Friday, June 20, 2008


Some of the things PBS wants from us:
1. a "Face of the Program" image. Meaning, a portrait of whomever is going to appear as "the filmmaker." Naturally, we wanted a group portrait of the three of us.

So we went down to Fermilab again (it had been a while) and arranged with their media/PR guy to allow us into various places around the complex. The most photogenic place by far (and one that all media people seem to gravitate towards) is the Flash-Gordon/James Bond inspired "Cockroft-Walton." We took a few down below on the floor, but none of us was happy with those, so we got up on the lift and rode to the top of the machine where we took some more. By this time we had loosened up a little. We took a couple of good ones.

That was a problem, unfortunately --- we had two good ones. We arrived at an impasse. Monica and I liked one, Andrew liked the other. What do you do? We argued back and forth, but ultimately sent both of them to PBS to let them choose. (I graciously won't tell you whose favorite they picked)

So, behold, our "Face of the Program:"

Next up:
2. A "Signature Image." This is whatever image we want to appear on the DVD, in ads, press, posters, postcards, etc. Not sure how much of that they'll be doing (probably no posters or even postcards). When we went to New York for the IFP market we printed up a batch of postcards and even a poster, which is now framed in my office at Northwestern. Andrew, being quite a skilled photographer, took a batch of photos in and around Fermilab last summer. Once again, we debated which ones we liked, went back and forth, and finally agreed on a picture of Marcela Carena at her chalkboard, with a mind-numbing array of equations. She agreed to "work" for us in front of the camera, writing equations. It was pretty fascinating: it very much resembled a writer (or even a poet) standing there, thinking, then writing, then erasing, then mumbling, writing a few more equations, mumbling some more, and changing things around. It would be interesting to hook up an MRI to Marcela and one to a writer as they wrote a short story out to see if the same brain centers lit up.

Anyway, we all agreed on this picture as our "signature image." We still like it. Many people (especially women) have commented on the buff biceps Marcela is sporting on her chalk-drawing arm.

Here you go, then, our "Signature Image," complete with some text in the postcard layout:

Finally, I'll post the runner up to our signature image. We all loved this picture as well, but decided that we preferred to have a person on our image, since our story is so much about the people in pursuit of this scientific breakthrough. This, in fact, is the same Cockroft-Walton from below, looking very much as if it could just pick up and start walking, blasting away with some photon torpedoes...

So why does PBS want all of this? They have plans to promote the show, of course, which makes us all giddy inside. More on that next time!


Hi Kooky said...

Very cool. I love seeing what goes on behind the scenes and how it all comes together. Thanks for sharing your steps along the way.

afterfostercare said...

That is way cool that PBS is going to promo! I am giddy for ya!