I emailed our Family Communications contact yesterday for one, last piece of footage.
"I appreciate that it may seem as if we've been 'almost finished' with 'Mister Rogers & Me' for months now," I wrote. "In fact we've been making numerous revisions as we submit to numerous festivals, fine-tuning seemingly non-stop."
Right now, we're fine tuning the Tim Russert segment. We just eliminated a sound bite about how his first "Meet The Press" question ever was to Bob Dole, and how he took his dad's advice to "Keep it simple" -- half of the "deep and simple" equation we posit as our thesis. We also re-arranged the components of the segment to move through it more quickly, but with more nuance.
By the time we were done, we'd shaved just shy of a minute, but crafted a clearer, sharper, more-interesting segment.
I just said to Chris, "I still can't believe Tim granted us this interview." Just as I still can't believe I've been emailing with his widow, Maureen Orth, for the last few weeks. She's been so helpful, basically sharing every photo she could find from their family's time on Nantucket. So cool. One photo shows Tim, Maureen and Luke racing across Madaket Bay in a speed boat, all wind-blown and smiling ear-to-ear. Its emblematic of the kind of access friends of Mister Rogers have provided Chris and me.
All of these little changes are in service of Friday's Nantucket Film Festival deadline. Of course, I've always hoped to screen there; it's where the film was born. By the end of the week, we'll be waiting to hear from Tribeca, Nantucket, Toronto, Boston, Seattle and HotDocs. Hopefully, it'll find a home...