April 16th — 3 weeks ago today — was a big day in my life. After years of hard work (and often losing hope that the film will ever be finished), I watched my movie with an audience of over 800 people in a theater for the first time. And it was amazing to know that it was also watched at the same time by audiences in theaters across the country (yes, except the Pacific time zone, but everything is always tape delayed out here).
There has been such a flurry of activity since then. First, reading all the feedback (the good, the bad and the ugly) and responding to everyone who wrote to me. And then getting a DVD into production to make it up to all the people who didn’t get to see any or part of the event because of technical issues at their theater. And also setting up theatrical screenings in theaters where you can watch the movie and drink beer.
[If you want to see more craft brewers and more of Michael Jackson and Charlie Papazian, that’s what DVD extras are for. I will happily put all of the great stuff that didn’t make it into the actual film on a DVD so that it can satiate that desire.]
Like the entrepreneurs in my film, I too followed my passion. Maybe it wasn’t to drink beer but it was to tell this story. I put my own money on the line just like them and took a risk.
So where to from here?
Well, I made this film because I wanted to get it out to as many people as possible. I want people to think about the (everyday) choices that they make. And to let them know that they do have power — it’s called the almighty dollar. I never expected to lure BudMillerCoors drinkers away from their favorite cold one but I did hope that craft beer drinkers would help spread the bigger message of the film. And I still believe that will happen if we focus on the big picture.
And of course I will continue to work on getting on TV and radio. That’s still how you reach a mainstream audience. But in the meantime, we have this amazing new tool called social media. Let’s use it to tell the story and get people to think about their choices. I hope you will join my quest.