Day Trip to New York

Wed morning, 5AM, Sept 17. We’re at the airport checking in for our flight to NY on the automatic kiosk. It tells us to wait for help. The attendant checks Paul’s passport. It expired 2 weeks ago.  “You can’t fly to the US without a valid passport”, she says. What!?  We were both in shock. Paul tried to sweet talk her: “this is the most important day of my life, my film is part of the Canada Showreel at Independent Film Week, I have to be there” – but she wasn’t budging. 

I went into solution mode: rifled through Paul’s stuff and got some of his business cards and our pitch document for The Baby Formula television series. Selling is Paul’s territory, not at all my forte, but I didn’t have a choice. I had to give it a shot alone.  Indicative of our totally different, but totally complimentary styles, Paul went into his own solution mode. He insisted on speaking to a customs agent, and softly but firmly attempted to talk his way onto the flight. No go. All the customs guy could offer was “ better drive across the border and get a flight out of Buffalo. You can still drive across without a passport.”  Nice.  Fat chance of making our 11AM screening that way.

Instead we headed to another terminal and got tickets with Air Canada. This time Paul got a boarding pass, and we got all the way to customs before his expired passport was noticed. We were both sweating. Paul was taken into a separate room, while I stood stranded by the x-ray machines not knowing what was going on. After fingerprints, paperwork, and heaven knows what else, in his true ‘horseshoes’ fashion, Paul emerged with permission to board the plane.

After the flight, we took a cab to West 23rd St and walked into the Chelsea Clearview Cinema to see the smiling faces of Brigitte Hubmann and Anne Frank from Telefilm.  Ours was the first clipreel of six new films they’d chosen to present at IFW. We basked in the audience laughter during our clipreel; the positive response was palpable. Paul and I fielded some great offers from film festivals across the States and then walked down to the MTV building on Broadway to meet with John Baldasare, Manager of Acquisitions and Coproductions.

The MTV station, Logo is currently airing my short film, Succubus and John was eager to see its feature length sequel, The Baby Formula. We had a great chat with him, handed off a screener, and then headed to our final meeting with a producer pal of Paul’s. After that there was time for a quick beer before hopping in a cab back to the airport and home.

What a day.

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