Last night’s screening of Summer Coda at the Australians in Film event was the first time I’d seen it (in 6 sittings) without having locals around me exclaiming over idiosyncracies in the film’s locations and pointing out extras they knew.
It was nice to not have the cinema erupt in laughter when Heidi waits for a train at the Mildura train station (where a passenger train has not been since 1993) or give an ongoing commentary as though they want to give a performance for the special features on the DVD.
The audience was appreciative and impressed with the result from a team of people on their first feature film and asked really good questions during the Q&A.
Afterwards over drinks and nibbles, I introduced myself to some people using the line “That was filmed in my hometown” as my hook. And a really good hook it was. One fellow asked me about Mildura’s population and another liked my story about the train. Another guy, an Australian actor from near Echuca who has been here for a year, said it felt good to see a little piece of home (being the Murray River) onscreen in LA.
I also met a lovely ballroom dancer, Willem, who has been a past participant on So You Think You Can Dance and has some really cool achievements to his name.
There are so many opportunities to meet people and learn new things, which is really what this move is all about for me.