her best to prepare us for the possibility that no one would show up if another blizzard blew in. But Saturday morning arrived with sun and only light wind, and, most importantly, NO SNOW. The town, of course, was bursting at the seams. Many of the friends we’ve made here live outside of town and have been stranded for the last several days. Now, with the plows having completed the secondary routes, people were flooding to town to get supplies and be somewhere other than their houses. We were optimistic about the screening, and so we headed down to the theatre just after noon.
Now we were pretty happy to be screening at this historic venue. As we mentioned before, this theatre is over 60 years old and has served many generations of Gravelbourgers. We had to spend a bit of time positioning ourselves…there was a good spot in the back that allowed us to fill the whole screen but, since most Super 8 projectors are intended for home use, we didn’t have enough light to accommodate such a huge throw. We moved up to a spot about halfway up in the house and had a pretty sizeable (10 feet on the diagonal at a minimum) image and plenty of light. That only took a couple of hours so we spent much of the rest of the afternoon having coffee at Cafe Paris and chatting with people. In true Gravelbourg form, we saw more or less everyone we know over those two hours either in the cafe or passing by on the street in front.
At 6:45 it was time to be back at the theatre (for a 7:30 show). We got the films from Pender Harbour cued up with a reel of Cremona films to follow, and by 7, people were trickling in. In the end, we had a far better turnout than expected…at least 50 people came out to join us, perhaps more! We also met a man from the local paper who we hadn’t gotten in touch with yet and he was able to take a couple of group shots of us and the participants here, which was nice. We screened nearly an hour’s worth of films in total and the Gravelbourg ones were excellent…we’re happy to add them to the roster. There was a nice discussion afterwards and Guylaine kindly presented us with some Gravelbourg goodies to take with us…more on that tomorrow.
Some of the folks from the project were heading out to their place afterwards for a little get together and were kind enough to invite us out. They live in Palmer, which as I may have mentioned is a tiny, nearly deserted little town about 30 minutes southeast of Gravelbourg. We stayed up into the wee hours of the night, swapping stories and listening to records (it’s been a while since we got to do that). There was also a hot tub, and while we were enjoying that, I noticed a snowbank through the open door. I had seen on a TV show that the Scandinavians like to build saunas out in the middle of the snow and jump into that snow when they get too hot inside. They say it’s invigorating. I couldn’t think of another time that I would have the opportunity of being in a hot tub so proximal to a snowbank, so I got out in the -19 degree weather, and flopped into said snowbank. Invigorating is certainly a word for it! My time in the snowbank was certainly short-lived.
The weather was fine again this morning so, with no real agenda, we decided to stroll through town and pick up the remaining shots for the Gravelbourg video. We did that and wandered for a bit before returning to the bus to make dinner and do some housekeeping. It’s about time to prepare to get back on the road…amazing how fast it goes.