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Director's Blog

January 31, 2012

We've been planning a private screening at The Newseum for over a year.

Deadline director Curt Hahn
Deadline screenwriter Mark Ethridge
First Amendment Center founder John Seigenthaler

We thought it would be the perfect place to introduce Deadline, given its connection to the newspaper industry and beautiful huge theater. But imagine how honored we were to be invited to also make it a Congressional Screening hosted by Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN. And we felt confident given the astounding number of RSVPs – over 400 in the first two days alone.

Nevertheless, there are always concerns. The Newseum staff tried to talk us out of doing our Q&A after the movie, because they had done a movie event last year with George Clooney and were embarrassed when folks didn’t stay for the Q&A. Washington isn’t a late night town. But we felt a Q&A before the movie wouldn’t work. After all, Mark was the journalist who lived the actual events of Deadline and then wrote the novel and the screenplay. In previous private screenings folks had plenty of questions for him. So, forewarned, we rolled the dice and went with the Q&A afterwards.

We were also worried about filling the 450 seat theater.

Neither one was an issue.

After a lovely welcome from Newseum CEO Jim Duff, legendary journalist John Seigenthaler introduced Deadline. It was incredibly powerful and made me hope that the movie would live up to the expectations he set.

Within 15 minutes, I knew the audience was with us. This was by far the most engaged audience we've ever had for Deadline. They LOVED it. The applause at the end was sincere and sustained as Mark & I took the stage for the Q&A. Almost everyone stayed for the entire 25 minute Q&A, asking great questions. Mark was fantastic and we received another warm round of applause at the conclusion, followed by dozens of well-wishers coming down to greet us.

Does it get any better than this?

There are precious few times in your life when you know that the moment you are living will stay with you for a lifetime. Last Wednesday at The Newseum was one of those magical moments.