Last night was Dallas’s first screening of Vincenzo Natali’s latest film, SPLICE. What made this screening so special was that Warner Bros. asked me to introduce the film and conduct a Q & A afterward. With all the things we’ve accomplished since we first launched almost three years ago (attending Sundance, interviewing Harrison Ford, Jason Reitman, Simon Pegg, Will Ferrell, Bill Murray, and Harmony Korine— to name a few) this was one of my proudest moments. You mean Warner Bros. wants me - the guy who’s been watching Q & As from the sidelines for the last 10 years - to moderate in front of 200 people with the man who made that awesome film in 1997 about mind-bending traps in a maze? Wow. I’m honored.
You see, Rusty has moderated a Q & A before, and James has moderated several, but it’s me who’s done zero. Over the last few months I’ve realized that our site is going to take big hits if I decline on these opportunities, and so I promised my little heart that I would never pass one up again. It wasn’t until last night that I realized how much of an honor it is to do one of these. Hit the jump to get the rest of my thoughts…
One very powerful thing that added to the greatness of this Q & A was how much heart Natali carries with him. Every question an audience member asked him Natali started off with, “That’s an excellent question,” or “That’s a great question” and then he proceeded to answer. I was a bit worried about dead air (a.k.a, nobody asking questions) but Natali reassured me, “If that happens, I know what to do.” I just wanted to reply with, “Will you be my dad?”
When the film ended and we got on stage, I had James come up to assist me because let’s face it, that guy is hilarious and knows his stuff when it comes to public speaking. We fed off of each other well (one of GATW’s strongest features), switching back and forth to ask questions and picking audience members to ask their own. Before we handed over the opportunity for the audience to ask questions, I punned with “Let’s SPLICE things up a bit and turn to the audience for questions.” I’m so proud of that sentence that I brought it into this article.
The questions that came from the audience were so damn good. At one point a boy, who looked no older than nine, asked something that had James and I immediately looking at each other with the facial expression of “This kid just blew my mind.” In the end, it was one of the best Q & As I’ve ever witnessed, even from being on the other side.
I’m so proud of you Dallas, you welcomed (or whalecomed?) Natali pleasantly.
Photos courtesy of Micah Prude (top) and Ashley Hess (bottom).