Last Friday, we kicked off the IGTM tour with our first show in Santa Cruz, CA. We could not have been happier to do our first public screening there. Nearly two years ago, to the day, we spent nearly a week in Santa Cruz with Edmund and Tommy (of Super Meat Boy) shooting the very first piece of what would eventually grow into Indie Game: The Movie. So coming back two years later with the finished film was pretty special.
We showed at The Rio Theatre, and the house was packed. 650 people. Never did we think we’d sell 100% of the seats. But there it was - aisle upon aisle, full, elbow to elbow type of stuff. It was a magical evening full of friends, family, and indie game fans.
The line outside was insane. From an event organization stand point, this being our first stop on the tour, it was a bit of ‘baptism-by-fire’. Remember, it’s just us two putting this thing on. So that massive line simultaneously filled us with pride, while also sending shivers down our spine :) But, with the help from some kind hearted volunteers (shout out to Sil, Dante & Jamie), it all came together nicely. People got in, seated and, before we knew it, the show was ready to start.
And as if things weren’t special enough, adding to the event’s magic was the fact that it was Edmund’s birthday. So, naturally we kicked off with a rousing 650+ voice rendition of happy birthday :)
The film started and crowd went quiet... well, quiet-ish. This was a very reactive crowd. Laughing, gasping and spontaneously clapping. It was great. As filmmakers, we’re always hyper aware of the audience’s reactions & ‘vibe’. But, I think this was the first screening in which others in the audience were even more aware than us.
This being Edmund & Danielle’s hometown, the seats were filled with family and friends. People who were around when them while Super Meat Boy was being developed. It creates an interesting (and potentially terrifying) dynamic. People around Edmund and Danielle knew that they were making SMB, but I’m sure, no matter how much Ed & Danielle explained the stress of the process, the people around them likely never really knew or fully understood exactly how hard it was. But, watching the film, one can get a much fuller idea. Everyone in the film is exceptionally honest and each person featured has moments of very real vulnerability. It’s really what makes the film special.
So, it’s one thing to commit that vulnerability to film and release it to the world via DVD and the Internet. It’s another thing entirely to sit in a room full of the people closest to you and re-watch these moments. We can only imagine how strange an experience that must be.
But for every moment of audible gasp or the wiping of tears, there were moments of mid-film applause, hoots & hollers, and even shouts of ‘you’re damn right!’ directed at the screen. This was Edmund & Danielle’s crowd. And they were behind the couple every second of the 96 minutes.
When the credits started to roll, we all took to the stage - everybody involved in the film (with the exception of Jon, who couldn’t make it) - and did the longest Q & A to date. It was a great QA, and thanks to the guys at Design 3, we have it here below:
Capping the evening off were some awesome prizes! Edmund & Tommy gifted a copy of Super Meat Boy to EVERYONE in the audience. And then Michael Hu from Adobe came up and gave away two copies of the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection (HUGE value!) and Flash Builder.
Prizes aside, we can’t thank the people at Adobe enough! Their help made this evening happen, and it’s making all of the next tour stops happen as well.
Thanks to everyone for coming out to the show. You made this evening great. We have another 14+ stops to go. If you’re in any of the tour stops, we’d love to see you there.