"Jeez," I said aloud to no one in particular. "This trip alone's gonna cost a thousand bucks."
I just booked travel and car rental for Chris and my first official shoot for the film. We're flying into Richmond, VA, next Sunday morning, then driving to Fredericksburg to interview Amy Hollingsworth, author of "The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers." Monday morning we'll drive to Durham to interview Human Kindness Foundation founder, and author of "Deep & Simple," Bo Lozoff.
There is, perhaps not surprisingly, no budget for this film. Basically, Chris are using our buddy Jason's HD DV, travelling on our own dime, and editing on our PowerBooks. We have at least five more road trips: Pittsburgh (Family Communications, David Newell aka Mr. McFeely, WQED), Washington, DC (Smithsonian, Senator Tom Harkin), Boston (Yo Yo Ma, "Arthur" author Mark Brown), Los Angeles (Michael Keaton, Bill Cosby), and back to Nantucket (Mrs. Rogers).
We're squeezing these trips in between the unreasonable hours of our regularly scheduled day jobs (MTV and Sony), and regularly scheduled lives -- Chris has a baby due in August.
I don't really know how this is all gonna turn out. That's part of the process. The first act is set up: who I am and how I met Mr. Rogers. The second act is the journey: travelling around, interviewing his friends and colleagues, and trying to better understand the man and his message. The final act is back to Nantucket to visit Mrs. Rogers.
In the end, I imagine that the film will be as much an examination of the shallow and complex nature of culture, as my own sense of the man, and the absence of a grandfatherly figure in my life. Either way, I'm excited for the journey.