Last night an honest-to-goodness dream of mine came true, and I have a lot of people to thank for that. First, my sincere gratitude to Michael Torgan and Phil Blankenship for screening, the second time this year, a double bill of my choosing. One of the ways I used to while away my free time when I was a young kid was cutting out ads from the Portland and San Francisco newspaper movie pages and creating fantasy double features on calendars for the movie theaters of my imagination. To be able to do that for real, even if for only two nights, is beyond special to me, and to be able to program movies like Orphan and Seed of Chucky, movies I love that deserve as big an audience as possible, is a real honor. Thank you, gentlemen.
I'm also especially honored that the people who were involved in creating these movies would take the time to come down and make the screenings an even more special affair, for me and for everyone in attendance. Watching the end of Orphan while standing at the back of the theater with Isabelle Fuhrman, who plays evil Esther in the movie, and having Isabelle, the film's writer David Johnson and producer Erik Olsen answer questions in front of an excited and attentive audience for an hour-long Q&A, expertly moderated by my friend Don Mancini-- that's just one more reason why I have often come to think of the New Beverly as a little corner of heaven just for movie lovers. It was an incredible night to pay tribute to the talents of all these generous folks who worked so hard and made a truly terrifying film, one that I believe will one day be recognized as a classic of the genre. What a treat and an honor to meet David, Isabelle and Erik and be able to tell them in person how much their movie affected me, how terrific I think it is.
None of it would have happened without Don, who was the conduit through whom all the special guests were contacted and made their commitments to come out to the theater. And he's done the same tonight, bringing actress Jennifer Tilly, producers David Kirschner and Corey Sienega, and moderator Mike Werb (screenwriter of Face/Off and The Mask) for tonight's Seed of Chucky panel. Don and David Johnson even made last night even more special, hosting a dinner at a nearby restaurant for the participants in the Orphan panel and their friends and loved ones. Which meant that another dream came true for me last night-- I met Jennifer Tilly for the first time and ended up sitting across the table from her for dinner. All credit to her for being as friendly and effusive as could possibly be and disarming any nervousness I might have had at the prospect of talking with her over the span of two delightful hours. It was a brilliant start to a night I won't soon forget.
And finally, my most sincere thanks to everyone who came out to see the program last night, including Michael Schlesinger, Chris Stangl, Jacqueline Greed, Ariel Schudson and Cathie Horlick and all the familiar New Beverly regulars. How nice it was to see your faces as I nervously took the microphone to introduce Don and the panel. It's really reassuring to know that people will come out to support this kind of program, people who appreciate the opportunity to see the filmmakers speak and don't take for granted the existence of a place like the New Beverly Cinema. Thanks again for a great time last night. And now the Thursday night Seed of Chucky panel program is only about two hours away, so I must put on my tux and get ready! If tonight is even half as great as last night was, well-- The funny thing is, I thinking it's gonna be twice as good! See ya there, I hope!