Sunday, February 20, 2011

ABEL RAISES CAIN screens in Ocean Springs, MS

Our last stop in Mississippi - Ocean Springs, MS is a tiny gulf town where everybody knows everybody.
The hotel where we're staying used to be Elvis' summer home in the 50s. We're not in the fancy part, however.
Our room is part of the adjacent motel strip added on to the property twenty years after the "king" stayed here. But it's still nice to rock and relax and watch the golf carts drive by.
When we arrived, I was so hungry I could have eaten part of the bedspread. The problem was that EVERYTHING was CLOSED! There's a main drag where you can find a Waffle House and Applebee's, but I craved real local food. I finally found a bar in the little quaint downtown area that made pizzas. There's nothing like a pizza when you are starving. After gorging myself, I had to stop and grab a shot of the idyllic train station on my way back to the Elvis Hotel.

Our first night in Ocean Springs, we were free to do whatever we pleased. We took a walk under the moonlight and soaked in the delicious syrupy air and sound of the night critters.

The following morning, my dad and I spoke to a high school class. The kids were great! And the teacher was energetic and passionate about film. I played clips of my dad's pranks for them. Of course, the clip that received the most laughs was the one where my dad made me eat a 'hair sandwich' on camera. If it sounds strange, you'll have to see the film to understand, I guess.

After the class lecture, we had a nice lunch and headed over to Biloxi to do a television interview on Channel 13.
Like New Orleans, Biloxi is still in the process of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, which is pretty depressing since it's been over six years ago.
Once we arrived at the TV studio, you wouldn't believe who we met in the Green Room! Yes, a Civil War reenactor with a very real gun. He kept 'playing' with the gun controls. Between that guy and the nearby studio access door that took about three minutes to creak to a complete close, I was feeling a bit on edge.
Unfortunately, my dad was like a cow on a conveyer belt on his way to becoming a hamburger during his interview segment. The host was nice and all, but they had him on and off camera so fast. He couldn't even get a soundbyte in. I guess it's karma from all of his fast-talking characters like Omar the Beggar who never let TV hosts get a word in edgewise.
The Mary C. Theater is gorgeous. I was eagerly anticipating our screening. It's too bad that I had a couple of panicked trips up to the projection room to adjust the picture and sound after the film was already rolling.
Note to all filmmakers, even when the projectionist says that he/she already did a tech check and it looked and sounded fine, insist on another tech check!

Eric was a gracious host. The backstage room was stocked with snacks and more beer than a whole fraternity house could ever consume in one night. During the screening, my dad sat backstage, loudly eating Fritos. Every time he fished around in that bag to get another Frito, it sounded like a thunder storm rolled into town. When I heard the echo throughout the theater of him cracking open a can of soda, that was the final straw!
The crowd was small but enthusiastic. It turned out to be a fun evening, however the reality of the daunting drive the following day to Birmingham crept up on us slowly but surely. There is nothing like rushing a 5-hour drive to get to the next screening. Talk about putting the pedal to the metal.
After breakfast, we'll say "Goodbye Mississippi." It was definitely an adventure!

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