A large-scale ceremony was organized to honor Leonidas Kyrkos for an outstanding career in politics.
Leonidas and I had already developed a special bond, after a portrait I had made of him for “Paraskinio”, as well as through his participation in my film “Makronisos”, so he asked me to make the video for the event.
I used part of the footage from the Paraskinio portrait which we had shot recently and did additional filming where Leonidas spoke on camera.
I can recall that there was quite a lot of pressure and anxiety about what was going into the film. What should and what should not be heard. There were several conferences with senior officials of Synaspismos (Coalition of the Left), such as Spyros Lykoudis, Michalis Sabatakakis and Mimis Dareiotis. Sometimes these meetings were held at Leonidas' house so that he could participate.
I remember he was adamant that an extract from Paraskinio be included, in which he spoke in front of the Parliament about the importance of civic democracy. I also believed that this bit was crucial and I seconded the idea.
The time of the event had come. The Pallas theatre was packed.
Everybody was there: The President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis, the Leader of the Opposition, George Papandreou, Alekos Alavanos, the head of Synaspismos (Coalition) (I don't remember whether it had already been renamed SYRIZA), former Presidents, Konstantinos Mitsotakis and Costis Stephanopoulos, Vardis Vardinogiannis and many more.
I had requested a Beta player for the projection (back then, playback from a hard disk wasn't supported), but they insisted on using a basic DVD player.
And, as happens in such cases, everything went horribly wrong. The machine wouldn't run the disk. I had never felt more stressed in my life! I nearly went crazy. All the necessary testing had been done the day before, but at that very moment nothing worked.
In the end, we ran the DVD on another player, but with a slight frame rate drift, resembling an American (NTSC) disk being played on the European (PAL) system, with the periodic frame loss resulting in a jerky image.
That's how the entire projection ran! I wanted to dig a hole and hide in it. It felt like everyone was looking at me. Eventually, the screening was finished and it received warm applause. Everybody complimented the film, an overwhelmed Leonidas gave me a kiss and thanked me dearly and nobody seemed to have been aware of the small, but obvious to me, technical mishap.