Monday, February 23, 2009

Jason announces some exciting Cinequest news

Okay, so a lot of my friends already know this, but it's official and I'll announce it to the world. I have joined the fourth estate. For the first time at any film festival, I have a press pass.

This all started a few months ago when someone from the Cinequest publicity department contacted me. They're trying to increase their Internet presence by reaching out to bloggers, helping us get the word out on Cinequest and helping us get our blogs seen more. And so after some e-mailing, begging, arm-twisting, etc., I managed to parlay that into a press pass. By...asking.

Well, this also means I have to step my game up some. I'll still do basically the same thing--write about everything I see and do at Cinequest. But I'm not just blogging here anymore. I've also joined a Cinequest group blog, CQCentral.com. Most of what I do there will be re-posts of stuff I write here, but better organized. I've already posted a couple of my Cinequest screener previews, and if you look carefully you'll noticed I've read through them again and cleaned up some of the grammar. More importantly, I've added links to official sites and the Cinequest page where you can order tickets online. My background is as a scientist (in my day job, I'm a physicist for a medical imaging company in Silicon Valley), and I think of Jason Watches Movies as sort of my lab notebook--I write anything and everything that I might want to remember. But now I think of CQCentral as the place for my "publishable results". The reviews I'm the most proud of will go there, with extra care taken to link where readers will want to go. Also, you might notice I wrote a really mushy love letter to Cinequest that I published exclusively there (it has since gone on to be used as Cinequest promotional material, which I'm very proud of).

Okay, so that's what it means for me, but what does it mean for you? That's the really exciting part of this. You see, before I knew I could get a press pass, I had already donated at a level that got me a festival Premier Pass. Now with a press pass, I have no need for it. So I'm sharing it with all of you. Here's how it will work.

On opening night I will give the pass (and a notepad) to a lucky film fan. That fan will be chosen simply as the first person who will agree to these simple rules:
  1. You must write in the notepad (or in an e-mail to me), what you saw, when you saw it, and at least a brief message about it. It can be as short as "I liked it" or "It sucked". Or it can be a full-fledged review, rambling on for pages and pages. Your comments will be published at Jason Watches Movies and at CQCentral.com. If you include your name, I will credit your comments by name, unless you ask me not to. Comments e-mailed to me will be posted as soon as I can. Comments written in the notepad will be published after the festival (I hope, assuming I get the pass and the notepad back).

  2. After seeing one movie (or Maverick Award event, etc., that pass gets you into everything) you must give the pass to someone else (and that person must agree to these same rules). It's a "pay it forward" system. That means if you accept the pass for the last show of the night, you might have to return the following day to pass it on.

  3. No backsies--I don't want to touch the pass again until closing night.

  4. If you get it for the closing night film, it will get you into the after party, too. Find me there and return the notepad to me.

Pretty simple, right? I think it'll be cool to see if we have a strong enough community to keep the travelling pass alive for the whole 12 days.

Oh, and I have noticed that the pass says it’s “non-transferable”. I’m going to assume that means you can’t sell it to anyone else. I assume you can still loan your pass to a friend if you can’t make it to a show...and I assume everyone at Cinequest is my friend. And I assume the Cinequest officials will be cool with this, since I’m not making a buck off it and it’s just generating more buzz for them. Please, everyone be cool with this?

See all you Cinequesters Wednesday!

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