Reports from Festival Staff

Jenn Sullivan

So I went and volunteered at the Backseat Conceptions film festival and had an enlightening experience.  The first time at a Backseat event, I felt immediately welcomed and brought into an environment that wasn’t necessarily “normal” to me, but was filled with interesting people, movies, and things to see.  Everyone I encountered were friendly, informative, and highly energetic.  The movies featured were amazing.  With a HUGE variety of films, all the filmmakers seemed to be extremely inspired with such passion about the films they have made.   I would have to say the crowd and excitement in the theater for the “Raider’s” feature was inspiring and addicting. The location and set-up of the theater was great for viewing the films and socializing with friends.  A great place to gather and have a good time! Nothing but love for Backseat and everyone involved!

Jeremy Theopulos

First of all, I am going to start off by stating that this Film Festival could have come at a better time for me personally. I work two other jobs and I am graduating within the next three months.  Let’s just say I was on a non stop working/school binge starting from school all day on Wednesday to working at the TLA until two in the morning on Sunday. 
Before the festival we were taking random trips to this big festival location and scoping out all the modifications that need to be made, to make this the best festival ever.  The guys did last years festival at the same location and were determined to make everything bigger and better than last year’s festival.  Jack and I took care of the projection room.  Jack was the brains and bronze behind building the projection room.  Jack rolled that shit out in 2 days with the help of some loyal friends.  Although his back was killing him and he was hurting, his boys were on a tight schedule and he came through in the clutch.  Nick, Doug, Jack and Coach really put their all into this festival before it even started.  You got to tip your hats to these guys.  They put their all into something that no one really does in Philadelphia.  They give people a chance to appreciate a movie that doesn’t have all the millions of dollars going into the movie and they give independent filmmakers a chance to share their time and effort to a larger scaled crowd.  And these guys gave out free booze.  Oh yea I forgot, I did all the spackling to the sheet rock after Jack put up the wall. FUN!
Wednesday, I didn’t make it to the festival due to school until 5 o’ clock and then work at the TLA until 1:30 I tried to call Doug after I got out to make it to the after party.  Due to Doug’s over whelming amount of calls he was getting all day, I guarantee his phone was long dead.

Thursday was really ill.  I rolled into the Festival on my Rollerblades and everyone is deck out in Hawaiian get ups.  I make my way into the concession stand area to get my work on and the first thing that happens is, Gina asks me very politely asked me, “you want a beer.”  A smile instantly grew on my face and that right there made me know that this is going to be a killer weekend of good movies and cheap booze.  So the whole time I am working I am sipping on brews and watching short films and that night, my favorite movie out of everyone I saw that week was Sixes and the One Eyed King.  It was a really twisted horror/ mystery about 6 suicidal people playing to win Millions of dollars.  They are all alone in a room and they know that only one comes out alive.  It was very trippy, there were people placing insanely high bets on the game on the internet.  It was hard I must admit to pay attention considering how drunk I was by the end of that day.  After party was tight, we went to the M-Room where we all took our raging buzz to the next level.  The last thing I remember was Jack creeping in on this smoking hot cougar.  He claims it was the whiskey talking but clearly, Jack just had his game face on.  I got a call from an old fling while chilling with everyone and I rolled out at about 1:15 am to Silk City where it was time to my game face on.  I passed out face first in my pillow with a cute girl by my side.

Friday, Friday was definitely the craziest day of my nights at the film festival.  I rolled in there at around 4 o’clock but I only stayed there until 7 o’ clock.  I had to be at the TLA at 7:30 and that meant I had to roll out and do a drunken skate (which I hate so much) from the theater to 4th and South Street.  In that time I managed to get completely wasted, un clog the women’s toilet (which was way worse than the dudes room), stocked way more chairs for The Raiders of the Lost Ark Adaptation.  There was a full house where the pizza got sold, money was made and people were happy…… and drunk off free PBR and Nick’s tasty concoction for the Vodka Diet which was a green tea with ginger and Lime juice.  I got wasted and worked at the concession stand the rest of the time and enjoyed what I could of Raiders before I had to leave.  I skated and went to work in a some what drunken haze and was totally cheery to everyone that came to me to get there ID’s checked but soon enough my buzz was wearing off and I started to hate everything. I was tired, not drunk and the hippie band the Grimmace Federation was starting to get to me. Even though I enjoy their music it is evident that hippies love to jam.  The concert went on an hour longer than expected and then my boss asks me to work the radio back stage after.  My boss is way too cool to say no to so I went back stage and ate the left over pizza from the concession stand.  My boss came back and handed me a beer and a shot and said, “It’s gonna be a late one.”  I drank about 6 or 7 beers while working, just making sure that no one fucks with the bands equipment.  2:30am rolls around and I hand my boss my radio and he hands me a spliff and I called it a night.

Saturday and Sunday, I had to take a break from drinking so I just worked and chilled with my homies Jack, Coach and Doug.  The festival was winding down to a great end.  Sunday I def remember full crowds of people but Sunday night I had to work at the TLA again and had school early Monday morning.  Thanks to the endless MONSTER Energy Drink and Sparks, I was able to stay awake and help my friends do something great for the community and give people a place to get drunk and watch independent movies.  BACKSEAT FILM FESTIVAL was sooooooo much fun and a great experience for me and I will def be glad to help out next year.  Theses guys are great workers and friends. Props!

Mark Principi

Since January 08’ I have been helping Backseat put together the film fest.  It was an awesome experience learning all the work and time that goes into picking and finding the perfect combination of movies for the Philadelphia’s best underground, funnest, original and drunkest film festival. The week leading up BFF I spent most of my time in the theatre helping with construction, cleaning and preparing.  It was an incredible outcome.  To have the theatre separate from all the concessions was incredible.  There was an all out drink fest in the concessions and an all out film fest in the theatre, plus drinking.  As people started to take the fests opening shots in the lobby the projector and screen had their final touch ups and started blazing the Backseat Film Festivals very own Trailer. (Which should have won best short!)

Wednesday was my first time ever stepping foot into a film festival.  I didn’t expect to see Doug in a ringmaster costume and roller skates (which he didn’t take off for the entire 5 day festival).  Things were pretty chaotic but as soon as the films started everything calmed down, well as calm as things can be when there's all you can drink PBR, Sparks, Monster, Sailor Jerry, and samples of Backseats own Gray Kangaroo filtered vodka shots.  Not necessary to say but everyone was wired.  I learned if you want people to work hard just get them hopped up on Sparks and Monster and they wont stop moving until their heart explodes or passes out drunk. To bad I couldn’t get down on the drinking, I had to drive 45 minutes home. I missed the after party.

Thursday: The real world sucks and I hope the WCI blows up with everyone it.

Friday is when the fun begins, but unfortunately again I have to drive home, so no drinking for me.  But if I had to pick a night to be sober it was this one.  Other than the entire place being packed from front to back we were blessed with the presence of the people from Disgrace Land to make this night extra special.  Everyone was extremely nice and seemed to love the atmosphere, I know I did and I didn’t have 1 drink.

Friday’s intermission between shorts and the late feature Disgrace Land decided to do a performance along with one of Backseats own, Doug Sakkmann.  They got carefully tended too and clean hooks and put 2 in each others backs.  It was crazy alone to see people just hangin out with hooks in their back; I wasn’t ready for what happened next.  They connected the hooks to ropes and had a HUMAN TUG OF WAR.  It was peculiar but grossly awesome to watch, almost like a planned car crash where no one gets hurt and they do it for fun.  Then Doug was pulled around the entire theatre by his hooks while still being on his roller skates.  I sold a butt load of popcorn after the show and left.  I hate 95.

Saturday, finally I don’t have to drive.  I go straight to the Pabst and get to business.  By business I mean selling tickets of course, ha ha.  This was the featured night of the fest, showing Indian Jones, Raiders of the Lost Arch: The Adaptation. (Awesome movie) SOLD OUT! The entire place was packed.  The theatre was jammin with all types of people ranging from 7-70, it was great.  You could feel the excitement, or maybe it was the fourth Sparks I drank and it was my body fighting off a heart attack.  Regardless, it was an amazing event.  I blacked out around 11:30 and woke up in my girlfriend’s car with no pants on covered from head to toe in PBR pins, candy Sour Straws and free porn cards. 

Sunday morning hurt. A lot.  Still drunk, I woke up and asked myself why I was cuddling in my bed with nothing but my cell phone and a double cheese burger from McD’s.  Everything else was gone including my dignity.  But I did find something, a bruise on my ass, can’t wait to hear how I got this.  I finally get enough strength to get to the theatre to find out that I let Doug whip beer bottles off of the top of my head for the photographer of Philadelphia Weekly, the pics are cool.  This is the first day I got to catch a lot of the shorts and the feature Viva.  The shorts block was hilarious and Viva was hot, literally. Anna Biller is a hottie and she did and showed everything for this movie, defiantly check it out.  After throwing up midday from the night before I decided to call it quits.

It was awesome.  I’m glad I had the opportunity to be at the fest and even better help put it together and help during the week.  The experience was incredible and worth all of the work.  I’m glad I got to be apart of the whole experience and hang out with you guys outside of the office, sincerely, thanks Zafer, Doug, Nick and Jack.