Skywalker Ranch Redux

Tonight Betty and I and a few other people, mostly the employees of Skywalker Ranch, will view our film, Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor, at Skywalker Ranch in the redwood country of West Marin county, northern California. Last month we mixed the film there and now we return not as a client, but in a different role, the role of presenter. What is particularly gratifying is that Skywalker Sound invited us to do the screening.

It is very warm here in Sonoma County. Too warm for our pleasure, but it is not unusual for a heat wave to bubble up this time of the year in this piece of geography. At night the peepers crowd the air with their warm melodies and the scent of harvest sweetens the air—apples, grapes. The bounty of the normally fine climate.

We showed the film on Sunday afternoon in Santa Rosa to our donors, old friends and acquaintances, new friends and acquaintances. Betty and I were nervous. Would they like it? We think they liked it. People seem to look at us with a different kind of regard now. We are gratified.

One of the unforeseen results of folks viewing the movie is that they borrow the pathos of the film and apply it to their own losses. A mother dies and her surviving children and spouse draw on and gain solace from the wisdom of wounded warriors. Tonight’s Skywalker Ranch crowd should be younger and for the major part, they will not know us and to boot, they will be folks affiliated with the craft and latest technology of filmmaking in this eleventh year of the new millennium. What will they think of these age-old stories and the way we’ve employed them in the movie? Some of the techniques we have used for the wedding of sound and interview are unusual and we wonder if we will hear some “You can’t get away with that,” or even some complaints.

We are a little nervous.

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