For starters Steve being able to attend this event is reason to celebrate alone. For those who have followed our journey and are familiar with ALS, it's day to day. The week leading up to the event there were 4 of the 7 days where he would NOT have been in the right condition to attend. So it's a true blessing, and one I want to shout to the world, that Steve was healthy enough!
Now something most don't know is that I enjoy planning things, so I was very hands on when planning our premiere. It was fun meeting with our group of amazing volunteers and our team to discuss all the exciting things planned for the day. It was an amazing feeling each new person who contacted me with a sponsorship, silent auction item, or donated piece for the event. It's amazing to watch people come together with such passion for us.
So we had some great visitors come in town for the premiere, from childhood friends to family. It's always nice to have visitors but even more so when it's group of visitors! :D
Steve & I love a reason to get dressed up, especially when that reason is going to a theater to watch the documentary we have been working on for close to 3 years on the big screen surrounded by some of our closest friends, family, & supporters. The day blew all my expectations out of the water.
We get dressed up, gather up the troops, and head on the way. I had been on the phone straight for a full week before working out details with all of our team & the day of all the texts and calls were calm & encouraging. Saying things were going great & that the place was already full! We arrive around 3:35, time to let some of the crowd get inside, but still time to take photos on the red carpet. We were greeted by a beautiful crowd upon pulling up to the venue. After snapping photos and a quick news interview we walk through the crowd to our seats. I get chills when I see the amount of love others show Steve & I and this day was no exception. Cheers and clapping as we walk through the crowd to the theater and so much love you can feel it. As we find our seats we continue to try to say hello to everyone, we realize that it's a packed house, close to 700 people came!
Anxiously awaiting the movie we all get settled into our seats. Now Steve & I have only seen a rough version of the movie before this day, so we were very ready to finally see the finished project we have all worked so hard on. From the moment it starts, I have butterflies in my stomach and cannot sit back. I hold tight to Steve with a handful of tissues ready. The tears start right away, and as I find myself focusing on wiping Steve's tears away I am able to catch glimpses at the audience wiping away their own. Hearing the audience cry, cheer, laugh, and chant with our documentary is a feeling unlike anything I've ever felt. It was a moment that I will replay in my mind over and over. That kind of feedback is what you want from your audience. The film goes on for about an hour & 10 minutes. I clean Steve & myself up & get ready to get on stage.
I was surprised that I had no nerves of the idea of getting on stage; I was so happy with the movie, felt like it showed our story so well, I was excited to hear the audience's thoughts, & for Steve to be able to see just how many people were in attendance. Watching his face as I wheeled him out to the standing ovation filled my heart with so much joy I had to choke the tears back. That moment right there made the stress of making sure the film is just as we want it, the stress of planning an event, the stress of getting Steve out of the house, the stress of every thing very well worth it.
::SIDE NOTE:: I know that there may have been more feedback and questions from the audience and we are truly thankful for the response we have gotten thus far. If you were in attendance and have any further questions or thoughts about the film, please do not hesitate to contact any of us; via Facebook, email, text, whichever.
My review on the movie. :) I have to say that I loved being able to see Steve & my personality shown so accurately. We really are just a bunch of goofs that are wide open books. Steve has such a sense of humor that shines bright & you can see that I have no shame. :) You get a very intimate look into our relationship even some of the dark sides. We of course aren't "dark" people and didn't want a "dark" movie, however, ALS has some real life "dark" moments that have to be shown. I believe by us showing these hard to watch moments and us overcoming them together is part of what will help inspire others. I am proud of our team for us all having such strong ideas and opinions for being able to come together and make this happen. I believe we can change the course of the disease through this as we do show accurately what ALS has done to Steve. You see him being athletic to him being stuck in the bed to me lifting him out. It shows the melt downs, it shows the tears, and it shows the fun! :) We have some friends and family say some very powerful thoughts and messages also. Oh and can we talk about the sound track! Michael Franti, Gareth Asher, Dave Matthews, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Zara Sky, Sam Sniper---hello! PS look up the Hope for Steve playlist on spotify. I am pleased that we were able to show the full story of Steve & I between the medical side, the love story, & our adventures.
So what now? This is what : Buy a DVD $19.99 & 2 dollars from each DVD sale goes to ALS TDI. Share this blog, share the trailer, share the documentary Facebook page, share the website, the HOPEforSteve page, share the link to buy DVD's, etc. :)
Special thanks to: First of all to everyone who helped us financially make this happen. Between the kickstarter and the sponsors, you all made it possible for us to make this film come to life. Thank you too all who came to the premiere, you all helped make the night perfect. Thank you to the crew (Matthew Moore, Sarah Spicer, Taylor Graves, & Eric Fraser) for all of their hard work in getting our story out to the masses and presenting it so well. Thank you to all of our volunteers at the event. My dear friend Stephanie Cottle from SCC presents took charge of making sure the day of went great, plus friends Erica Adams, Jennifer Soule, Daniel Friedgood, Sean Canavan, Travis Nolan, Stephanie Johnson, Ashley Shepps, Laurie Moletta, Ben Ritter, Marc Hewlett, Jeremy Brown, Nicole Higgins, Abby Franklin, Jared Lee, All about props, Visual Lab, Lori Prince, & Kaylin Prince. Our photographers Raymond Adams, Deelite Photography, & John Ramspott; & our amazing cinematographer Jeff Kaplan. Our musicians who played during the opening hour: Gareth Asher & Zara Sky. Thank you to our families for supporting us and traveling to the event. Thank you to our friends who all donated to the silent auction: Kristen Matalski-Rand, Garret Cockayne, Amy Bridges Spivia, Sara Lua Designs, Soul Makes Jewlery, Cold Georgia Clay, Lux Divine Jewlery, Skyline Fever, Roots and Feathers, Whispered truths, and many more.
To see more photos from the event go like the Hope for Steve documentary Facebook page where all the photos have been uploaded.