Filmmaker's Blog | Sheffield Doc Fest, Day 2: “Haynesville” has its Day in the Sun

[ON AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  Please know that we just found out what happened in the US at the Texas military base and our thoughts go out to the families, civilians and soldiers who were affected by the shooting.]

Back to Sheffield:

You know you’re going to have a good day when it starts with a “Haynesville” t-shirt and a bottle of Jack:


Actually, this is “thank you” gift for the organizers.  They love it when the Americans come.

Back to business.  Day 2, P-Day.  Premiere of “Haynesville”. It was a pretty nerve-racking day (hence the Jack), and we spent it beating the drum for the film.  The heartening part of it, and one of the amazing things about this trip, is that the Europeans get the concept of energy.  They also see the energy future (and the future of natural gas) much the way the film does.  It even goes down to the concerns about coal.  Supposedly, Italy is moving to use more coal and the EU is in a knot about it.  But I digress.


The festival had done a great job putting up the posters everywhere. We augmented their efforts by putting them everywhere where everywhere wasn’t.  Mark might have felt it was a bit over the top when I placed one on his forehead (he has a huge forehead), but that’s showbiz baby!


Food had to be had at some point and, feeling like Anthony Bourdain, we made our way to the Sheffield Wintergarden Street Market.  This particular dude was making fresh paella out of squid, chorizo and small children (that last part isn’t true, but this is the land of Sweeney Todd, so anything is possible).  The entire meal of paella, bratwurst, Mark’s German hog “beltbuster” and some kickass tropicana orange juice ran us 7 quid.


After playing cable TV host to the foods of Sheffield, it was off to the library theater.  What an amazing night. The film looked beautiful and sounded great.  I really hope that at least some of you get to see it in a theater or on a really good HD television (but please invest in more “Haynesville” DVDs and paraphernalia, not a television).  The crowd was enthusiastic and smart.  They knew when to laugh and when to gasp, though they weren’t sure what to do during Mike’s squirrel hunting scene.


I was expecting a lot of browbeating about U.S. consumption and our different ways of seeing the energy future.  Instead, it was the opposite. While most of the time was people praising the film (I loved that part) and its cinematography (congrats Rob and Mark) and editing (way to go Chris) and how much they loved Kassi (kudos to Kassi), the energy discussion was more about agreement on what needs to be done to achieve an energy future.  The night ended at the pub with an Irish filmmaking crew that is making a film much like “Haynesville” in Ireland.  All in all, it was a great validation for our project and fantastic start for “Haynesville.”