Sunday, June 30, 2013

A ZQC Fan At The Advance Screening of "Breakup At A Wedding" in NYC

Before the Door - an outfit founded by Zachary Quinto, Neal Dodson and Corey Moosa - is fast making a remarkable impact on the indie film scene.

With a high profile release of the Wall Street financial crisis drama "Margin Call" and the world premiere of "All Is Lost" (starring Robert Redford) at this year's Cannes, Before The Door has been heavily promoting a romcom made by their friends at PERIODS Films recently.

The movie called "Breakup At A Wedding" (a co-production with Anonymous Content) is literally about a breakup at a wedding, and its North American distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories ran a college tour for the movie, and advance screenings in the USA before it was released beginning June 18th across all cable VOD and digital platforms.

One such advance theatre screening was held at the AMC Loews Village 7 in New York on June 17, with a Q&A held after. Zachary Quinto was promoted to attend the event and a ZQC fan Davian Aw, who is currently doing an internship in New York, managed to get the chance to attend the special event.

Here is what happened that day:


The "Breakup At A Wedding" screening officially started at 7 pm. Come at least half an hour early, the email advised. I dutifully got there at 5:25 pm, only to be greeted by a long queue of people more hardcore than I.

By a stroke of luck, one of Zachary Quinto's friends (and an actress in the movie), Caitlin, was in the queue behind me, so some of us chatted with her as we waited. It was 7:15 by the time we could go inside.

The emcee thanked us all for coming. I glanced back towards the cinema doors; and I saw Zach quietly slipping in, standing in the rectangle of light by the doorway, his arms folded, surveying the scene.  I just looked at him.  Almost everyone else was facing front.

Then the emcee gestured to Zach and introduced him as the producer.  Heads finally turned, and there was cheering and applause as Zach made his way to the front.

He got to the stage. "Hi," he said.
"Hi!" we said.
"Hello," he said.
"I LOVE YOU!" someone shouted. People laughed.
"Awwww," Zach said.

Camera lights were flashing all over now, to the point that Zach stepped back and raised an arm to block his eyes, "Whoaaa, there are camera flashes all up in my face."

Zach introduced the movie, said he'd be back later for a Q&A, left, and then the movie started.

It was pretty good: definitely better than I expected, and the beginning was hilarious (the jokes died off after a while, but it was still entertaining). It made me happy to see Caitlin in there and recognise her. The shakycam made me dizzy, but I survived.

The audience applauded at the end. Some people left, oddly.

Eventually Zach came back in with the writing/acting team of Victor Quinaz, Philip Quinaz and Anna Martemucci, and were all introduced by the emcee.  He was about to start with a question when the screen suddenly lit up again with a loud commercial, and they all turned to see what was going on. That commercial ended, and then another started, followed by yet another..

Zach didn't look happy at the interruptions, and eventually bounded back up the stairs (he doesn't walk, ok, he *bounds*. Or lopes.) and out the door to see what was going on.  The movie started playing again. "Hey, you can watch it again!" one of the brothers said.  People laughed.

Pic by Davian Aw
Eventually things got fixed and they returned to stage. More camera flashes went off, and Zach asked people to please not take photographs for now, so that "we could have a civil conversation".

The emcee asked how they'd come together to make this movie. Victor said he and Zach were classmates at college, he and Philip were brother and sister, and Anna was his wife. They'd been inspired by the "Paranormal Activity" films' found-footage format, and thought, hey, maybe we should do a romcom like that.

A representative from the "Made in NY" organisation thanked them for the movie and their support.  Someone else said that she'd driven four hours to get here. They cheered and thanked her, and said that now she can drive four hours back and tell her friends all about it.

Zach barely talked. His main involvement was to ask "any more questions? ...anyone?" after each question.

Source from
There weren't many other questions; someone asked how much of the script had been written and how much was ad libbed. Zach said Anna would be the person to ask, so he passed her the mike.  She said about 85% was scripted. The Made in NY lady asked a couple more questions ("you're inquisitive!" said Victor), mostly technical stuff about the film. People asked how long the movie took to get made - Anna said it was filmed over just 11 days.

Someone asked what was their next movie would be.
"This one," Zach said. "It comes out in theatres tomorrow."

One of the Quinaz brothers mentioned that Zach will be debuting on Broadway in September, and that it was a really good play and we should all see it. Zach smiled but didn't say anything.

Zach was pretty restless throughout the Q&A:  he fidgeted a lot, not standing still, folding and unfolding his arms, shuffling his feet, placing his hand on the screen behind him and leaning against that, lounging; a few times he ran his fingers back through his hair to keep it out of his eyes; he laughed languidly a few times at jokes from the others. He'd been slightly more engaged during the first introduction, but not the Q&A.

Eventually they were done and started walking back out. One guy sitting in the aisle stuck out a pen and an item at Zach, who paused to sign. I jumped out of my seat and clambered over people's legs, hoping desperately to get to Zach and get him to at least sign the Star Trek cover that Tracy from the ZQC had mailed me all the way from North Carolina. But I lost him in the crowd.  I ran out, couldn't see him, and hung around being lost.

Caitlin walked past. "Has Zach gone?" I asked her.  She said she thought he was still in the cinema. So I ran back, but he wasn't there.

Back outside I saw a lift by the side, and figured he must have gotten out that way. I tried going down to see if he was in the lobby ("If he had Sylared me, I would have happily died!" enthused one girl on the escalator with a questionable attitude towards living), but he wasn't.

There were people milling around and I thought there was going to be another screening, and Zach might be back for that one.  I waited, but it turned out that the next movie was "This is the End".

So I went home, disappointed.

Celebrities don't owe fans anything, but I had hoped that Zach would have been a little more into the whole event; although I knew he'd just come from an interview on "The View", so he was probably tired. He also wasn't technically needed in the Q&A:  he barely answered any questions, despite the event being loudly advertised all over the place as "Q&A with Zachary Quinto!" and it was nice of him to cede the limelight to his friends who had done most of the actual work in the movie.  I'd really hoped to get Tracy an autograph, though.

But I'd at least had the chance to be in the same room as Zach and hear him speak, though I found throughout most of the event that I still had this craving for ZQ fandom:  for his work, his characters, for the person constructed by the combined dreams and impressions of a myriad fans.

Seeing him in the flesh, loping past me on too-long legs... he wasn't all that, despite my desperation to see otherwise, and it sent me escaping for a moment away: back to fandom with its gifs and sleek photoshoots and interview compilations and his It Gets Better video and cryptic tweets and Sylar's Army and all the fanfic I've written on his characters and my TextsFromQuintoplets blog and that epic, epic story where my friend Amy and I have been role-playing his characters for over a couple years, and all the other amazing friends I've made around the globe, and Smudge and Sasan, Adam, Spock, Sylar, and I shall stop naming his characters now; and all the feelings involved with all that - the warm fuzziness of friendship and belonging and love and creation and cooperation and world-building and character studies and obsessive shared interest in a human being who just isn't anywhere near big enough to encompass more than the tiniest fraction of that boundless wonder and joy.

It's so weird to feel that separation between Zach-the-fandom and Zach-the-person: the realisation that I'm longing for something that I can never get, because it doesn't exist, not that easily packaged in a single mortal man who that day was probably just tired and wanted to go home.

Zach-the-person is just this guy: who from all accounts is usually a really wonderful person, but still just as flawed as anyone else, who also has his bad days, who gets annoyed when commercials start playing when he's trying to talk. He's only human, and any impression to the contrary is just Hollywood magic and PR and the way we idealize celebrities because we need role models who are larger than life and whom we can look up to or live vicariously through, and they need to be perfect, the Platonic ideals of humankind, so we make them so, and steal away their lives and images and bodies for us to manipulate and play with and find and define ourselves with.

But at the heart of it is just... another person, trying to make his own way in this world just like anyone else.

As for Zach-the-fandom...
I'm still in love.


"Breakup At A Wedding" is now available online from the following sources:

Download link on official website

Check out the trailer below:


Thanks to Davian Aw for sharing us his personal experience.
Pics taken of those on stage belong to Davian Aw and

(PS: Personally, both of my ZQ biceps encounters have been absolutely wonderful :) )

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