Project Senium is now available to watch online! What started as a vague idea and a dream a year ago has turned into reality via countless man-hours and dedication. But several days before we put it online we had one more big idea to pull off: The Premiere.
Project Senium's secret premiere is the stuff of legend. And like most good ideas it came where most good ideas originate from: the shower. In just a moment the idea was formed and as soon as it was communicated, we knew we had something unique. We've always been fans of unique experiences with media. We once watched a horror movie on this old abandoned house property, even hiding one of us before any of the rest of us arrived so he could jump out and scare people 45 minutes into the movie. More recently, I was relishing the experience of listening to the music of Project Senium in the location while we were filming it. Considering all this, we realized there was only one place for the premiere: the asylum.
We knew we had a good idea, but we also had to figure out just how we were going to pull this off. There were a ton of questions like "Where in the asylum are we going to show it? Who will come? What are we going to show it on?" However, we were completely inspired by this idea and so we pretty quickly came up with solutions for each of these questions. The show was going to be a secret, only inviting a very small and exclusive group of people with a short heads up. This made sure word didn't get out and kept us from attracting a noticeable crowd. Our guest list only included two groups of people: 1. Our guests: those who helped on the project on some level (relatively few people, 9 of us or so) and 2. Urbexers: people we knew frequented the location. We would show it in the largest, most remote building allowing ease of access and drawing as little attention as possible. As far as gear, we planned to bring a powered speaker and a large computer monitor, powered by a car battery.
As we sent out invites a lot of people loved the idea and a number said they'd be there. But we also had a number of people who thought the idea was too risky and openly stated it. Others simply didn't respond or said they had previous engagements. We began to wonder if we had made the secret premiere TOO much of a secret. But the show was going to happen regardless, for ourselves if no one else.
The day came. We entered in three separate groups, the first with all the necessary equipment to show the video, and then two small groups of guests that we brought (cast and crew). We did a brief scout and located our dark, enclosed, incognito space and began setting up our theater. We brought chairs and a stand from around the corner, placed a door to cover the window, and even brought some fabric (our "red carpet") to reduce kicking up dust. We were in and all set up with all our guests now we just had to wait. As we waited, our guests looked around a bit and but soon we moved into our places to escort the urbexers to our viewing room.
We were indeed in for some surprises. Some of those who said they thought it was too risky actually came and brought other people as well. On the other hand, some of those who said they would be there decided it was too risky after all. While about 2/3 of our original number showed, we were ultimately happy about the attendance because this showing was really for those who helped as fast and crew more than anyone else. None of them had seen it while it was being edited so this would be their first time seeing any of it and it would be totally unique and something they would never forget. While they would be able to watch it forever on the Internet, they were only going to be able to watch it once in an abandoned asylum.
After a brief intro, the premiere of Project Senium began and the audible reactions of the viewers were like music to my ears. Whether gasping the the beauty of a shot or recognizing a person or place featured in our film, it was clear that our film was connecting! As the video closed there was an applause before some closing remarks and the only complete credits for Project Senium audibly spoken. The reception we received afterwards from both our guests and the urbexers was incredibly positive and it felt great to finally share this project with others. After standing around and talking for a little while, we said goodbye to everyone as they left and then, in turn, we packed up. The premiere occurred in the afternoon and given Project Senium's short run time, this left us with time to get all the gear out and have a few adventures with our cast and crew before heading back for our cast and crew private afterparty of pizza and a repeat showing with a much bigger screen and with much better sound.
The secret premiere of Project Senium was something magical and will stick with us quite like the place itself. The video will likely outlive these buildings, and we will always have the memory of watching the premiere Project Senium in the place that inspired it. And memory is the mother of legends.