A night to remember
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 Above: Attending cast (left to right), Clint Ross, Donald Pfanz, Richard Warren II,
John Cummings, Megan Hicks, Michael Aubrecht

Last night’s opening here inFredericksburg could not have gone better and I am still trying to takeit all in. We will be adding an entirely new “Premiere” section to thefilm’s website which will feature video, photos and commentary from the event. Until then, here’s a quick update…

Afterspending all morning configuring the theater, syncing the AV systemswith our computers, setting up the posters, exhibit tables and lights,our team was joined by local exhibitors, preservationists andre-enactors who all added both a purpose and character to the evening’sfestivities. As producer, I was very anxious about the kind of crowdthat we would get. In all honesty, I thought that we might fill theseats. I never expected what was to come.

Thedoors opened at 6:00 and within 15 minutes the theater was atmax-capacity and then some. Every seat and standing area was filled andthey were forced to close the doors. As a result, we made the decisionto hold a second showing later in the evening.

Followingthe first 30-minute screening and speeches by Clint and me, we weretaped for broadcast by the good folks at History Scene and interviewedby Civil War News. We had a roving cameraman and photographer shoot theparty crowd and even taped our own spots for video. The estimated audiencecount was approx. 200 at the first showing and the second was alsosuccessful (w/ a much smaller crowd).

Ourfilm received rave reviews by everyone in attendance from NPS staff tonon-history buffs. The donors contributing to the DVD portion of thisproject were very generous and we were able to shine a spotlight onseveral other causes including the National Civil War Life Foundation,Friends of the Wilderness Battlefields, the Friends of theFredericksburg Area Battlefields, the Civil War Preservation Trust andlocal tourism promoters.

Itwas an exhausting and exhilarating experience and we are just gettingstarted. To those who were turned away at the door after we metcapacity, I am very sorry. The film will be running at the Civil WarLife Museum daily starting in the next week or so. Believe it or not,this is just the beginning. We have some big screenings coming up alongwith lots of press.

Clint and I could not be more thankful. Stay tuned.