A Wacky Wonderful Weekend in Woodstock…

So… it was an exciting, awesome and draining week up in the NY countryside.  Woodstock is such a chill and charming town – it was a pleasure being there and it was definitely a more low-key experience than the Los Angeles Film Festival.  We were able to relax a lot more. That being said – this festival experience is quite a ride of expectations, nerves and emotions.

We headed up to Woodstock on Wednesday night with our friends Brette & Ben. Brette was the casting director for Hello Lonesome and Ben is the glass blower extraordinaire I’ve written about in previous posts.  We found our country rental home in the dark, which was a little challenging, dropped off our stuff and headed out to a yummy (and SPICY) dinner at a place called New World Home Cooking, which is run by a guy named Ric Orlando – a former champion of the Food Network show “Chopped”.  Then, we came home and chilled… the calm before all the excitement began.

Thursday was a relaxing day.  It was still pretty sleepy in Woodstock and it was raining and raining and raining.  Earlier in the day, Adam sat on a filmmaker panel with filmmakers Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal, who were there with their movie Stranger Things, and with Larry Fessenden, who produced and acted in the awesome foodie horror film, Bitter Feast. Eleanor and Ron are a couple – he’s the director and she’s the cinematographer.  I have fantasies of being Adam’s cinematographer someday and doing a film together!  How amazing would that be?

Oh – and side note… in the filmmaker lounge before the panel started, I had my first and only celebrity spotting… Adrian Grenier.  He was there with a documentary he co-produced and was featured in called Don’t Quit Your Daydream.  I heard Ed Norton, Keanu Reeves and Ed Burns were also there but I didn’t see any of them.


After the panel, we went to see a highly entertaining documentary called Client 9 about the rise and fall of Elliot Spitzer.  I definitely recommend seeing it – it’s coming to theaters in early November.  It was an intriguing story… (I’m going to go on a tangent now)… I mean, in the end, Spitzer was an idiot for getting involved in a prostitution ring after busting prostitution rings himself a few years prior.  I mean, who knows what’s going on in his private life… I don’t like to judge – but that was just dumb – he was asking for it.  That being said, it seems like he’s a really smart guy – and that he’s not afraid to go after the hugely corrupt and powerful people that screw the rest of us.  So, I like him for that (of course, this is all based on what I learned from the two-hour film).

Thursday night the Chase family arrived – Harry Chase, the lead actor in Hello Lonesome, his lovely wife Becki and their daughter Em. We had two screenings during the festival – the first was on Friday at 11:30am.  When Friday arrived, were all a bit worried about how many people were going to show up because the screening was so early and because it was POURING outside.  It was a happy surprise when we got to the theater and they told us it was sold out!  YAY!!  This was probably my favorite screening yet of the film.  The audience just really connected with it – laughed loud and often, cried, stayed through the Q&A at the end and just pretty much gushed.  I got super emotional.  I was so proud of Adam and Harry and everyone involved in the film and the warmth and support from the audience was overwhelming.  It was a great way to start the festival and we all felt pretty high from it.

Upstate Films Woodstock... used to be a church... really cool theater

The audience... with Becki in the middle reading the festival guide

Adam and Harry worshipping each other's talent onstage during the Q&A

After the screening, we went to get burgers and beers at a local spot called Landau Grill, which is where I took Photo 175 – “Crazy-eyes Em”.  Here are a couple more from that kooky photo session:

Crazy-eyes Em with her crazy dad Harry. 🙂

Love this one...

On Friday night the rest of our entourage arrived, including my parents and their friend Barry, Rob, Amie, Brett, Alison and Jarrad.  We all stayed in two houses right next door to each other and Friday night we had an awesome evening at home. Harry and Becki brought a humungous pork loin, so Harry grilled that up and Becki made her out-of-this-world garlic mashed potatoes.  We also had a wonderful salad with fresh local tomatoes that were so yummy we didn’t even need dressing.  Of course, I made a cheese plate for everyone to hold them over before dinner.   A couple of us visited the local cheese shop in Woodstock earlier called C’est Cheese and picked up some yummy treats:

  • Hudson Red – a perfectly funky washed-rind raw cow’s milk cheese from the Hudson Valley – made by a guy named Doug at Twin Maple Farm
  • Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar – a deliciously sharp and nutty cheddar made in seattle from cow’s milk (pasteurized I believe).
  • Pierce Point – a seasonal fall/winter cheese from Cowgirl Creamery out in Cali, made from cow’s milk, washed in muscato wine and rolled in all kinds of herbs.  I wasn’t as crazy about this one… found it too mild for my taste, but the lady at the cheese shop swore by it.

Here’s a photo of the cheeses before they were devoured:

Beecher's Flagship, Pierce Point, Hudson Red (from left to right)

And here’s a photo of our delicious dinner for fifteen!!

YUM.

Saturday we had no screenings, so after a home-cooked breakfast (it was either Harry or Adam… the men took turns churning out our awesome breakfasts), we headed to Rhinebeck to see a film in the narrative competition called Norman.  We were all very mixed on Norman.  A few of us (including me) liked it… some of us HATED it.  Just goes to show that film/art is subjective!

After lunch, we raced home to do our “Patriots” photo shoot in the hot tub while there was still light.  So… before more pictures, let me explain.  First… if you’ve seen Hello Lonesome, you know that Harry Chase’s character “Bill” sports these babies a few times when he’s chilling at home in his hot tub.  Yes – they were Adam’s idea.  He’s a freak (yet a a brilliant and adorable one if I do say so myself).  So… Adam got a pair of them too while shooting the film two years ago.  When we were packing for Woodstock, I decided to throw them in our suitcase – you never know when an opportunity might arise for an embarrassing photo shoot!  Oddly enough – Harry brought his pair too – without being reminded – so a photo shoot was set! Here are some of my favorites:

Sexy

Sexier

Sexiest! Yes... that is my father in the corner.

So no… Adam has not decided to start a new career in male porn (thank god).  This was all in good fun… but man… the fact that Brette found Harry Chase to play “Bill” in this movie was just such fate.  I mean… he is so the man for this – it’s insane. Oh – and just to mention, this is Harry’s first ever on-screen role!  He rocked it big time.

On Sunday we had our final screening at 12:30pm in Rhinebeck, NY.  It was another excellent screening, this time also attended by Nate Smith, who plays “Gordon” in the film.

Nate & Adam during the Q&A

The crowd was once again really moved by the performances and Adam was as wonderful as ever on-stage during the Q&A.  He is so in his element talking about his work…  it’s really inspiring.

Then… we had an awesome lunch at Terrapin in downtown Rhinebeck. The Roasted Garlic Soup and Golden Nugget Squash Soup were both to die for!  And then it was time to head back home.  Though Hello Lonesome was not in competition for a narrative award – it was up for an audience award – audience members had to vote on a scale of one to five after each screening.  With all that enthusiasm, I was really hoping we were going to win.  I mean… I always think we’re going to win. Unfortunately, we found out Monday morning that another film called White Irish Drinkers won.   Oh well… can’t have it all!

So – that was the Woodstock experience.  I hope we have many excuses to go back to the Woodstock Film Festival in the years ahead.  Maybe we’ll go with an “Adam and Nell Reid Production”… a girl can dream right?  In the meantime, be sure to check out the Hello Lonesome website for more news and screening information.  Also – if you have a Netflix account… do a search for “Hello Lonesome” and save it to your Queue!

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