I opened the Market registration bag yesterday and was shocked to discover that HBO Documentaries had included a light-up pen that is almost identical to the World Famous SAGIndie Light-up Screening Pen that we have been giving away for almost ten years!
Now, I think that our pen, with its retro torpedo shaped end cap and double-sided printing, is much cooler looking… but for all intents and purposes it’s the same freaking pen!
In all honestly, HBO has done light-up pens before… but they’ve always sucked. The last version I saw had multi-colored, flashing disco lights, which is fine if you’re rolling, but the point of our pens is to give filmmakers the ability to take notes in a darkened theatre. When we switched from admittedly distracting clear lights to the cool blue a few years ago, we did it after a lot of intensive, scientific research (okay… I locked the staff in a closet with various colored pens and had them write essays on why I should let them out).
It just bugs me that HBO, which has more money than God, had to start giving away a pen that is almost exactly like ours. The cable network prides itself on creating cutting-edge series and documentaries, but can’t come up with it’s own damn giveaway?
I was a little vindicated at the opening night party (more on this later), when I met a film music composer who told me that she thought our pen was much cooler than the HBO pen. In fact, she mentioned that earlier she had saved someone’s life with our pen… and that she’d heard a rumor that someone had been killed by the HBO pen.
As for the opening night movie, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, I wasn’t impressed. It just felt like a movie I’d seen many times before and I never really engaged with any of the characters.
I had just finished my first cocktail at the party when I got a frantic text from my girlfriend informing me that the pipes in the unit above ours burst and had entirely flooded our condo. I left the party to contact the HOA, insurance company, and dog-sitter and spent it wishing I was blissfully drinking myself into a stupor.
I have to check with the airline, but I may have to head back to Los Angeles early to deal with this disaster. It sucks and I’m pretty sure the government had something to do with it.
George Bush doesn’t care about filmmakers.