What an incredible day. My sister and I were so exhausted Friday night that we crashed really early. I think I fell asleep seconds after we turned out the lights. Because we went to sleep so early, I was wide awake by 7am. It was actually kind of nice to wake up naturally, having rested so well.
By 8am, we were on the road to Mike's place for the interviews. We stopped to pick up some breakfast (most importantly coffee), and were on our way. He lived just minutes from the hotel, so we got there in no time. Mike met us downstairs and helped us carry up my equipment.
With two of us working, the camera and lights were ready to go fairly quickly. My sister (Adger) left when we had it all set up, and headed to Ikea to go shopping. I have been SO thankful to have her here with me. Not only is she incredibly generous, but she's one of the best travel companions a person could ask for on the road. She has been absolutely essential to the success of this weekend's filming, running errands and helping at every turn.
Mike and I sat down to chat for a bit since we were ahead of schedule. I asked him to show me some of the articles and photos he had mentioned previously. He pulled out a notebook full of articles he's written about the Montagnards and what's still happening in Vietnam. His dedication is unfailing, and his knowledge has been so valueable in my quest for understanding. The same is absolutely true for Greg, who has shared insights about what's happening today and helping me understand the politics of the situation. Both are committed to making a difference for the Montagnards, and continuing to help them learn how to make things better for themselves.
Both interviews concluded by 6pm. A long, very productive day I believe. It was incredibly helpful to sit down with Mike and Greg a second time. Today really helped solidify so much of this information, and I feel like I have come a long way since the beginning of the project. Each day presents learning opportunities, and I am enjoying every minute of it. Without going into too much detail since I'm quite tired, I'll simply say that I believe whole heartedly that this is where I am meant to be, and a project that I am meant to be working on.
At one point during the day, we chatted about why this information is not more public. It was an incredibly interesting topic, which oddly turned to a conversation about social media. We talked about how our nation is changing, specifically how our attention spans are shortened. For having obessively studied social media and how it's changing how we get our information, it was rather refreshing to have someone else bring it up in conversation!
I'm back at the hotel now, scanning in copies of Mike's articles and some photos he's loaned me. We'll return them to him tomorrow, and then hit the road early. I had hoped to capture footage of the building where the U.S. Department of State resides, the White House and other DC landmarks. However, I tentatively have plans to return to DC in December for another interview. At that time, I could capture more b roll.
There is much work to be done. This weekend feels like a great step forward, which is absolutely delightful. I'm finally over being sick, and finally moving forward full speed ahead again. AND, I feel like the film is taking shape in my head and I'm so anxious to edit it together.
It shall be done!