I’ve spent the last 24 hours staying “connected” with New Orleans even as I plan my own departure.
The impending hurricane forced us to cancel our world premiere last night. But we still had to “contingency” screenings – the latest one right after Mayor Ray Nagin’s press conference declaring Gustav to be the “mother of all storms.”
I noticed a starkly different “feel” to Thursday’s screening, compared to last night. Thursday, “Katrina” was still the working premise, part of the city’s most obvious vocabulary. Now Gustav may supplant it, and it’ll be interesting to see how I’ll have to modify my film to fit this potential new reality.
I’m almost certain that I’ll have to return to New Orleans sometime in the next 6-8 weeks to find out what happened to my characters. I’ve got de facto “stringers” in the city, who decided to not evacuate, for professional reasons (journalists, aid workers, etc.).
My most recent acquisition was a fireman who noticed I was filming as I pulled into a gas station this morning. I showed him mine (Sony EX1) he showed me his (Sony PD-170). I gave him my card, took his name and number and told him I’d check in with him after the storm to see what he got.
Postscript: I'm uploading this post from the Continental lounge in Houston. Everything went like clockwork today. Good luck to everyone who's staying behind -- stay safe.