If you called the Rooftop Films phone on a Thursday or Friday in late May or early June and an extremely nervous, stuttering girl tried to answer your question, it was probably me. I’m sorry about that. I’d like to think if you called again now, a whole summer later, a slightly less nervous voice would greet you and have all the answers you needed.
General anxieties aside, I think the reason I felt so scared was because being here was incredibly important to me. The first time I came to a Rooftop Films screening, over two years ago now, I honestly remember thinking to myself that in a perfectly ideal world I would have stayed there on the Industry City roof watching movies forever. Forever may have been a lot to ask, but having the opportunity to do it every weekend even for just a summer was a pretty good deal too. Really there was never a reason to be afraid here. Although there is always something to get done, the people that work at Rooftop do everything they can to make the environment as relaxed as possible while keeping things running smoothly. Whether it’s Maria, the festival assistant, sliding her chair over to my side of the office just to say hi and check in, or Noah, the marketing manager and Holly, the festival programmer, taking a quick 5 minute break to google pictures of Michael Fassbender, the feeling I’ve gotten in the office has never been anything but warm.
When you go see a film at Rooftop you may not think too much about how the chairs got all the way up to the roof. That’s okay though; that’s what we’re hoping. You may wonder how the audio sounds so good outside or who picked out those amazingly bizarre short films. It should feel like it all just happens, but without the wonderful people, filmmakers and Rooftop employees, who work insanely hard everyday to make sure there’s a place where we can see beautiful movies on rooftops, it really wouldn’t.
As the summer comes to a close and I get ready to head back to college, all of my friends are celebrating their last days at boring summer internships their parents made them take. I can’t relate to the feeling. Here, where just three months ago I was so intimdated, I now feel most comfortable. When I’m sitting in some class at my upstate New York liberal arts school listening to nineteen year olds theorize about Marxism, I can now tune them out with the thought of getting back on the roof next summer. Even if it means carrying a ridiculous number of folding chairs up with me.