Friday, November 11, 2005

Taking stock

Monica and I met at Le Peep yesterday, as we often do to discuss the project. It has been a slow second-half of the summer for the Atom Smashers --- and, I must confess, Monica, Andrew, Stef and I have been flung in different directions as of late. Monica has written and produced a play in Arizona (after all, she is a playwright before being a filmmaker), Stef has been in China documenting ancient burial caves, Andrew has been juggling 137 Films and several other free-lance projects, and I have been teaching at Northwestern and tweaking a short film that will be produced next May with the incredible assistance of IFP Chicago who awarded me a big fat Production Fund Grant. Both Andrew and Stef will be working with me on that project.

But back to The Atom Smashers: we now have approximately 125 hours of footage, and this will total out at around 160. Things have been quiet on the Fermilab front of late, but we will now enter into our final phase, where we schedule a final round of interviews with our main characters and prepare for the last technical moment of the film: capturing the "shutdown" of the Tevatron for scheduled maintenance. This was originally scheduled for November, but they have decided to extend the run through January since it has been performing so well. We need to make the arrangements to be in three locations at once: in the Main Control Room, in CDF, and in D0.

As well, we will soon begin the editing process, which in truth should have started by now. On Thursday Monica will begin digitizing the footage to hard drive. Once all 160 hours have been captured to hard drive, we will begin logging and transcribing. Anyone have a few hundred hours to kill?

As all this footage is being logged, we'll have an idea where we are and what we have and don't have. Sometime in January or February we'll consider any additional footage we need. One of Monica's short films is playing in Washington DC in February, so we might take another trip there to interview Natalie Angier, the New York Times journalist we weren't able to connect with on our first trip. My guess is that we'll try to hook up with Hastert and some others whom we missed as well.

In the meantime, we'll be fundraising like crazy since we've got a couple of thousand dollars of expenses to pay off by March. Ulp.

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