Once again, Blobageddon has reared its head. This time it was at the seventh annual Roslyn Film Festival, a community-based event held at the Roslyn Fire Company in Abington, PA to benefit the fire fighters. This marks the fifth time Blobageddon has been unleashed on an unsuspecting audience and both Sanj and I were in attendance Saturday evening March 23rd.
I’d been living in Abington, PA since November 2010 and hadn’t heard about the festival until a few months ago – just in time to get a last minute submission sent in ahead of the deadline. Sundance, it’s not. But, it is more than either of us expected. We recognize that Blobageddon is not exactly cinematic excellence. What it is, it is and that’s cheese, glorious, indulgent cheese. Go ahead and soak it in. It’s less than five minutes. I’ll wait.
We shot it specifically with the Phoenixville Blobfest in mind. It somehow managed to win the 2012 Blobfest Short Film competition, covered more fully in a prior post. At that point, it was the most involved video we had produced, complete with an animated blob and a mad scientist’s lab (Part I and Part II). As low budget as it is, we put plenty of work into it and want it to get as much exposure as we could muster. The Roslyn Film Festival takes place only five minutes from my home. We couldn’t resist an opportunity to see Blobageddon screened for another audience, so we entered.
While it’s not a high profile festival, it is a worthwhile and enjoyable fund-raiser for the Roslyn Fire Company. We expected other films to be about on par with the dubious quality of our submission. That was not the case. Nine short films were screened, all of which had better editing and larger budgets than our homage to the Blob.
Audience members were given a ballot and asked to cast their vote for their favorite. First, second and third place trophies were to be awarded at the end. Going into the event, we thought our chances of winning a trophy stood at 33% with nine entries. After seeing the competition, we quickly determine our changes fell to about 0.002% or less.
Both Sanj and I have seen Blobageddon dozens of times. As it played, we were paying more attention to the audience reaction than the movie. When the audience vote was tallied there was a Q&A session with the filmmakers. Someone asked what it was like hearing the audience’s response to your own comedy. I was frank. The laughs were not as frequent or as loud this time around as they were at Blobfest or at Mascara and Popcorn and I think that has to do with the audience as much as it does with the movie. Having seen Blobageddon in several different events, I think the response hinges on the context and expectations.
John answering a question from the audience in the filmmaker Q&A session.
Blobfest is all about camp. And camp we are. That audience was expecting it and reveling in it. The Mascara and Popcorn crowd enjoyed cheese horror and appreciated our short for what it was. A crowd of sci-fi and horror fans I presented to last month also enjoyed the movie despite its apparent flaws. This time, at the Roslyn Film Fest, it was different. We were up against dramas and documentaries with a budget edited by people in film school. The first film set the tone. Infinite, unlike our submission, had a set, crew, preproduction planning, etc. A sci-fi drama, it touched on fundamental religious questions and the nature of the universe. On the spectrum of quality independent films, it’s about as far from Blobageddon as possible. Moreover, it set the tone for the festival. There were just as many comedic shorts as there were dramas, but the dramas shined in terms of editing and cinematography.
Infinite won third-place. We didn’t have a chance. Dancing Outside the Box, a documentary about wheel chair dancing, won second. Toy Soldier, a short about a boy who loses his father in the Iraq war, took first.
They are all well-deserved wins and give us something to aspire to as amateur filmmakers. Blobageddon is only a start. We’ve been moving along in post-production with Zombie Casserole and have a few more scripts churning away. We will be submitting to the Roslyn Film Festival next year.
We continue to film in and around the Philadelphia area. If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.