Aaarrrgghh! Too many movies! I must be insane...

The Seattle International Film Festival starts on May 24.

I got the calendar in the Seattle Times on May 10. I spent two solid days reading through it, identifying possible movies, looking all of them up on the web, reading reviews from around the world, eliminating some choices and adding others. Then I marked out all of my top picks on the schedule grid, noting conflicts and making certain I wouldn’t be pissing off my consulting-gig people by leaving early on more than a couple of days. Then I made a spreadsheet that recreated the grid, pulling all of my chosen movies out of the official grid so I could see them, color-coding them, prioritizing. I paid attention to the venues, ensuring I’d have time to make it from one theatre to another; I used the “length of film: XX minutes” note in each blurb to calculate the start and end time of each film so I’d know exactly how long I had between each one. Then I talked to my wife to see, of the movies I’d picked, which ones she might be interested in attending.

Then, on Sunday 5/13, several hours before the festival box office opened, I got up early and carefully computed the purchase price of the block of tickets using several different methods. How much if I just bought all of them as singles? How much if I did a bunch of six-packs, which discounts the full-price values but doesn’t take into account matinee prices? What about a full series pass? What if I clustered the movies into one week or another, and did a mix-and-match of weekly passes and six-packs?

After determining the most efficient package, I went on down to the box office. I arrived at 9:30 am. It was scheduled to open at noon. See, I didn’t want to take the risk of having one or more of my movies sell out; then I’d have to go through everything again and re-prioritize based on new selections. Plus, I had to get a pass to the Secret Festival, a special SIFF event that always sells out very very quickly. Even at 9:30, I was still fourth in line.

The end result? 52 movies over 24 straight days, an average of more than two per day. In those 24 days, not a single day without a movie. Some days, four movies. Start times range from 11:30 in the morning to midnight. And this doesn’t even take into account (1) more than a dozen movies I had to eliminate due to schedule conflicts, but that I would have seen if I could, and (2) all the big summer releases that’ll be coming out at the same time.

My wife thinks I’ve completely lost my mind. She’s probably right. :slight_smile: