May 10, 1998

Tonight's screening at the American Museum of the Moving Image was attended by about 80 people, mostly friends--not too many of the cast and crew showed up, except for the Pennsylvania contingent, who drove in from Wilkes-Barre and Easton.
The film looked quite impressive on a big screen--I sat in the rear of the theater, and even with my iffy eyesight I could read all the computer screens and all the words on Mimi's flowcharts.  Afterwards about 30 attendees retired to a nearby bar; response to the film wasn't exactly enthusiastic, but people seemed to be thinking about it at least, and I felt moderately encouraged about its ability to engage audiences on some level.

Of course, it wouldn't be a HONEYMOON-related activity if potentially expensive problems didn't crop up.  Tonight's grief was that the sound system at AMMI started crackling with loud static about ten minutes into the film, and remained obtrusive until somewhere around the film's midpoint, where it settled down to a tolerable level.  The projectionist and David Schwartz scrambled to locate the problem, but eventually decided that my print was damaged; the projectionist even said that he saw a scratch running through the optical track.  Once again, I was left to wonder how and where such a blatant problem could have been introduced--the scratches would have to have happened at Nice Shoes when making the D2 masters, or at AMMI while the film was prepared.  The fact that the problem continued unabated across the first reel change made me even more skeptical of the projectionist's opinion.  Anyway, I guess I'll have to pay someone to look the print over.  If the problem is indeed on the print, I'll definitely have to make another one (at a four-figure cost) before any other screenings.  The evening would have been much more enjoyable without this complication.

I announced the pull-up problem before the film, but it turned out that the two second-long holes in the sound track were barely noticeable--I guess I was worrying too much about a defect that flies below most people's radar.  And I didn't even hear most of the reel two sound problems that I went to so much effort to fix on the video version--though it was hard to hear much of anything beneath the annoying sound track crackle.  I suspect that this print is good enough for public screenings if the crackle problem turns out to be AMMI's instead of mine.

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