Our Film Festival Journey Summer 2020
Covid-19 ravaged society and the unfortunate Zombie Apocalypse began! There was no hope for Filmmakers unless you were making a Zombie Flick or a sequel to, I am Legend...Was the world going to end? The streets were becoming more and more of a baron landscape, ALL HOPE WAS LOST...! Joking aside... What was a newcomer to the Film Festival Circuit do? During the height of the pandemic and the harsh heat of the summer, it was hard to find a Film Festival holding in-person events and especially a Festival to screen the explicit Short Film, Bad Bitch. That's why it was truly a blessing when first-time festival goer, Director & Producer Dan Haynes got the exciting news that Reel Unique Production's latest Film, Bad Bitch, was an official selection at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, This was exciting news... but, "Would the festival take place in person?" "Would it be held online?." All of these thoughts came rushing through Dan Haynes' head at that moment. Especially due to disappointments from other in-person Film Festivals resulting in dull online formats. Luckily, the Houston Comedy Film Festival handled the situation with grace and professionalism and ensured that their official selections would be seen, someway and somehow and in the safest way possible.
It was determined by the Festival that the show must go on! This type of dedication was rare at the height of the pandemic. This was due to the lack of availability of venues and the restrictions in place at the time. A great compromise was determined by the Film Festival though. They would screen the Festival in Buda, Texas at the amazing local staple Doc's Drive-In Theatre. Yes! It was decided. This would be the event that Reel Unique Productions was waiting for. A venue to have the premier and showcase all the hard work that the Cast and Crew of Bad Bitch endured. This would be a Road trip of the ages!
The age of the Drive-In was once thought to be lost in the dust and left to rot. Fortunately, due to hardship, the Drive-in experience was breathed back to life due to a horrific and difficult pandemic. Although the pandemic was a first for many of us, it was also an event of firsts for creator Dan Haynes... It was his first-time road tripping from Houston, Texas to Buda, Texas. First time seeing a Drive-in Movie Theatre and the first time to experience a Film Festival. Although the pandemic situation was unorthodox for a Festival, it was still a joy for Dan even to be screened at such an incredible venue. Doc's Drive-in brought a sense of nostalgia and excitement. The screens were huge, the food offerings were delicious, and the event would never be forgotten. It was like experiencing an era of cinema that you no longer see. It was truly magical in many ways.
When the projector lights went up and the festival logo shined brightly on the screen an undying happiness fell over the Cast and Crew that attended. The retro aesthetic of Bad Bitch fit perfectly with the Drive-in atmosphere and brought back nostalgia for many shows like 1975's The Rocky Horror Picture Show and many other's like it. So much talent was shown that night and amazing memories were made for all to experience. Tears fell from lead Actress Katherine Salamanca's face and a great sense of accomplishment was felt by the entire cast under that Texas night sky. 2020 was a year that many people think of as a horrific pandemic but 2020 for Dan Haynes was the year that all his dreams were manifested onto that huge Drive-In screen. They say everything is bigger in Texas, screen size at Doc's Drive-in is one of them.
It was truly an honor for the Bad Bitch cast and crew to even be screened at the Houston Comedy Film Festival and for the team of Bad Bitch to even be nominated as a finalist was even greater. The experience was everlasting and the memories made were amazing. Reel Unique Productions and Dan Haynes hope to capture this incredible experience again. The Houston Comedy Film Festival is highly recommended to ALL up-and-coming filmmakers. Be sure to watch Bad Bitch, and experience what we did at this amazing venue.