USA launch 21st Sept: tickets now on sale
Date:23 August 2009
Hello from Hollywood (think I'm joking?),
Hold on to your hats everybody.... there ain't no getting off the Stupid rollercoaster now... so take a deep breath and then take a look at this map of all the American cinemas who've signed up for the US launch on 21st September.... tickets for which are now on sale (see below).... oh my oh my...
But it seems that we might be about to hit critical mass press-wise: there were 28,009 new articles mentioning "The Age of Stupid" in the last 24 hours... Helped by the fact that we were on the front page of the New York Times last week. Think that needs repeating... We were on the front page of the New York Times last week - in the same sentence as Quentin Tarantino, for god's sake - which has now been syndicated to all sorts of massive publications like the Herald Tribune, Scotsman and Business Week. Then yesterday we had a press screening at Paramount Studios - a thrill in itself - packed full of journos nodding furiously at my "the next three months will define our generation" line. Let's hope they print it... Then came interviews with Time, Wall St Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and Hollywood Reporter, some of whom are talking about big feature articles on everything from crowd-funding to green carpets to 440 cinemas to Copenhagen. And to top it off, I had a "chat" (read: audition) with a "talent-booker" for a VERY big, VERY famous chatshow which is considering doing a feature on climate change. If they decide to include Stupid in their piece - possibly even with Pete or me on the sofa - then we will be catapulted into a whole new stratosphere awareness-wise. Fingers crossed.
Have to admit I am slightly losing the plot out here on my own... waking up to 200 emails all labelled "URGENT: REPLY IMMEDIATELY" is not a recipe for skipping merrily through dandelions - being on a different timezone doesn't help on that front - and everything is much harder without being able to laugh with your comrades at the ludicrousness of it all: Lizzie and I haven't seen each other since she left London for New York six weeks ago, though we did spend 3 hours sleeping in the same bed in Sydney (I arrived at 2am after the Australia parliament screening, she left at 5am for a flight to New Zealand).
But enough of my whinging, here's the plan...
Brought to you by Fathom Events, The Age of Stupid will launch in America on September 21st 2009 from a solar-powered cinema tent in New York LIVE to 115,000 people in 400 movie theatres right across the country. This One Night Only live event is your only chance to see The Age of Stupid on the big screen and is timed for the day before the UN's climate meeting on September 22nd, when 80 Heads of State - and therefore the world's media - will gather in New York. (The event has also just been confirmed as being an official part of UN Climate Week.)
As an INclusive, rather than EXclusive event, everyone is invited to go to their local theatre to watch the VIPs arrive in Manhattan by boat, bike, rickshaw, chipfat car or skateboard, before braving the paparazzi on the green carpet. Following the first US screening of The Age of Stupid, there will be a further 40 minute live event featuring Kofi Annan, Gillian Anderson, Mary Robinson, the film's director Franny Armstrong, the star of the film Pete Postlethwaite, and other leading thinkers, celebrities and political figures from around the world. Audiences will hear from scientists working in the Himalayas and Indonesian rain forest via live satellite link and from a group of children speaking from the very room in Copenhagen in which all our futures will be decided at the UN climate summit in December. Radiohead's Thom Yorke will wrap up the evening with a short acoustic performance.
The timings are: 7:30 PM ET/ 6:30 PM CT / 5:30 PM MT / tape delayed 8PM PT.
For a taste of what to expect, have a look at the UK launch in March 2009, which produced just 1% of the emissions of a standard Hollywood event and which broke the Guinness World Record for biggest simultaneous premiere.
Tickets now on sale - and list of participating theatres - here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/usa
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122440801800
How you can help (even if you're not in US)
We have a grand total of zero dollars for advertising, so please, please help however you can:
1. Buy tickets to your local cinema for you, your mum, your boyfriend, your boyfriend's hairdresser and all their friends
2. Put together an outing for your school/sports team/church - make an evening of it by arranging a meal before or after the event (after may be better, as you'll all hopefully be inspired to start discussing how you can get involved in climate actions in your area)
3. Email the attached e-flyer to all your American friends, asking them to pass it on. The paragraph above (under "Global Premiere: America) is a good basic intro you could send your pals if they don't want all this chitchat (but why wouldn't they?!?)
4. Send the info round on any mailing list you are part of
5. Go onto the US listing page (http://www.ageofstupid.net/usa), look through the locations and then send the details direct to your friends in whichever town/city they're in. There's an easy widget on each individual theatre's page, which lets you send the details without faffing around with emails.
6. Go mad on Facebook
7. Go mad on Twitter
8. Rate/review the film (if you've seen it) on the Fandango website (the US ticket sellers). Seeing loads of enthusiastic reviews makes a really big difference to people who are undecided as to whether or not to go
9. Go along to any climate/enviro/activist meetings happening in your area and do a quick one minute talk about the Stupid launch
10. If you are in the US and able to hand out flyers / put up posters in your nearest theatre, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions
A massive thank you to all the people who've put in such huge amounts of effort to get us to the starting line here in the US: particularly Amy & Bethany from Fathom, Martin from Greenpeace, Ben from tcktcktck, Laura from MoveOn, Lenny & Eric from All Mobile Video, Aaron & Lisa from Usual Suspects and Meghan from Rogers & Cowan. Onwards...
Global Premiere:All Other Countries
Tickets will be going on sale later this week. Latest exciting additions: Nigeria, Iraq and Sierra Leone. But Antarctica not looking so good, as there is no ship/plane going there before September who could drop a DVD off - and their broadband is apparently not up to downloading a whole film. Shucks.
Australia & NZ launch last week...
... was a bloody triumph. Lizzie hosting in Auckland, myself in Sydney, giant penguins walking the green carpet, koalas in boats under the Sydney Harbour bridge, top celebs crying, Keisha Castle-Hughes in a rickshaw, Piers the windfarm man getting a surprise phone call in his meeting in Cornwall and ending up speaking live to Oz & NZ, Senator Milne calling the Australian Government the "House of Stupid", huge teams from Global Vision Networks, Green Elephant, LA Publicity, Oxfam and Greenpeace all working together seamlessly on either side of the sea, Lizzie's Dad and my Mum together on the green carpet (not together together, obviously), the whole live-link-to-explorer-in-the-Arctic thing actually working, 20 mins on primetime NZ telly (between three different shows), the solar-powered tent in Auckland, Rod's super-cool animation zooming from the whole globe right down to the Sydney Theatre, the writer of Happy Feet's hilarious wisecrack, the singer of top Aussie band Cat Empire volunteering to play at Copenhagen.... Unbelievably, not a single element failed, which gives us mucho courage for the even-more-ambitious Global Premiere. My favourite bit of the whole thing was when we were speaking live to explorer Eric Philips in the Arctic. There was a time delay of a few seconds, so when the Sydney Theatre crowd gave him a massive cheer he just looked blank... for a few seconds... and then broke out into a massive green.
-> The film is screening in cinemas across New Zealand and Australia for the rest of this week (only), so please tell all your friends:
-> Lizzie's report of the NZ premiere here.
-> Compiled news reports here, including Lizzie on Good Morning New Zealand sofa and Franny doing battle with Kim Hill
-> Pictures of NZ solar-green-carpet cinema tent here
-> Pictures of OZ: haven't got them together yet, will do soon
-> The full video of the satellite broadcast will be up on our website as soon as Ade sends the tapes from Oz and Andy gets a chance to upload them.
In other news
- "The idea we've been waiting 20 years for". Big launch of the new climate campaign on 1st September. In normal circumstances this would be the headline, not a footnote... Anyhow, volunteers needed on August 28th to 1st September: some for very glamourous jobs, some pretty boring. More details here or contact email@example.com
- Really cute film about a recent pedal-powered Stupid screening in UK here
- Stupid-inspired local campaign to get shops turning off their lights at night here
- 350's Bill McKibben on the Colbert Report: http://www.350.org/billoncolbert
- I've turned into a twitterer: follow me here: http://twitter.com/frannyarmstrong
- Lest we forget why we're doing all this: latest from Greece
Better go to sleep, as it's late here and I have to do a skype Q&A to a film festival in Copenhagen in, aaargh, four hours time.
Over and out from LA,