Tag Archives: Orson Welles

“If You Want a Happy Ending…….”

by Gail Mooney
January 5 2011

Erin in Kathmandu

Orson Welles once said that if you want a happy ending, it depends of course on where you stop the story.

It was a year ago today that Erin and I started this blog and our journey.  It’s also 24 years ago today that I gave birth to Erin.  When I got my first look at her, I remember thinking she had such long delicate fingers and big bright eyes. And I remember thinking that she looked like such a wise soul. Over the years, I’d try to imagine what experiences lay ahead in Erin’s future, but I never imagined that we’d be taking a journey together around the world and creating a film.

So, today we’ve come full circle literally and figuratively as we complete the year.  But our journey isn’t over.  We still have one (or more) stories to tell in North America. We have a couple subjects in mind but we are always open to hearing about other people who are following their passions to create change. And I am still working on the first edit of the film. It has been a long and tedious process as it always is when doing the first edit.  I need to look through 150 hours of footage and sort through, separating out the good from the bad. But first I must import the video into my editing software, name files, add metadata, sort clips and sync sound before I can even begin to build the story or stories.

I’m happy to say that I’m at the point now that I can start creating the story.  I will lay down the first rough-cut and then hand the project off to a professional editor in late January.  I have spoken with a few editors as well as composers. After the editor makes his/her cut, a musical composer will score the film. Music adds a powerful and necessary element to any film.

Today is also the day that our project expires on Kickstarter.  I am happy to say that we made our goal and in fact exceeded it. Officially, our project will be earmarked “successful” at midnight tonight so I don’t want to jump the gun and celebrate quite yet.  And there’s still time to make a pledge.

It’s been a memorable year because of this project.  It has changed me in many ways.  There have been lows, which made the highs that much better.  Some expectations were abandoned due to things beyond my control but many dreams were realized.  Opening Our Eyes turned out to be more than just the title of this film.  It personifies the whole experience and how I look at my life going forward.

I’m looking toward late spring to complete this film. So the story isn’t over – quite yet. Thank you all who have stuck by us through our journey.  Here’s to a happy ending.

Happy 2011 and Happy Birthday Erin

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The Third World

by Gail Mooney
December 31 2010

Even spending over three months in third world countries, didn’t prepare us for this past week’s events.  The day after Christmas it snowed – a lot.  In some places in NJ there were 32 inches of snow on the Sunday after Christmas.

Erin had come home for Christmas.  She only had a long weekend because she is still new to her job and had to report back to work on Tuesday of this past week.  She was scheduled to fly out of Newark on Monday, but we anticipated the flight being canceled, so we rebooked it for Tuesday.  Then the airline canceled her Tuesday flight and couldn’t get her on a flight back to Chicago until Thursday!  Erin knew that it would be hard to justify to her bosses in Chicago that she wasn’t able to get on a flight to Chicago until four days later, after the storm.  Chicago knows how to deal with a snowstorm.

We spent the better part of Monday, trying to get through on the phone to the airlines but  their lines were overloaded and they weren’t even placing our phone calls on hold.  Just disconnecting the calls.  A real catch-22 because we couldn’t get through to rebook the flight.  Then we started looking into trains and saw one last seat from New York to Chicago, but before we could finish the transaction – it was snatched. That left either driving or taking the bus.  The bus left at 1:15PM the next day and would get her to Chicago at 5:00AM the next morning, Wednesday  – a full day earlier than the airline was promising.

So on Tuesday, two days after the storm we headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC. It took twice the amount of time, due to grid lock, snow clogged streets and lack of services in general. But we made it just in time for Erin to board the 18 hour overnight bus trip to Chicago.

She made it to work on Wednesday morning. There was another glitch in Cleveland but like Orson Welles says  “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”  She and thousands like her did what they needed to do to get to where they were going.  When an airline isn’t getting its passengers rebooked until more than a week later in some cases, you have to be your own advocate.

I was quite impressed with Erin’s attitude and commitment, but then again I learned that about my daughter during our trip.  She is one of those special people that you know you can really count on. Its so much easier for most people to just make excuses, so they do.

I couldn’t get over the irony though. After traveling, virtually mishap free on over 30 flights, on a 99-day journey around the world, on 14 different airlines – Erin couldn’t get a flight from Newark to Chicago until four days after a snow storm.  I’m not quite sure where the third world is anymore.

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