Light the Fire with MPYRE – Movie Night for a Cause
After Event Report
Saturday, December 6, 2014
For the past seven years, MPYRE has produced both summer and/or winter Official Burning Man Events at Del Monte Beach in Monterey, CA. True Grit was the last beach burn in December 2013. In the spring 2014, our group discussed producing another installment of True Grit. But our main leads were not able to commit to participating in a significant way, and not enough other community members were ready to take on lead responsibilities. In addition, the extreme cold temperatures of December 2013 de-motivated even our hardiest MPYREians.
A spring/summer beach event idea was floated, the return of MPYRE Strikes Back. MPYRE’s account balance was $420 and change, not enough to purchase a city permit for an official event. So we agreed a community gathering/fundraiser was in order. The first Saturday in December, a traditional day for an MPYRE gathering, was chosen.
Film Screening & Location
Jeremy Ambers, ‘Impossible Light’ filmmaker, brought his feature-length documentary about The Bay Lights art installation to screen at our event. To support MPYRE he shared 50% of all DVD sales with MPYRE.
Sylvan Design Studio, Espinoza Graphics, and Todd Kruper Fine Arts donated their indoor and outdoor spaces to host the gathering in Sand City, CA. The city’s Arts Committee granted our event $300 in support of the documentary screening.
$744—Ticket Sales, Food&Beverage Donations, DVD Sales
$300—Sand City Arts Committee Grant
$300—Impossible Light Screening Fee
$130.43—Jeremy Ambers’ Accommodation at Casa Munras
$509.46—Net Funds Raised
Attendance evening of community and connection. 32 people sat for the screening, with 15-20 more who preferred to enjoy the music, costume swap, fire ring and conversation outside.
Fire lead, Celsius Maximus, brought 6+ fire performers, along with his sound and art car, StegaTron for our outdoor spinning space (parking/driveway space adjacent to sidewalk and street). They presented two sets, before and after the screening. A highlight fire spinner was Maxsim, Celsius’ son—Exciting to see the next generation of fire performers!
“Impossible Light” Screening
The documentary was very well received, and the DVDs sold well, especially post screening. Jeremy Amber’s Q&A followed for about 30 minutes—longer and more interesting than most, according to the filmmaker.
Gathering & Costume Swap
Popcorn, candy and non-alcoholic drinks were available, along with hotdogs and chips—all free with donations accepted. BYOB and food to share were welcomed, and many contributed. Todd Kruper created a cozy and charming space for our costume swap in front of his studio. It was a huge hit, with great finds for all. Quite a few people skipped the screening to chat, try on clothes, hang out, and go home with something new for their closet.
Ideas for Improvement
Better attendance is always a goal, though most of our local MPYREians were there. Others heard about the event through friends, and were very excited to talk about Burning Man, the playa, our local beach burn, and our community. Posters around town were not mentioned by attendees regarding event awareness, but I feel these marketing pieces are essential, even if not explicitly ‘noticed and integrated’ in people’s consciousness.
Responses from our location hosts and all attendees I chatted with were extremely positive, and everybody, including several new-to-MPYRE-&-the-Playa people I met, were happy to connect through our mutual love of all things Burning Man. Sand City Arts Committee members were excited to support our documentary screening, in addition to our creating a community gathering with an artistic focus. We have a lot of energy to continue producing our official beach burn event, and with this event’s successful turnout, we now have the funds to purchase event insurance coverage and the city permit.