Hey folks! I just got back from filming in the U.S. and wanted to give you an update! Last week we filmed interviews with six wonderful American scholars in Durham, North Carolina, where it was COLD, let me tell you. In fact, the snow very nearly ruined everything. I was worried that it was going to interfere with flights around the US, as most of the scholars were flying in for the filming. Fortunately that didn’t end up being a problem. BUT….
The crew (Ryan Markley, our U.S. producer / director, and Josh Swain, our camera operator), Executive Producer Tony Kynaston (and his daughter Alex) and I flew into Durham on Jan 19, the night before we were due to start filming. But when we got there we got two pieces of horrible news. First, all of our equipment was stuck in a FedEx facility due to the snow which had caused them to be backlogged by several days. Also, it looked like the lady who was going to let us into our filming location (the private apartment of the CEO of American Tobacco) might not be able to make it in the morning due to icy roads. Great! So apart from not having our equipment or a location, everything was going to plan!
Fortunately, Ryan used his charm this next morning to convince the FedEx people that if they didn’t give us our equipment post haste, they would be upsetting Jesus. And the roads weren’t as bad as expected, so we were running a couple of hours behind schedule, but we managed to get up and running by late morning.
And then the talent blew us away!
David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, Mark Goodacre, Brent Landau, Robert M. Price and AJ Levine were all scarily good on camera. They not only knew their stuff, but they really knew how to talk to camera! So we came out of the sessions with another 12 hours of terrific content to add to the footage from our Australian shoot last year.
So it’s all coming together. Still a lot of work to do before we have a finished film, but we are definitely in the home stretch!