The Legend of Johnny Canuck 2 – Rogers Arena Premiere
The release of our latest film, “The Legend of Johnny Canuck-Part 2″, has been pretty cool, and quite different than our previous 4 releases.
This time our film had an official premiere, at the Canucks vs. Red-Wings game on March 16. It’s one thing to see your film on a jumbotron, but add about 15,000 people on a legendary night with the team wearing the Millionaires jersey, that be crazy! Ironically though, none of these were the personal highlight for me. It was being there, watching it all unfold with my little buddy Thane, the 5 year old “Little Johnny” who stars in the film. He’s the son of one of my oldest friends who also came to the game with us, along with my beautiful girlfriend Keiko Monique.
It was Thane’s first game, first time in the arena, and it was the first time he had seen the movie of which he stars…and when he came to his seat he was mesmerized for the rest of the night. He counted the shots aloud as the Canucks racked them up, with wide eyes he pointed at the jumbotron asking if that’s where the movie will play, and he always knew where Fin was roaming.
Imagine being 5 years old and soaking all this up, all these huge moments and memories. Now add a live interview on the jumbotron after the movie played.
We were guided down to the interview location via the inner chambers of Rogers Arena. We passed through the hallowed halls, past the dressing room, the press room, and towards an exit leading to the ice. As we waited to move to the exact interview spot, as if it was scripted Fin appears from behind us and walks straight up to Thane and shakes his hand. Fin, you rule.
We were then ushered to two seats behind the net, when our movie started playing. Thane was transfixed despite the chaos of cameramen and bright lights setting up around us. The audio was tough to hear because of all the production setting up, so I recited the lines of Johnny and the Millionaire into his mini ears as he watched.
It was in this moment, that I lost myself. Seeing little Thaner watching himself in a packed stadium on a giant screen, smiling…I got teary eyed. Then he asked me “did you make this movie?” in a surprised manner, and we laughed. All I thought was, what a cool memory for a kid. That’s real life magic.
One of my earliest memories was going to a Canucks game with my Dad, against the Flames. I remember walking into the arena and thinking “They make buildings this big?”. Maybe I asked my Dad this question, and maybe we both laughed after, but those memories are lost forever.
Anyways, we did our interview, Thane watched himself on the jumbotron as he squirmed away while I answered some questions from a gorgeous Dawn Chubai, who I met 2 years earlier with the first film.
We finished the interview, and turned to walk back through the halls, back to our seats. Then some strangers, some very cool and kind strangers, changed a kid’s life. As we left the interview area, a group of beautiful girls made sure to let Thane know that he was awesome, a couple sitting near us shook our hands and congratulated Thane, and many others cheered and yelled “Johnny” niceties. Whoever you all are, I seriously love you.
As we left the ice area, and headed back to our seats we had to walk through the insanely busy between period gate hallways, and the kindness continued. We posed for pictures, shook hands, and little Thaner just kept looking at me smiling at the weirdness of it all.
We returned to our seats, where Thane’s Dad, also slightly teary eyed, was there to hug him. What a cool moment. Maybe it will be Thane’s earliest memory, because I’ll never let him forget it.