Monday, October 30, 2006


It's Monday afternoon - not unlike the usual Monday at work, catching up on all the Monday things that have to be done, but different in the sense that a huge burden has been lifted from our shoulders.

Rebellion of Thought has shown publicly for the first time!

Last week was a flurry of activity as we scurried to pull together all the pieces that would make Rebellion of Thought a compelling film. Three editors, James Burgess, Matt Uncapher, and Josh Mcgonigle labored through the night, literally, time and time again to cut and cut some more as we refined the look. Our office manager, Leslie Wood, held the project together by making sure we ate occasionally and had ample supplies of editor fuel - Red Bull, Coke, water, chocolate, mixed nuts, and various and sundry assorted munchies.

All this was confounded by the Brothers Williamson's mutual decision to completely recut the film in a different sequence on Monday, five days before the screening. But despite all the barriers, the technical breakdowns, the discouragment and criticism that we seemed to encounter in spades, we managed to put together a pretty convincing piece by 9 am Saturday morning. The relief was evident as we started dumping the film to tape, since Matt, Kent and I had been up since the morning of the previous day. By noon the film was on tape, and ready for transfer to the cinema for the screening.

Kent and I caught a quick catnap while others tested the film and the projector at the theater. We woke up groggy, but dressed in our best filmmaker uniforms, and raced to the Regal theater on the Mall in Charlottesville.

The theater was packed, a sell out crowd, and the greetings of a few friends we recognized help ease the strain of waiting for the titles to roll. A moderator introduced the film, and then the house lights went down, as the first frames marched across the big screen.

It is hard to describe the emotion of the next 75 minutes. This being our second film, we felt like old hands at dealing with the butterflies that accompany the public presentation of any creative effort. But it was only a few minutes into the film when I realized that I couldn't believe that it was ME up on the screen, and that I was actually saying the things I was saying. I could only sigh and wait for the tarring and feathering.

But suffice it to say that the presentation was a success by almost any measure. Our team had done a wonderful job pulling video, audio, and the musical score of Will Musser together into a piece that exceeded even my expectations for the week we had to refine it. It looked great, sounded better, and carried a message that touched almost everyone in the audience.

Only one person left during the screening, many stayed for the half-hour question and answer period after, and enough stayed after the Q&A that it took 45 minutes to get through all the personal discussion. And the most significant thing, of all the questions that we dealt with during the evening, there was only one of a technical nature. Almost without exception the discussions that followed were about the content, which was what Kent and I had hoped for from the beginning.

We still have tons of work to do to complete the film, finish the bonus features, and put the DVD together, so if you didn't see it Saturday, you'll probably have to wait until the spring for the DVD, or at least for a while 'til it appears at a theater near you. Kent and I will be out promoting it, and if you ask nicely, maybe we can come by your way.

In the meantime, stay tuned here, and remember...

...a new conversation has begun.

1 comment:

Steve F. said...

Once upon a time, you had been commenting on my blog about "A Celebration of Discipline."I found the link to your blog again today, and was astonished to see that your work had become a film!

Since I'm betting it's unlikely that you'll be coming to Toledo, Ohio anytime soon, please keep us posted where/when the DVD will be available!