You may like movies, but Marc Wasserman loves them. Really. Like he’ll-watch-12-of-them-in-a-row-this-weekend loves them.
A former Durham resident who has since relocated to New England, Wasserman, 30, is a Carolina Theatre donor who is about to hold his third annual 24-hour movie marathon fundraiser in his Boston living room on Saturday (March 12). As he’s done for the past two years, Wasserman is using this movie binge to raise funds to support of the Carolina Theatre’s Retro Film Series. This year, he’s convinced a dozen friends to join him.
Is he crazy? Well, he’s crazy about independent film and his favorite cinema program in the world.
We sent Marc additional questions about the event before he dropped into his self-induced movie coma. If you’d like to donate, you can do so here
You live in Boston. What’s your age and occupation?
I’m 30 years old. I currently work at a content marketing company called Skyword. I formerly worked in online advertising and marketing, including my first job out of school, which was at a Durham-based company called BlogAds.
When did you first come to the Carolina Theatre? What was your favorite movie you’ve seen here?
I lived in Winston-Salem from middle school through high school and went to UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad. I moved to Durham shortly after graduating and was introduced to the Carolina Theatre immediately. Once I learned about Retrofantasma, I was hooked.
I’m going to cheat and say my favorite movie was a double feature. I went to see the 1985 film Lifeforce and 1988’s classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, on a date with my then-girlfriend (now wife). It was an awesome way for me to share my love of movies, and, you know, make sure she had excellent taste in them as well.
Why choose the Carolina Theatre — and independent film — as your beneficiary?
I chose the Carolina because it was the first independent theater that drew me in with its unique events, rather than just the fact that it showed independent films. Where else could I sign up for a double-feature with other cinephiles, see some of my old favorites, buy a beer and even learn the cultural significance of the films as I watched them, as if it was the day they came out?
And, to think this is just one of the events the Carolina puts on, not even mentioning non-film events. I’ve always loved going to the movies and I know it’s getting harder to drag people out of their homes and away from their huge home theaters. If we want to keep these venues around, it pays to have the whole community to expend a little effort in helping. If your friend is always hosting the best party, you bring them a bottle of wine. That wine isn’t payback for all that the host is doing, but it’s a nice show of support. This marathon is me bringing wine to the party.
Where will this marathon happen? What films will you be watching during the marathon?
Saturday, March 12 – Sunday, March 13. We’re starting the first movie at 11 a.m. on Saturday and expect it to end around 10 a.m. on Sunday (the time change throws it off a bit, but it will be just under 24 hours).
The showings are all taking place in my living room, on our couch, a futon, and as many chairs and pillows as we can scrape together. Here’s the full movie list:
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Iron Giant
Mad Max: Fury Road
Guardians of the Galaxy
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
10 Things I Hate About You
Who is joining you? How did you go from 2 to 13 people?
Friends, coworkers, and neighbors. …In previous years I just assumed everyone would think it was crazy, so I only nudged my closest friends. This year I branched out and asked a bunch of acquaintances, and was stunned at how many people said yes. It quickly got to the point that I had to stop inviting people—my living room is only so large.
This is part of the reason I hope other folks will lead their own showings next year: to support the Carolina, or any other indie theaters that hold a place in their own hearts.
What’s your wife’s opinion of all this? Will we need to CrowdRise attorney fees?
She is extremely supportive of the event, and extremely aware it’s not for her. I know she’d be all in if it was a shorter marathon, but this kind of thing just isn’t for everybody. She helps in every way she can and lets me steal an entire weekend to do it, so I certainly have no complaints. Plus, she loves the Carolina Theatre too—we used to go there on dates to see artists and comedians, and have seen our fair share of Retrofantasma double features.
What’s the penalty for falling asleep during the marathon?
If you bring that kind of shame on yourself, there doesn’t have to be any outside punishment. Everyone is in it for the long haul, so the disappointment they’ll feel at failing is definitely punishment enough. We will provide as much support in the staying awake department as we can!
Who buys the snacks? What’s your go-to snack during the marathon?
I’ve asked everyone to bring some snacks or something caffeinated. With our powers combined we should have enough dietary force to push us through this. My go-to snack is going to be coffee, if that counts. Coffee and Sour Patch Kids.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened during the past two marathons?
The craziest thing is actually external. I decided to do this marathon with a friend purely for fun, and to see if we could do it. Someone recommended asking for pledges for a cause, and the Carolina Theatre just made sense. I never thought we’d actually raise any money, but all it took was a few Facebook posts and the support flooded in. I think we made $450 that first year, just the two of us.
If you had to watch one film for those 24 hours, which title would you choose and why?
Groundhog Day. Partly because it might just be my favorite movie, but also because I think seeing it over and over and over would give me an even better connection to Bill Murray’s character. I can’t think of a more appropriate pick.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
There’s room for all kinds of fundraising events in this world. A lot of people tend to only think of 5k runs, walks, etc. It’s about time more people thought of some fundraising sitting events. I’m going to do my best to spread these marathons. First Durham, now Boston, and soon… the world.