Yup, after all of the excitement (if you read this blog a week back, I was ecstatic to be picked by the electronic raffle), and the practice (I tried to condition myself not to react to scary movies, and not to drink too much water), I was actually one of those caught literally napping during the second movie by the marshalls. I actually don’t feel too bummed about it because the competition was tough. And I say that not to make excuses but to give credit to the competitors and the Star Movies/Fox Philippines staff who watch them like hawks.
I may not have won the the big prize (P150,000) but I had a great experience at the event. I was totally psyched to see my fellow competitors assembling early at the venue (SM Aura Samsung Hall) and feel the excitement of being part of such a fun event. It was really fun to be part of such a great crew. Everyone was excited, everyone was talking and sharing how they entered the raffle. There were some veterans in the lot, who got picked again after they joined last year or the year before and it was great to see them a) share tips about their experience or b) keep their strategies close to their chest. It was generally a great atmosphere from the first moment Star Movies opened its doors to start the registration.
The Star Movie Marathon, according to event organizers was made tougher this year because competitors were not only tasked to sit through countless movies but because the genre was horror, they were also not allowed to have any reaction to the movies on screen. As such, the following rules have been crafted:
- No standing
- No talking
- No yawning and no sleeping
- No screaming and no laughing
- No coughing or sneezing
- No excessive blinking
- No hand and arm movements
- No phone use, call or text (except for designated times)
- No accessories like hats, shades, blankets, etc.
- No public bowel movements (if you pee/poop on your seat, you are not just disqualified but you have to pay for the damages)
- No bathroom breaks except for those who win bathroom passes. Still, if one uses the pass, they must immediately consume 500 ml of ice cold water before returning to their seats all in five minutes
- Star Movies jacket must be worn at all times within the hall
- No additional food and beverage other than what is provided
Its true that at first, the rules seem harsh but come to think of it, the contestants are playing for P150,000 and its justifiable for the organizers to want the prize to go to the person who most deserves it. I, for one, totally support that idea, especially after experiencing how tough it is to be part of the contest.
People think that joining a movie marathon, especially a contest like this one, is all fun and games. I too, at first thought that because I was a movie fanatic, (I blog about movies, duh) it would all be just a walk in the park. While I enjoyed by brief stint as a participant, I realized that there are a lot more things to consider aside from one’s enjoyment of the films being shown. Among these things are the physical environment — the level of comfort that one has in the venue. If its too cold, (The Samsung Hall’s dome shape and really cool air-conditioning didn’t help matters) one has the tendency to move and want to move around for warmth, or he could enjoy himself too much and simply nod off to fall asleep, which is what probably happened to me. Kindly consider that while The Exorcist and The Conjuring are both interesting and compelling horror movies, watching them at 2 am (the competition started at 12 am) without sleep is in itself a challenge, a challenge which I underestimated and paid for dearly. 😀 I actually felt myself close my eyes and drift off for a second before the marshall shined his flashlight on me and politely asked me to step out. Busted!
Of course, there are other aspects to consider like mental preparedness like how will you keep yourself from responding to the movies when they’re really intended to shock, or how to manage your nerves and the tension of competing. I guess what it all boils down to is understanding one’s limits, and overcoming the physical aspect (like the call of nature and the freezing cold) and marrying that with a sound strategy that I have not quite devised yet.
After I was eliminated, I joined the other eliminated contestants on the balcony, which organizers have set as a waiting area fore those who are waiting til morning before leaving the venue. This was a really great gesture on their part because it showed that they cared for the welfare of the participants, to ensure that they stayed safe until such time they can leave when it is more convenient to travel.
At the balcony, we were still able to watch the movies being shown and even peek at what was going on downstairs at the competition. I was eliminated at 4 am but I was still able to stay to finish another movie before I left and there were less and less people who remained. I’m happy to note though that my two seatmates were still in it at the time, but most of the people on my row were already out. I would have loved to stay and still be part of it because they were starting to show the really neat classic horrors (Nightmare on Elm Street) but that’s how the cookie crumbles and I was glad for those who still stuck it out. Plus, I really really wanted to just veg out and go to bed.
At the end of the day, I didn’t win but at least I got to make some new friends, laugh at myself, re-watch a few good movies and get a souvenir jacket and a loot bag plus, most of all, I got to keep this awesome experience. If I enter and get picked again next year, I would be better prepared but if not, its still cool because at least I got to join this one, and not many people could say the same. As for the winner, while I have yet to find out who he/she is, I am totally happy for him/her. He/she totally deserves the kudos for being the badass who stayed through it all. And thanks also to Star Movies for giving me this opportunity. It was one of the most enjoyable and unique experiences of my life and I loved every second of it.
This just in: There’s already a winner and coincidentally, his name is Star. Congrats dude!