FINALLY! Another blog you say? So do we.
Sorry it has been so dormant here at the Ike doc blog. I just read my last blog to check up on where I left off, and WOW. The last one was written far before we were even done interviewing. We had yet to interivew Dan Rather! That seems so long ago. And yet that was only April 21, only a month before our premier. I'll get to that later.
Like I said, I just read my last blog and it was pertaining to the Mason Lodge's one-thousand dollar contribution. Okay people, a LOT has happened since then, so stay with me.
A few weeks after the Mason Lodge dinner, we got a call that Dan Rather had a day open for an interview. He would be in Austin (where he resides part-time) on Mother's Day, May 10. This man was willing to take personal time off on MOTHER'S DAY to give us an interview. Do you know how busy this dude is? Not only is a personal day like this probably RARE for him, but he was giving time out for us! This was an honor. So I crammed my Dan Rather studies, we rented a van and bought way too many snacks. Me, Rafael (camera operator), Natalie (storm footage, boom mic), Mr. Weiss (teacher, duh), Mr. Graves (teacher & 'chaperon'), and Aaron (student producer & mentor) were ready for this.
DAN RATHER ARRIVES
What was Dan Rather like you ask? Well first off, he was totally cool. He walked in, not like a towering news anchor but a chilled person, he shook our hands and looked us in the eye and remembered our names. If he were a normal person, that would be expected, but for Dan Rather to do is a holy thing to witness. We sat down for the interview and he listened to every question, took it in, and gave us AMAZING answers. And what a great story-teller he is! He would talk for long stretches and instead of my eyes glazing over (as they often do after about 12.5 seconds), I was helplessly drawn in. We have to give a big, great thanks to Mr. Rather, for he took questions seriously and told humorous, humbling stories.
And the ultimately best part of the entire Dan Rather experience: I don't even remember what question I asked, it was probably something like "do you see Galveston conquering?". And Mr. Rather at some point in his answer said, "Because when the sun rises, so do your people, so does your future." YES!!! HE QUOTED MAMIE'S ESSAY! One of the best moments in my life, hands down. I wish Mamie could have been there.
Let's fast track to the premier.
THE RED CARPET
After weeks of countless contributions and support (check out that page, we have endless thanks to everyone- you know who you are), May 21 came. The hype was up, the island was abuzz, and we were all a-flurry of work; seating arrangements, decorations, playbill frenzy, rushed rehearsals, busy speech-writing, technical check-ups and V.I.P check-ins. Not to mention the girl's dressing room. Oh boy. That was fun.
The red carpet was sensational, though. I remember hearing everyone say, "Oh my gosh, it is packed outside." And so finally I look and there was a line wrapped around the block and people with cameras and just thinking, "This is it. We did it." It was amazing. We ten HSTs spent about an hour outside greeting people and talking to the press and taking pictures.
We filled the 1200-seat theatre COMPLETELY as well seating 100 extra people in a party room watching a live-feed of the screen playing the movie, and a packed lobby of people watching monitors mounted on the walls.
Watching the movie at the premier was emotional, not just because it's a wrenching-but-joyful movie, but to watch the reaction of the audience just made our hearts balloon! They would laugh heartily, weeply softly and clap proudly at various points in the film. It was so completely rewarding, as we have made this film to justify the frustrated feelings of Hurricane Ike's victims and give them comic and joyful relief after these months of trauma and turmoil.
THE NATION COMES CALLING
Very soon we had the national shows ringing our PDAs like crazy! Good Morning America was just here a few days ago. Did we meet Robin Roberts, you ask. YES! And she was very, very cool. The room lit up when she waltzed in and she was incredibly kind and courteous to everyone. This is the link to our GMA cover: http://tinyurl.com/8mvuv
The same day that premiered, we had two live interviews with Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel. They were live feeds from East Beach and Sixteen Mile Road (next to Jamaica Beach of the west end). Jim Cantore and his film group were so much and very cool and probably one of the most exciting visits we've gotten from the media.
As of now, we've had two screenings and have one more scheduled, a private viewing for the press at Austin City Limits on June 12. That's of now, but we're keeping our eyes open for more venues.
Although I've never been good at resolution, I'm going to try my luck with a new one, a goal to keep this blog going! We have so much happening to talk about but then again, with all of that going on, it makes it hard to re-cap at the end of the day.
Keep your faith up, guys! I'm sure I'll be back.
-Jen & the Hurricane Story Tellers