"Sure we'll take another sample." We are taking our sweet, sweet time at Big Sky Brewing.
Excited to be in Missoula for the world premiere of The Trembling Giant, we try all the beers on tap while leisurely asking about the history of the brewery. Little do we know how precious this time is that we are wasting...
Two hours later, I'm experiencing the REAL Haven death stare as we come to the realization that the "screening room" we thought we had booked for the film is really nothing more than a conference room. It's 3pm and the event we had been planning for the last few months is starting in 15 hours.
"This isn't going to work."
Peter goes into producer mode and splits off with Haven to find a creative solution, while Nicole and I try to work with RMEF to figure out how things went wrong and if we can fix them. We are all operating on less than 10% battery power on our iphones and the dependency we have for that technology has never seemed so strong.
Fortunately, the folks at RMEF are extremely well connected (and have more battery power than us) and we are able to gain access to the theater at the University of Montana. While we work on those details, Haven and Peter find another alternative downtown at the Roxy. We meet at Tamarack Brewery to discuss options over a literal keg full of nachos.
Peter does not let his anxiety for eating nachos cloud his judgement in this hour of need.
As the sun sets over the Clark Fork river, we finalize our plan. We will move the event start time up to 4:30pm with a reception at RMEF Headquarters. At 5:30pm we will shuttle our guests down to the U of M to watch the film. Guests will be out of the theater and on their way to the after party at The Old Post Pub promptly at 8pm.
Karen packs up the remaining nachos (er, cheese paper) and we head back to the hotel to work on our communication strategy.
It is now 11:45pm and Haven toys with the idea of paying off the manager at the Wilma to fake a "technical difficulty" that would open up the space for us. I quickly shut him down.
Karen and Nicole create a beautiful flyer to slide under the hotel room door of all our guests who have checked in. I hit send on an email that goes out to 200 guests telling them that not only has the start time of the event changed, but also the location.
I finish my Smith & Kearns and head to bed praying to any and all gods that we can pull this off.
The event is over before I know it.
But as I finally start to relax and after a few pints at the Old Post, I realize that we have put on a great event. And even better, our creative team has produced a very meaningful film.
The feedback from our guests is overwhelmingly positive. In attendance: Brand reps from Sitka Gear, Mystery Ranch backpacks, Hunting GPS Maps, GORE-TEX, Fairends, Lone Wolf Knives and Montana Wild. Chair and board members from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The production crew, Kamp Grizzly, made the trip out from Portland, As well as most of the cast of the film - the old guys from Michigan, the Arkansas boys, Dani and her dad from Bozeman, and the Amos' from Winterhawk Outfitters.
We cap off the evening with a celebratory pizza in the park, outside of our hotel room and consider the premiere a success.
DISCLAIMER: Mistakes happen. Somewhere along the way, we had a miscommunication in the planning of this event on what our expectations were for the film screening venue. If it weren't for the huge help of Steve, Kathy and Kirsten from RMEF our premiere would never have gone so well. Thank-you so much for being quick on your feet and calm in your demeanor, while I was doing the exact opposite.