My Experience at the 2016 TLC Conference

My Experience at the 2016 TLC Conference

The 15th of April, 2016 is a day I won’t soon forget. It’s the day I screened Trichster to a room of 400 people, more specifically, 400 people from the Trichotillomania community. It was my third time at a TLC Conference, but this time I wasn’t there to film sessions or raise funds to finish Trichster, I was there to show people what they had been asking about and looking forward to for years.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 10.48.26 AM

I was asked to say something before the film started, which was incredibly difficult. All day I pondered what I would say, and as the minutes ticked down to our screening I was overcome with anxiety. Not only is Trichster “my baby” that I’ve been shaping since early 2012, but now I was going to show it to the BFRB community. What if they didn’t like it? What if they were bored? What if I disappointed them?

IMG_7200

Shakily, I approached the podium and told them the truth: that I was nervous to show them, that I was forever grateful for all of the people who signed a release, donated, tweeted, blogged, or told their friends about the film, and that I hoped it made a difference to them. The lights dimmed. The Trichster theme music played. Then something wonderful happened! I listened as a room of 400 people laughed at the funny parts and sighed at the sad. Watching them fall in love with my friends on the screen was magical. I was standing in the very back of the huge ballroom when the credits rolled and the crowd clapped. Hearing (and feeling) that many people support our film was entirely overwhelming. It felt like all the years of planning shoots, of keeping track of releases, of carrying heavy camera equipment around New York City, of spending hours and hours editing and re-editing, of applying for film festivals and reading acceptance and rejection letters was cummulating at this very moment. I actually did it! I finished Trichster. And people like it! I’ve succeeded.

Listening to people’s reactions to the film is my favorite part. I love hearing which people in the film you connect to and why. I love knowing that a scene moved you. I especially love when you tell me you connect to the film in a way I’ve never thought of before. I love feeling like Trichster is starting a conversation and helping people communicate about Trichotillomania. This is my reward for making the film.

IMG_2015

The TLC Conferences are always an emotional experience for me. I feel such love and deep connection for the community of people who attend the conferences, and each year it is harder to say goodbye. This year was particularly stirring.

The Trichster team is still working! We’re in the middle of having DVDs made (many of you will be receiving a copy due to your crowdfunding contribution) and we’re working on marketing strategies to help get the word out. We’d love to hear from you if you can help!

So please, keep in touch with me! Email us and tell us about your experience watching Trichster! Write us a review on iTunes and help us encourage people to watch the film. Make Trichotillomania an everyday word. Help us make some noise!

Much love,

Jillian