"It's a wrap!" That's what the first assistant director yells on the set of a movie when the final shot is in the can. Everyone on set, from the actors to the gaffer to the dolly grip to the people stocking the food table burst into spontaneous cheers, applause, hand-shaking, hugs, and bleary-eyed stumbling. But for us, this moment will happen tomorrow, and it will be a little more subdued: Monica and I will be in the lobby of the High-Rise at Fermilab, and we'll probably look at each other, breathe a sigh of relief, and get in the car for the hour-long drive back to Chicago. Who knows; maybe we'll get crazy and stop at the gas station food plaza for some beef jerky or corn nuts.
It's true: tomorrow will be the last shoot of the film. It's a quick 15-minute interview with John Conway, and in fact we anticipate that not only is it the last shoot of the film, but it will in fact be the last SHOT of the film. Just like a novel or a symphony where the opening sets the tone for the whole piece and the final sentence or ending chord is what you walk away with, the first and last shots of a film are crucial. So, we're thinking quite a bit about it.
Let's do a quick review. My first blog entry was Thursday, July 15, 2004. My interview with Peter Higgs, the very first shooting day of the film, was about a month before. That means we've been shooting more or less, off and on, sometimes weekly, sometimes quarterly, for over three years. (Incidentally, through my stat counting plug in, I have been able to determine that the overwhelming majority of people who have stumbled across this blog have done so due to a link on the Wikipedia page for Peter Higgs to this entry).
127 video tapes, 77 blog entries, and several thousand dollars later (and a good thousand hours spent in front of the computer by yours truly) and we have a 90-minute film that's nearly ready to show the world (if the world, represented in this case by some finicky programmers at various film festivals, gives us a chance to show it). More on that part in posts to come.
Meanwhile, check your watches, and at about 11:30am tomorrow, give up a cheer or a few seconds of applause on our behalf when Monica and I turn to each other and gasp "It's a wrap!"
What's next? Watch this space --- we're about to head to NYC as I've mentioned in previous posts, and I plan to write an entry every day from that crazy event. I've been burning dvds round the clock with our new 3:15 trailer, we've got our postcards printed (see below), and we're starting to put together our "pitch." It's all a little nerve-wracking. But you'll get the "on-the-scene" report starting next week...