Numerous Cats Productions has four moving parts. Me, of course. Chris, the web developer, internet guru and father of arguably the most adorable 2-year-old alive. Dom, who runs a record label, sells tickets and redefines the hustle everyday of his life. And Lamont, who is currently chasing his own vision of the American dream.
That does not count Leslye, who shoots, edits, designs, codes, produces, directs, writes and performs minor miracles when called upon.
Of our five, I was the only one who traveled to attend Black Soil. It doesn’t matter why. It only matters that it is. Or was.
And that I was the lone hand, voice, set of feet and eyes available to street team for the okaymentary.
Which is how I occupied the last four days of my time in the Netherlands.
A Pre-Screening Party at Jimmy Wu’s. IDFA. The Flying Pig Hostels. Black Soil, itself. And every nook and cranny of a 25-round-mile-radius of Amsterdam proper. Or not so proper. As it were.
I wandered. Purposely. Accidentally. Endlessly. (Seriously. You should see the callouses on my feet.)
In those wanderings, I...well...I wish I could tell you that I was inspired. But inspiration is not the byproduct of the street teaming process. No matter where it takes place. It is exhausting. And, in the best of times, it is hopeful.
Hopeful that the people whose hands you shook were genuinely interested in your project and will remember when it is that you want them to attend your screening. Hopeful that none of the flyers you placed so thoughtfully and artfully will be carelessly discarded. Hopeful that you'll get a 10% return on all of the work you put in.
Fast forward to 7 pm on Sunday, Dec. 2. An hour before the Amsterdam screening of the okaymentary.
The venue hosting the Amsterdam installation of Black Soil was dope. Similar to the one in Rotterdam as Bitterzoet served multiple purposes. Theatre plus cafe plus bar. The gorgeous soda bottle of a Dutch-Israeli bartender who worked in the café arrived early. Her sunny brown eyes and extra large dimples sharply contrasted the dark, cold, rainy outside where most of my last desperate afternoon had taken place. Hope hung on. For just a few minutes longer.
Minutes before the screening, though, practicality entered the building.
The Bitterzoet Theatre contained about 150 seats. It was about a third full. I would have preferred that it be about a third empty. I made a quick visit to the bartender to keep my spirits up. And the screening commenced.
The post-show Q&A—as is becoming customary—featured an intriguing array of inquiries and comments about the internet and its cultural impact. We may not have made a widely seen (yet) or easy to sell film, but our story certainly is a thought-provoking one.
If only my credit card company accepted thoughts as payment.
Clinging to the last bits of hope, I asked the bartender to help me out with that.
By pouring several Jamesons, of course.
How else did you expect this story to end?