STAND made it's world premiere last Friday, May 3rd, at the Frederic Wood Theater at UBC in Vancouver. The show sold out 3 days in advance with people coming from far and wide. The evening was warm and pleasant with a beautiful west coast sunset as people waited in line to get in. Inside the lobby were an assortment of visual treats from behind the scenes to take in along with free stickers, posters, and entry into the Premiere Tour Prize for a standup paddle board from Boardworks Surf along with a lesson from Norm Hann himself. Pacific Wild were also on hand to offer folks information on how they can contribute to protecting the Great Bear.
Once inside the theater the energy was electric. There was no putting it off an further. After introducing some of the great folks who helped make the film a reality and giving away a Quiksilver wetsuit, the lights went down.
As a filmmaker, sharing your work for the first time is always a nerve wracking experience. Two years of work went into producing STAND and after that long it is often difficult to see the project objectively anymore. Basically, Nic and I had no idea if STAND was any good at all. As people settled in, they laughed in the places they were meant to laugh, ohh-ed where they were meant to ohh, and felt the gravity that we felt when making the film.
Afterwards, as the credits came to close, the crowd applauded graciously. What a relief! Personally, I was totally spent. I had really tried to stay calm and cool, not stress and just enjoy the evening, but once it was over, it hit me how exhausted I was. From the night, from the long hours editing, from the cold days shooting surfing in December, from holding back seasickness in Haida Gwaii. Now it was all a reality.
Chatting with people in the lobby afterwards as they purchased DVD's, hats and t-shirts, their enthusiasm for the film brought me back to life and energized us for the next 2 nights as headed to Victoria for an outdoor screening and then onto Tofino. But those are another story.
A huge thank you goes out to all our friends and family who volunteered on the evening ushering, selling merchandise and working Will Call. Natalie Farrell from Quiksilver deserves a special mention for bringing the premiere to life with posters, prints, promotion and give-aways.
And without our awesome sponsors, the project simply wouldn't have been possible. Thank you to Quiksilver Waterman, Wefi Surfboards, Escape Route, Ikelite USA, Boardworks Surf, Kalavida Surf Shop, Soul Haven Sailing, SBC Surf, Coast Mountain Culture and Standup Journal.