Doomtown Film Fest
Also Known As:
End of summer, Oldtown Sholoban, an abandoned (but not empty) corptown near Halley Lake in Mars’s southern plains.
Need to Know (Before you Go):
Don’t have a ticket? Don’t worry. You can see all the films from the buildings nearby. You may not have a chance to rub elbows with the rich and frivolous in the expensive seats, but you’re almost guaranteed to meet a few hundred of the actors. Paid seating or free, the festival is a blast, one of Mars’s best parties, and the Sholoban locals are an amazing, enthusiastic, and highly participatory audience. But if you’re not a “Special Producer” make sure you’ve stashed your valuables somewhere far away. And if you’re prone to alcohol-induced bad decisions, go to the nearest Progenitus clinic when you get home.
There’s a special kind of movie…one that’s so bad transcends bad and becomes magic. That’s the kind of film that makes it into Doomtown’s annual three-day drunken orgy of schlock.
But that’s not how the film festival began, and really that’s only a part of the experience. It runs at the end of the summer, after the Sholoban film season is wrapped up. Part of the understanding Titan Films has with the local talent is that they’ll run all the shows produced that season so that everyone can cheer their friends on the big screen. Who’s got tickets? Everyone who’s been in a show that year gets a festival pass, so the vast majority of the viewers are from Sholoban’s tribes of slackers, weirdos, artists, no-other-option laterals, homeless-on-principle laterals, and so on, usually a mess of 5,000 or so. After that, Titan’s got a few hundred good seats reserved for its employees and favorite actors. There’s only about 500 festival tickets actually sold: 400 of them are first-come-first-serve, sold at a hundred creds each. Those floor tickets put the holder in the general audience pit, along with that year’s massed actors. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on how refined and delicate your sensibilities are. The audience has a certain smell that’s hard to forget.
The last hundred “Special Producer” tickets go to whoever bids highest for them, and any one ticket goes for more than the production cost of most of the films.
Besides the season’s Titan releases, which are usually their own special flavor of wretched, the festival team searches Sol for films, holos, and VR experiences that are enjoyably terrible. The three best…?…productions win the not-so-coveted “Catties” award.
Doomtown is a fantastic opportunity to meet folks with way more money than sense, all in a state of happy inebriation. It’s also rich with potential scams and con artists.
♃ The Patterson-Gimlin Clip:Stop the film. Well, no, don’t do that, but rewind later. Something weird gets caught on camera in the background of a chase scene. One of Sholoban’s lurking monsters (there’s a colony of both Palemen and exonymphs in the ruins of Bastion). A PC’s long-missing ex-girlfriend. That guy who people thought was the CEO of a major Pulse subsidiary, who vanished five years ago in a cloud of mystery and space cocaine. And it plays on the screening. Do the PCs investigate or cover it up?