Shut Out of the Premiere

I am one of 200 volunteer actors and extras who appeared in the now famous Springfield Vermont Simpsons video. On the day of the movie premiere, I talked separately with our two leading ladies outside the theater, about an hour apart. Both brought up how unfair it was that we as a group were not invited to any of the four premiere screenings scheduled for that day. One made the point, "They wouldn't have won without us." Ninety-eight percent of our fellow townspeople had declined to answer the casting call.

I asked the local coordinator for the big event why we weren't invited. She said they thought about it but there were just too many of us. Hard to understand when they had over 600 tickets to give away after the first showing for VIPs.

I also asked why not at least invite the few the public would recognize from their featured roles in the video to represent the group. "No," she said, "that wouldn't be fair to the others."

A number of local business and community leaders did get invitations. It wouldn't be fair to make that group compete with thousands of ordinary folks in the random drawings for free tickets. Less than 10 percent would have gotten seats that way. Some got extra tickets to quietly pass on to friends and associates.

It would have been nice if one of the community leaders who spoke in the public ceremony had taken a moment to acknowledge and thank us for our contribution. And maybe have some of us lined up down in front of the stage to turn and take a bow. But I guess they thought since they weren't inviting us to see the movie, it would look better for them if there was no mention of us at all. Getting attention off from us wasn't difficult for them. Any talk of the video itself could be focused on the two main stars, outside professionals from northern Vermont. Keep us off the yellow carpet and swept under the rug.

Quite a few out-of-towners who never did any volunteer work for our community won the honor of free seats at the big premiere while most of us in the winning video who gave up to four hours of our time to complete it would have to wait a week and pay to see the film. That's just not right.

The chairman of the Governor's Travel and Recreation Council says the heavy media attention Springfield has received and will continue to receive could bring in $3 million dollars in "tourism residuals" over the long term. Wasn't our part in all this worth 200 seats at the premiere, especially with 20th Century Fox making available all 600 plus tickets for free?

A special thanks to all the many thousands of you out there in cyberspace who viewed and voted for our video on the USA Today website. It seems we were better appreciated on the internet.



Comments
Springfield home owner
Friday September 21, 2007

I was very disappointed at the way the town handled the tickets. It was very clear watching the people stroll out of the theater that the distribution was rigged. The whole thing makes me sick. What a way to represent our town with lies and corruption. I even talked to a few people who had tickets but had never seen the show, and didn?t really care one way or the other. Being a fan for 15 years, I was disgusted. The people who were in the making of the movie should have seen the premiere and Springfield residents who were real fans of the show should have also been put ahead of someone who was there because they wanted something to do for the day.


guest
Saturday September 22, 2007

Just read the letter to the editor in the Reporter...I agree completely. My son and I were very visible in the vid, but as we are "nobodies" in town we were blown off. We managed to score tickets in a drawing, but the point is, we shouldn't have had to get them that way. The part that galls me the most is the fact that the majority of local "VIP"s wouldn't have been caught dead viewing the movie under any other circumstances. Don't brag about how you never watched the show and then snatch up tickets! It's been a couple months and I'm still fuming. Thanks for letting me vent.


JeromeProphet
Monday September 24, 2007

Greetings to the fine people of Springfield, Vermont.

I am from Springfield, Illinois - the town which came in second place to your town in the Simpson's Hometown competition of last Summer (2007).

Many of us here in Springfield, Illinois were scratching out heads wondering how your fair locale could have beaten us for the title of real Simpson's Springfield.

After some thought there's little doubt that your video played a pivotal role. Everyone I've spoken to on this said that your video showed true civic pride, and it showed how important winning the coveted Simpson's hometown status was to you.

I simply can't believe - well come on now we've all seen enough Simpson's episodes to know how things like this really work - but still I find it hard to believe that you all weren't invited to the Premiere.

If I had the money I'd buy you all movie tickets, a soda, popcorn, and some candy - sadly I'm just too darned broke for that. Still you deserve it!


Katiebell
Monday September 24, 2007

Yes, it was insane. I'm here in NH at this point (thank goodness, not because I disliked VT but my job was in NH...and I like being 4 min for on call days)

I was soooo upset when I read that the tickets were being held for "others" One of the Docs wives won 4 tix, she wrote Fox an amusing letter about how she and her family are original descendants of Jeddiah Simpson, but really...if you guys did the film work up front, its nuts that they didn't invite you.

After all that, I never did go see the film.


out-of-town observer
Tuesday September 25, 2007

Isn't it customary to have a cast screening? Just what is going on in Springfield?

It sounds like the volunteers should start drawing up a list of offenders who should be eligible to a visit to the Southern Vt. correctional facility outside of town.


From Springfield, IL
October 11, 2007

It appears, after reading your story of being shut out of the premier despite being the reason for the premiere, you truly are the real Simpson's Springfield. That kind of irony should only happen in satire. However, there were people from our Springfield that voted against our video (or for another) simply because they knew the cronies of our city would slurp up the tickets.


Insider
November 4, 2007

There were empty seats at the last show!!! And Fox rigged the vote, BTW