i’m going to unveil “the bet” to an audience of mostly cast and crew in a few weeks. as soon as i sent the invitations out, i was struck with a sudden bout of abject terror because now people were going to see a FINAL version of the film. not a rough cut. none of me whispering how such and such would be different or this and that was going to be fixed. no. this is THE FINAL VERSION!!! unless, of course, i pull a george lucas and decide to remaster it and re-edit it and update it and endless change it year after year because i can’t come up with anything new.*
i told my wife hopefully no one would boo when the credits rolled, and she said of course they wouldn’t. what follows is the email i sent her.
“they’ll boo in their heads. they’ll sneak off to the bathroom so they can laugh in private. they’ll have a secret meeting afterwards at a bar to laugh at me and mock my attempt at filmmaking. “what was that red square about?” they’ll ask and laugh – oh how they’ll laugh! “do you even know what happened?” they’ll wonder amongst themselves and decide i am a pretentious hack with no clue how to tell a story. “did you hear he wants to make another movie?” they’ll groan and make a secret pact not to work on the new film just so they won’t have to feign excitement at another premiere. they’re all gonna laugh at me! dammit! where are my telekinetic powers and my prom dress to show off my dirty pillows.”
*and, being a sensitive artist, if they boo or laugh or mock or any of those things, i’ll never be able to make another film. ever. and being me, even if they applaud and cheer and congratulate, i’ll still hear the silent snickering behind their lying eyes.