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One great mobmov tonight!

Thanks all who came to tonight’s showing of A Simple Curve. The movie was great, but the company was even better. We ate snacks under the stars, had an indulgently long intermission playing the Nintendo Wii, and I think I speak for all of us when I say we all had a memorable time. About a dozen cars and thirty people showed up. A great crowd for such an unknown film.

Thanks to Film Movement for providing another one of their great films! Everyone loved it!

And a very hearty thanks to the person who dropped a very large bill into the donation jar. I am still recovering from the shock and hoping that it wasn’t actually a mistake where you intended to put in a one! Nevertheless, I thank you for your kindness and anonymous generosity. You’ve made my day!

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A great final show in Berkeley for me

That surely was a great final showing on Friday. Thanks so much for everyone who came. Video, games, everything was flawless!

I’ll be heading to Boston/Cambridge next week, so no more shows in Berkeley from me until at least September. I probably will be doing shows in Cambridge though. There are talks to get other people involved in running the event here in Berkeley – if interested, please e-mail me. info AT mobmov.org

Again, thanks so much for making this event so great. I was and am, proud to be a part of it.
+b

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Sorry!

Last Friday’s showing was a complete disaster. I’m really, really sorry to all those that came.

What happened, you ask? Over the winter, my equipment got a little rusty. I moved it from my car, and mixed it around. When I moved it back, things got a little funky. We saw that in the showing before last. Not to be caught with my pants down again, I invested some serious cash in a new DVD player and cables. Big mistake.

I wasn’t able to test the new DVD player before the show, and just assumed it would work based on how much I paid for it. Not at all. It mangled my poor titles and intros, and then played the sound a full three seconds behind the movie. Thanks Toshiba.

Seeing this, I decided to switch to my old DVD player, but it failed as well. I suppose I could have switched back to the sound delaying player, but at that point I wasn’t having any fun.

In any case, it was my fault for not testing. And I’m sorry I dragged you all out on a Friday night only to be let down by a crappy show. But I appreciate everyone for being so friendly and nice about it.

The game plan now is to rework all the equipment, buy some new stuff, and relaunch the season in about a month. Before then I will do a few private showings to make sure that things are spit and polished like they were last year. So hold tight and thanks for being patient with me.

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Events

Zan saves the day!

It was to be expected that the first showing back after a two month’s hiatus would be problematic. But I’ve never honestly been so close to having to call off a show. A few components have changed since the last show, and I ended up with no sound at all during the picture.

Then I realized my soon-to-be-replaced-and-sacrificed-at-the-alter DVD player has this weird defect where the headphone jack doesn’t amplify the sound as much as the RCA jacks. Crazy. So we were left with hardly audible sound, and I was short a cable. So Julia and I went around to everyones’ cars (about 15 this time!) and informed them all that I needed to go back to my place to pick it up. Everyone was really nice about it, and no one gave me a hard time (thank you, all!).

The wonderful part came with the very last car. Turns out a angelic mobmover actually had the exact cable I needed to fix it! Zan pulled it out of his car and we were back in business. Wow!

Then about 3/4 into the movie a cop car came by, but this time actually stopped for a good minute or two, and watched the film with us. I was sweating bullets and expecting the worst, but Julia noticed that they even turned off their lights like respectful mobmovers, a sure sign of police happiness about the project (yay us!). I suppose it was quite appropriate to be watching The French Connection, after all.

More mantras
1) I will pick more exciting films with less talking
The movie was faintly boring and hard to follow. Much too much detail for a drive-in.

2) I will fix my sound and bring backups
Sound was a disaster. Must bring two or three backups of every cable I have. Sound bleed/interference was still a major problem – must sort that out

3) I will kill my DivX player
The little bugger had the nerve to die again after the intermission, had to restart it to regain sound. Definitely needs replacing.

4) I will get better with names
I used to try to remember everyone’s names at the show. But we’ve grown so large that it’s frankly impossible. Still, I really need to work on this. Perhaps if I was less frazzled and distracted by the damn tech.

People were again very generous. One very kind but unfortunately anonymous soul contributed $40. Thank you ever so much! You just helped me buy my replacement DVD player. And special thanks to Zan (hope I’m getting his name right) for being in the right place at the right time, with a fairly obscure cable that really saved the show.

What a great night!

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Events

Thanksgiving showing

Another fun showing last night. I’m a bit surprised at how different this show was from those in the past. Quite a few things were changed:

1) While some people grouped around the lead car during intermission, for the most part people stayed in their cars and in their groups. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet everyone. A first.

2) I had my first semi-rude customer! I’ll bet he didn’t intend it as such, but it was a little weird because people are always so nice and thankful. After all, I’m not charging anything!

3) The cars were scattered WAY more than normal – usually people park really close to me, but this time we were all spread out. I kinda liked it. It’s just interesting how things like that can change for no apparent reason.

4) People actually showed up REALLY early to this one and had dinner there! So very cool. (see some thoughts on this below)

These differences could be the result of a few things. First, it was a big-ass showing. We’re up to about 12 cars (anyone get a real count?). As more people gather, it seems that we lose some of that original intimacy. Some of the best showings I’ve had were when 3 or 4 cars showed up.

It also could be due to the fact that were were many full cars this time around. A couple big vans showed up with a lot of people – and it also seemed like some of the cars already knew eachother and came together. This is AWESOME, but it may have resulted in people straying from the main group.

Lastly, I really wasn’t on my game last night, so I don’t think I was an especially fun host. My mind was all over the place, I couldn’t remember anyone’s names, and really wasn’t able to carry on any interesting conversations. People would come to me saying how great the show was and such and the best thing I could think of was to say thanks. Sigh.

Now more than ever I think it’s important to reinvestigate ideas for bringing people together during intermission. The snack bar is a slight draw, but I really want people to socialize with others rather than just me. Now that Jane’s done with her important work at the graveyard, perhaps she’ll come join us again? 😉

Another thing I’ve been considering (and mentioned here at one point?) is of setting up my nintendo and playing a few games before the show. I’ve done some trial runs of this and it works wonderfully and is OSO cool. I’m thinking of making this an unofficial sideshow of the event – with people arriving early I already have patrons for it, and it would be cool to have a secret event that only regular patrons might know. Of course, by mentioning it here, it becomes a lot less secret, but then again, how many people really read this carp to the bottom? 😉

And without attempting to sound sappy, last night’s real star was my girlfriend Julia – I was stressing a lot at the beginning of the show, but she set me right. Thanks for being there!

Things I learned the hard way this time:
1) Get more sleep before the show.
2) Come early and bring a meal. Cause that’s just plain cool.
3) If you’ll be sitting outside, bring a cushion. Girlfriends are soft, but they don’t like to be used as cushions.
4) Do not encode in Xvid. It causes things to skip and that makes you nervious.
5) Find your darn remote or get a new DiVX player. That timer at the top is distracting. Actually no, get a new one, this one sucks.
6) Your “short” intro did not work this time.
7) I liked the intermission near the beginning (30 mins in). How about you?
8) Putting the projector in the back results in a brighter picture, but 1) remember to turn off your lights, 2) bring another car to sit in. Better yet, mount the projector on your roof. That would be awesome!

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Events Updates

Awesome halloween showing

Last night was a great showing. Our largest yet. 10 (?) cars showed, and we lined up in two rows. We watched the horror classic “Creature from the Black Lagoon” which while unspeakably cheesy, was great fun to laugh at.

Everyone brought candy and we had a t-shirt giveaway during the intermission. We had people give their best impressions of the monster (kudos to Julia for the idea!). There was one funny problem with the titles – I lengthened the intermission so we could have time to eat candy, but I didn’t move the countdown – which now was a solid three minutes from the ending of the intermission. I saw the countdown – and told everyone to race back to their cars. And then we all sat in confused silence as the intermission continued. It was a little embarrassing but it was really the only screw up this time. Everything else was perfect! Anyway…

You guys are awesome!

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Events Updates

Another great show

Pretty low turnout this time, but there were two new cars to meet, and two repeat visitors. One car that drove by stopped and watched the movie with us.

Titles are pretty much in place now, and I’m playing Jono‘s new jingle at the beginning. The one thing that was commented on is that we should include some sort of welcome message on the screen or separately projected via a batman-like lamp – so people who drive by are convinced to stay without me having to get out and welcome them. As it is, people generally are surprised when they find out they can join us.

I might want to update the Start title to include a dedicated runner explaining that the movie will start soon so people who arrive late know.

I’d also like to start starting at 8pm to get that ethic of showing up on time. Plus, it was a rather late show as it was.