Tuesday, December 18, 2007

B-Fest Update No. 2

We've got the mini-van, tickets are secure (while we hold our breath on the money) and we look to be set in terms of plans. So instead of diving into the minutia of B-Fest planning, I want to write a little bit about B-Fest.

Have you been to the B-Fest site recently? They have an FAQ that's adequate in terms of nuts and bolts, but woefully lacking in terms of practical advice for surviving B-Fest. For example, the first time Chad went to the fest, he actually thought you couldn't bring food into the auditorium! HA!

I've come up with 10 pieces of advice, many of which I hope to follow in a month or so.

10. Reading the line-up doesn't help - we all go in cold. Even if you're familiar with the films and have seen them repeatedly, there's no way of knowing just how the fest audience will take a particular film. "The Apple," might have broken you in your living room, but at the fest, it's a party. Coffee may seem decent at home, at the fest, it's transcendent. One would think Zardoz, complete with a saggy Sean Connery in a wedding gown, is going to soar, but the fest may not abide. The mood of the fest shifts and melts like Robert Patrick at the end of Terminator 2. You can never enter the same way twice and you must leave in a different route than you came. All you have is instinct, and even then...you just don't.

9. Stay away from the guy with his own giant bug movie.

8. Take time for conversation. Yes, you can prove you've got a metal ass, but wouldn't it be more fun to take a spin and see the sleeping wimps, watch the bloggers at their craft and engage in conversations you can't have anywhere else? It doesn't have to be long, but sit and talk. It's like stopping to smell the daisies before Godzilla tramps on them.

7. Establish home base early. Why do you think the vets rush the auditorium while the noobs hang back? In hour 10-18 of the fest, before the giant love fest of survivors begins, territory can be a precious thing. Coats and bags, snacks and cups, all need to be utilized to dictate to others exactly where you are and where you plan to return to. Also, it's important to choose your seating carefully. The wrong people behind you can turn an experience into an ordeal.

6. Don't leave. Don't go back to the hotel for four hours to sleep, don't go somewhere else for ribs...just don't. Part of the appeal is living 1/365th of the year in the confines of the student center and nowhere else. The space really is benign, thank God, as strong architecture might drive you insane. But endure, in the building, unless it catches fire. It's part of the experience. Fresh air is overrated.

5. Dairy can help. The past two years, come hour 18 or so when I hit my second wall, a well placed cup of yogurt or stick of string cheese has vaulted me over the hump and onto the last feature.

4. Cheer during the following moments: -when the lights go down the first time -when the name Edward D. Wood Jr. appear on screen -the first time the dummy is thrown from stage right -the first time the wheel rolls across the floor -during "The Wizard of Speed and Time" -the first time the paper plates go up -after skits, no matter how lame -after the first USA chant -any time, and I mean any time Chuck Norris appears on screen.

3. Don't get your hopes up too high during the drawing. 400 and...400 and...400 and...

2. Buy a copy of the B-Fest album from Tim. Seek him out. If he wants money, pay it. Tip him, maybe. The mixing alone is usually worth it.

1. Geek out. Wear your nerdiest shirt. Don't comb your hair. Got an idea for a skit that seems great at the time? This is the time. All year we bite our tongues at times, do things that sting for a second because it goes contrary to who we are. At the fest, we are who we are, and people will take that or leave it. Mostly they'll take it, because we're freaks watching freaks in a freak environment. Revel in it, soak in it, breathe in the nerd funk and feel good about it. This is unlike any other time of the year.


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