Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Johnson City Here We Come!

Monday morning we drove into Johnson City, Tennessee from Winder, Georgia--it was a lovely scenic drive through South Carolina, North Carolina and finally the mountains of Tennessee. Johnson City is a pretty city dominated by the East Tennessee State University. Our hostess Dean Anita DeAngelis went out of her way to make us feel at home--within one hour of meeting her it's as if my friend Kalin Thomas and I had known her forever. In the early afternoon we were invited by Prof. Tammy Hayes to speak to her television production class about our careers in the television and film industry. The class of about 10 students enjoyed Kalin and my war stories of life at CNN and our advice on how to make it in television an film.  Later that evening the screening was held in the theater of the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts and despite the pouring rain about 65 people showed up to see "Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock." The question and answer session with the audience was really dynamic--they asked a lot of intriguing questions about Daisy Bates, the Little Rock Nine, and film process itself. My favorite question was "What was the range of emotions I felt while making the film." My response was that in seven years I felt every range imaginable--happiness and deep despair--usually these emotions were tied to the fundraising process which can make or break a filmmaker. After a lengthy discussion with audience Anita DeAngelis launched a beautiful reception outside the theater where I got to interact with the audience directly. In all it was a wonderful evening!