Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Out of Town Service

Customs, what you gonna do.

I'm not getting my package today containing my festival pass, program guide, schedule and order form. It's stuck in Memphis, TN in customs. Who knows, FedEX certainly doesn't, if I'll get it tomorrow. I have to have my films picked, put it back in the return FedEx package and send it off, no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, to get in the lottery. It's all in doubt. But I'm much calmer now than 3 hours ago.

1) At least it's not just me. Selfish, I know, but it does make me at least feel like God is not punishing me specifically. According to my call to TIFF box office, customs has held back several of the OOTS packages.

2) Thanks to the improved website, I've already got my choices made and printed. Although since I have time, I'll go back and tinker.

3) With the multiple setbacks to loyal TIFF festivalgoers, I'm confident that TIFF will help us out in some way should the package not arrive in time to be sent back out. I feel bad that I can't remember her name (TIFF staffer that answered my panicked call), but she was much more empathetic and calming than the FedEx employee I got when tracking my package. "We can't control what customs does, it's not our fault." Fine I get that, I just want to know if there is a timetable. "We don't control customs." Okay. Thank you, FedEx.

Last year was the first year I was able to get to 40 films during my stay. The previous years would be between 28-35. The key is to get your ass up when the alarm clock goes off, and quit whining about needing 10 more min. of sleep. You can sleep when the festival is over. There is no way I'll ever be able to see all 50 films that my pass would allow. That means you avg. 5 films a day. Body just can't take it. But I will see over 40 again this year. The key is to ALWAYS see at least 4 films a day. I've seen six in a day several times, but normally it will mean the next day I'll see 3 b/c I'm sleeping in till 2 p.m. So I'm going to try and cut down and see 6 maybe once.

The other thing that has improved about the TIFF in the OOTS (out of town service) is thanks to technology. In the past, you would send your choices in, but would have no idea what movies you got, till you arrived in Toronto and picked up your package.

Now, as soon as the draw is done and the selections are entered, you will receive an email saying what films you got. So you know going in, what plan you will have to take. For ex., in 2004, I knew I didn't get tickets to "Crash", so I already had my gameplan of when to get to the theatre, what book to bring, what food to get, etc. No scrambling, no fuss.

Hope everyone else is having better success with their OOTS.


Larry said...
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Larry said...

Mine is stuck in customs too.

This happened to me last year as well. When it was all said and done, I did't mind so much because for my trouble I got all my choices that year, but it sure is a stressful time and I hate to be doing it all over again this year.