On Wednesday the dedicated staff of edhat.com spent the day in the Press Room and in the Press Room - the bar on Ortega, and the room in the Santa Barbara Hotel for members of the press. The bar is a small, friendly, local place where everyone (mostly men) knows your name or at least the latest soccer scores. The room in the hotel is an office where film festival staffers (mostly women) work getting the word out about movies, events, and stuff like that. There was a nice write-up in Tuesday’s Daily Variety about the Film Festival. The dedicated staff is sure that people in this hotel office had something to do with it.
But, the pressroom at the hotel is not the place where people hang out between films. The hotel lobby is where the real action is. The main focal point in the lobby is the giant white poster-board movie schedule where filmgoers make their viewing decisions for the day. There is also a greeting table, two sitting areas, and a platinum pass holder lounge in the back. Yesterday a Japanese camera crew commandeered one of the sitting areas for most of the day doing interviews.
edhat.com’s “official movie locator for the film festival” status gave us access to the pass holder room. Plush! It had fancy leather couches, computers with wide flat screen monitors, scones, coffee, and pink Valentine cookies. There was half & half and nondairy creamer for the coffee. The dedicated staff of edhat.com ate some of the cookies. BTW, if anyone is interested, the couches and some of the other furnishings are being sold off in a silent auction at the end of the festival. The cookies will probably all be gone by then.
Gas Prices Update - Every Tuesday edhat.com drives around town and gets the latest price at the pump. Gas is more expensive than it was a week ago. Use our cool interactive map to make sure you are getting the most gallons for your dollars.
Over the course of the day, we talked to many of the people passing through the lobby. There was a very nice photographer (who took the great pictures for today’s contest), a film director, a homeless person, a traveling poet, and many of the top brass in charge of the festival. The film director was recommending movies to a festival patron. He recommended his own film and others. The director had finished his film in November, and since then he has been on a world tour to promote his movie – Paris, Palm Springs, etc. After our festival, he will continue on to South America and Cleveland. Then, he will make another movie.
Meanwhile, at the Press Room Bar, 4 o’clock Happy Hour was about to begin. When we arrived there were 4 men outside smoking and 1 woman inside not smoking. Ed had a beer and talked briefly with Larry, the bartender. The bar has a loyal clientele, many people with foreign roots who like to meet at odd hours to watch soccer. It gets packed for the really big games. There were no cookies at the bar. They do not serve any food.
In the course of the day we gathered data on the people at these two locations for the daily contest. We found that the Press Room Bar had more smokers and jeans wearers, while the Hotel had more eaters (duh), people sitting alone, and women. As is the norm in Santa Barbara, we only saw two ties – one in the Japanese camera crew at the Hotel, and one on a sales guy in the Bar. The biggest surprise to us was cell phone usage. We saw a ton of laptops on film people’s laps, but no cell phones in use. No laptops at the bar (although Larry was checking his email on the TV when we got there), but a couple of phones.
The winning streak of first time edhat.com contestants continues. Today the lucky winner is SBChristine. She wins a Santa Barbara gift pack that includes a genuine first-edition edhat.com hat, a jar of Marshmallow Cocoa Body Butter (for your skin) from Jaqua, 2 coupons for Cold Stone ice cream, and a See’s Candy gift certificate. ChristineSB is also in the running for our week’s end grand prize drawing which includes lunch for 2 at Café Buenos Aires