On Tour: Erie, PA

2 Mar

March 1, 2015  | Still Dreaming | Erie, PA

For a filmmaker, there is truly nothing like seeing your film in a darkened theater, on a big screen, in the embrace of an enthusiastic audience. This experience mends the cracks in your spirit which were caused by long lapses in funding and rejections along the way. It heartens you after the requisite struggle with narrative, character development, and the question of ‘what is the right stylistic approach?’ And it reconnects you to other human beings after a protracted process of working in solitude. This is the magical time of bringing forth a story into the world.


Still Dreaming on the big screen at Mercyhurst University.


Here I am in Erie, PA, for my first stop of the 6-city ON SCREEN/IN PERSON tour, sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. I am so grateful for this opportunity. STILL DREAMING is still very new, having only screened 3 times thus far. Today, I got the opportunity to see how the film plays to a small city audience, one made up mostly of retirees.


Charlotte Fairchild reminisces about her understudy role in Mame on Broadway.


The audience was fairly quiet during the screening today, whereas the NYC and Washington DC audiences had been raucous. I felt that they were enjoying it, but I wasn’t sure how deeply it affected them. They were a kind and respectful bunch, asking polite questions about the subject matter and the filmmaking process. Where I really felt the impact of the film on them was after the Q&A. People started coming up to me, telling me how deeply they had been touched by the film, and how important its message is. Many people bought DVDs to share with friends, and gave me ideas of where to screen the film next. This is when you know the film is successful – when people just can’t wait to share it. Thank you Erie! Now you know how I have felt for the past three years, working to finish the film! Onward to St. John – if I can get outta this beautiful, snowy place!

Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Jilann Spitzmiller.
To listen to a podcast interview with the filmmaker, click here.


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