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Eirien at the Toronto Film Festival

I recently saw Elijah's film "Try Seventeen" at the Toronto International Film Festival, and here is a little report I did on it for you! BTW, he WAS there, and I did get to see him! Woohoo!

"Try Seventeen" had been sold out since the second day the Toronto International Film Festival opened. I planned to line up early and get Rush tickets five minutes before the show began, assuming there would be any!

I got to the Uptown theatre at ten to seven, a good two hours before the movie would begin, and already there was a line of about fifty or so people waiting in the Rush tickets line (not just for "Try Seventeen" though...for three other movies as well). I waited patiently for about twenty minutes, when a man walked down the line to where I was and asked what line I was in. I replied the Rush tickets line, and he asked what movie I was seeing. When I told him "Try Seventeen" he pulled one out of his pocket and told me that he'd sell me an extra one he had. SOLD! And for $3.75 LESS than what I would've paid at the box office. So...being very early now, and with much time to spare, I wandered around until it was 8:00pm. I made my way back to the Uptown and got in yet another long line for people WITH tickets to any of the three movies being screened.

I happened to be standing in front of a woman with whom I struck up a great conversation with, about film making and about Elijah Wood. Apparently, he was supposed to be in town! Well! She told me about a friend of hers who "followed" him wherever he went. I grinned and thought that it reminded me of a few Ringers! :)

Finally, at about seven to nine, very late, we were let into the theatre. We sat down and noticed all the reserved seats in the back left corner of the theatre. Who would be here? we wondered.

While we waited, it became obvious to me that we were sitting in front of some movie producers! Their publicist was on her cell phone behind me, arranging for them to get tickets to the big party after the movie. Five executive producers from various production companies were discussing projects they wanted to work on and ones they had. I'm not quite sure of their names, but I believe included were: Tim van Lowen, Mr. Jenkeo, Mr. Checaik, and Mr. Rellim. One was from MGM Studios, one from Millenium Films ("Try Seventeen") and one was currently working with Elijah Wood, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christina Ricci regarding a movie about the 18 hours before the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. I couldn't hear what the title of the movie was...so if one day a movie like this shows up, you can say you hear about it first here! (Maybe...) Also included in the production of this was Emilio Estevez.

Anyway, back to the movie. Finally, one of the Film Fest directors took the microphone set up in the front and introduced herself, and then told us that after the movie, there would be a Q & A session with Jeffrey Porter (Director). Mr. Porter came up to the mic to much applause, and hoped we'd enjoy the movie, and then he said that joining us for the Q & A would be...ELIJAH WOOD! There was much cheering. Oh yes, also present were co-stars, Aaron Pearl (Canadian!), Chris Martin, and Daniella Evangelista (Canadian!)

So, finally, the movie started, twenty-three minutes late, and the audience was great! We laughed, we cheered, we clapped and we laughed some more. I can't wait for the soundtrack to come out, it will be something I'll definitely buy! Great music! The dialogue was clever and witty, and as I've said, the audience laughed! Elijah's character "Jones", is innocent and naive, but also somehow very independant and he's VERY imaginative and finds a way to get people to believe he's older than just seventeen. I really enjoyed the movie! (Watch out for the bar bit in the race track scene! Hehehe...) There IS a lot of drinking and smoking in the movie, but Mr. Porter addressed that in the Q & A.

I thought the movie was going to end in a very predictable fashion, but it did take a slight deviation from what I'm sure everyone expected, but there was the "happily ever after" that is expected from a teen movie.

Finally, the Q & A with Jeffrey Porter and Elijah Wood began. I'll try to recall everything (I took notes) but of course the wording and phrasing will be a bit different (had to write FAST!):

****WARNING, may contain some spoilers*****

We welcomed and applauded (again) for Mr. Porter, and he told us Elijah would be right with us, he had gone upstairs for a moment...and when he did come down --

Elijah: I'm surprised you all stayed for the Q & A, cheers on that. (He raised his bottle of water to us, and we... yup... we cheered!)

Q: regarding the music on the soundtrack - I didn't quite hear this question, but I believe the person asked if Elijah had any influence on what music was used in the film

Elijah: replied that he didn't get all of his choices on the track and then there was a bit of banter about that clip of him on the radio show in BC

Q: Did you mean to make the film so generic? Devoid of any landmarks, etc?

Jeffrey Porter: Yes. It was also the writer's (George Kephart) intention as well. It takes place in Kansas, and the only indication is on the car license plates.

Q: What other coming-of-age movies do you like? Any favourites?

Jeffrey: The Graduate. Couldn't you tell? (much laughter) In fact, I just watched it again recently.

Q: This is for Elijah. We know you can play an adult hobbit, but when will you play an adult human character?

Elijah: (laughs very hard) Well....there is a movie coming out, Thumbsucker, maybe that will be it.

Q: When playing Jones, did you find you related to the character?

Elijah: (more laughter) In what way? (audience laughs) Some of it. (more laughter - you have to see the movie to understand)

Q: What made you choose to shoot in BC?

Jeffrey: Less expensive. Good geographic location, as close to Kansas with the location, best all around location – heartland look, flat open spaces, and excellent crews.

Q: What was it like to work with Mandy Moore?

Elijah: Good. I've never seen anything she's been in, but she's good. Very natural.

Jeffrey: Elijah and Mandy both had their own contingent of fans when shooting in BC. We were shooting in that house for so long, and it rains a lot in BC (much laughter from audience here) that we erected a tent for the fans outside. (APPLAUSE!)

Q: Regarding the smoking in the movie, was that very intentional?

Jeffrey: Jones is a sponge. He picked up the smoking from Jane. You see he picks up things from the other characters.

Q: What other projects are you working on?

Jeffrey: I'm working with George Kephart again. (He stands up in the audience, we clap.) A crief story on how the script came to me. Someone gave the script to Michelle (a partner on the production) and I was dating her at the time too, (audience laughs and cheers), and she had thrown it in the pile which is basically the recycling bin. Well, I was going through the bin, and I found this script that had coffee stains and writing all over it, and I read it, and the writing was so fresh and good. And I called the number on the cover, and it was a Kansas number, and it was George Kephart. And we never met until we started shooting, and it was basically phone conversations, and now here we are.


And that was it...most people left right after, but a few (including yours truly) ran down the front to try to get Elijah's autograph. Unfortunately for me...they started to really kick people out, because I believe there was another movie coming in at midnight) and I did catch a glimpse of Elijah up close (wearing a very nice blue dress shirt), but didn't get to get an autograph. Oh well. I waited right outside the theatre after, but I think they went out a back door somewhere, so he slipped through my grasp. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera either, as cameras and recording devices aren't allowed in the theater (although there were quite a few flashes going off during the Q & A).

All in all, it was a great experience, and I did enjoy Elijah's acting in this movie. I wanted to ask a question about the other casting choices, but time did not allow it. I thought Mandy Moore did a really good job too! However, when it comes out in wide release, you can go see it yourself make your own review!




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