Popular demand can be both exciting and daunting, when the whole world is racing to grab the one thing that is soon being released, its every person for themselves, there will be people who get what they want, and people who unfortunately miss out. I was somewhere in between those two types this week, competing in a race for tickets to what will be the known as the biggest film of the decade – Avengers: Endgame. Being a literal number one fan of the Marvel films, I have been planning to go see this film at the IMAX premiere for well over a year now, this is something I have counted down for, eagerly spoken about and mentally prepared to do, nothing could get in my way. This film had literally been consuming my life ever since it was announced, I can’t think of anything in my whole life I’ve ever been more excited for, this is the real deal, this is a cinematic event of a lifetime.
Religiously checking the web for updates for months now, the official announcement that tickets would be on sale this Wednesday made my eyes lit up, I was tasked with booking the tickets for myself and all my friends, this event was something I had been organising for ages. Going on the IMAX website, I learned premium members would get tickets an hour ahead of the general public, being the sucker that I am I couldn’t resist, I bought a membership for $50 just to get them an hour early. I felt very nervous in fact, I knew how many people were on the same boat as me and wanted the same thing, everybody would be competing for a ticket come Wednesday morning. To put emphasis on how popular this film was, the trailer that also came out along with the announcement reached over 100 million views in ten minutes, seeing that statistic frightened me, sending a mild chill down my stomach, my mission had just become a lot harder, I was going to have to play dirty.
Finishing work at 2am the night before, I left a note in the kitchen urging my family to wake me by 8am so I would have an hour to get all my devices ready to buy tickets in case something went wrong. I woke up, sat at my desk and loaded the page, in as many tabs as I possibly could. Counting down the minutes till sales went live, I was getting nervous. It was 8:57, and I refreshed the what would be purchasing page just to ensure I was still logged in, and to my shock, my complete horror, the company had started the sale 3 minutes early. I was so shocked and excited at the one time I think I slightly bounced on my chair a little. I clicked buy, moving the mouse so fast my hand could slip. I would be taken to a new page; however, I wasn’t. The page wouldn’t load, nothing happened, it froze. My worst nightmare had actually happened, and I was in crisis mode – the website had crashed. So many people were doing the same thing as me, and there were consequences, with so much traffic the site had become unusable. I desperately rushed over to the Facebook page for an update. As per usual “the IT guys were doing everything they can”. I sat for 30 minutes, continuously refreshing my browser, amid to nothing. At that time, a second update appeared, the website not looking to be usable anytime soon, so a hotline had been activated to purchase tickets over the phone. Immediately dialling, straight to the machine. Same situation, same problem, a huge overload.
Stressing, freaking out, I had planned this day for over a year and I just have to see this movie on opening day at the biggest cinema in Melbourne, many people counting on me and excited as I was to share this amazing experience, there was only one thing left that I could do. The internet, the phone, all useless. As an extreme last resort, I called an uber and ordered it to take my to IMAX, I would physically go down there and buy the tickets if that’s what it took. Forty minutes and $63.70 later, I hurried in to the big cinema complex, racing to the counter, panicking people would be ahead of me. To my surprise there was only three people there. I slammed my Mastercard on the desk and eagerly said “Id like 7 tickets please, for the first screening on the 24th”. I froze in suspense waiting for a response from the lady to say there was spots free, my stomach had dropped, and then I heard her say “all good”. I think I nearly fell over I was in such relief. I could not believe the hell I had to go through to get to this point but I’m glad I did it because it meant a lot to me. I did a victory walk out of the building, holding a piece of paper that counted as all seven tickets. If I could sum up how I felt in one way, I would say I felt like Charlie when he found the golden ticket.
I took this observation and adapted it into a short film, because it was a very special experience and something I will remember for years to come, and is a good way to keep the memory of what a great day seeing this film was, and what it took to make the day happen. I would do everything again in a heartbeat.