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410-FILM!


The Prime Line service was perfect for me and my customers. It offered a way to keep a permanent number that wouldn't change, even if I moved and I was moving alot. When I was one of the few pioneers first registering for this service I was given the chance to pick my own number. I could have been 410-Neil which was rather intriquing but a little ego-centrical. Its numbers shook down to 410-6345. But 410-film matched photography well and its numbers were a straight 3456! That was going to be my number forever.

The beauty of the Prime Line service was that it was not attached to a physical place. It was a super duper forwarding service. Unlike simple call forwarding, I could change its destination at any time from anywhere. For most of those years I had a pretty structured schedule and so I took advantage of the automated scheduling feature.
From 8 am until 4:30 pm 410-film would ring my phone at the office of my day job. If I missed the call it was in my office voice mail. During my comute from work to home, the scheduler automatically routed 410-film calls to my cell phone. After 5:30 pm, 410-film calls went to my home. At any time I could lock the forwarding on my cell phone or on my hotel room in Moscow. I would pay all long distance charges and my customers had access to me as if I was there in Toronto.

Ok then, doesn't AOL Moviephone go and get the number 444-film!

I was pestered about 300 times a week by people wanting to know where and when a movie was playing. It got so bad that I was shouting at people when I answered the phone, before I discovered that they really were a customer of mine. I tried leaving elaborate and long announcements explaining that I was not the movie phone service and leaving them plenty of time to hang up before it rang through to my house at 1 am. (And I would scream "All the movie theatres are closed now! Why are you looking for movie listings you **!!#@!?!"). I even politley stated that the movie phone was 444-3456 not 410-3456. But drunken idiots who desperately wanted to see a piece of trash like "Dumb and Dumber" would stay on the line. When greeted with a live voice and not the recordings they still couldn't clue in. All of the people who called me had the combined IQ of one clay brick. Eventually they were even threatening me because I wouldn't tell them where the film was. I started telling people that their film was sold out for the next three weeks or sending them to intersections in Toronto where there wasn't even a movie theatre.

I had two small children in the house and the calls were too disruptive and since I was now doing Wedding photography through Reportage, I didn't have alot of clients calling me directly anymore. There could be no more justification for paying the fees to keep that service when nobody was calling me. I worried about how my existing clients would find me after I moved to Maple. I maintained a Directory Assistance listing but if people didn't ask for outside of Toronto, I was lost. Only a nation wide search on the internet would find me.

So I've issued letters to all of my past customers and I keep this web site. I hope that justifies my abandoning my beloved 410-film, the trademark number of my brief era as a businessman and still reflected in my e-mail account nhp_410film@hotmail.com.

Thanks for calling.