Dear Walterians old and new,
I’ve been pretty quiet since the screenings. I think I just needed to a minute to process everything that happened while I was home.
First of all, the two nights went really well. Thank you to everyone who came out. Special thanks to Beth Clark for organizing and running all the rsvps and running things both nights. I have no idea how I could have pulled it off without her. Also, my mom, Aileen Gow, Cara Redmond, and Chris Speers for running the table. As well as Andrew Tebeau and the Red Lion team for filming the first evening. And, of course, the wonderful Jason Carlen for being the best MC a fella could ask for. Not to mention Celebration Cinemas who did a wonderful job hosting us and satisfying every little annoying request we had. Truly a great team over there.
Second, the reception of the film, in my hometown, has been so overwhelmingly positive, from his family, friends, and strangers, I can say that even if the film goes nowhere, gets into zero festivals, I know this is a film that has brought inspiration to people in Lansing. That’s what I was hoping for and something Eddie always wanted to do. Long before Walter or any documentary, Ed wanted to lift up those around him. He understood the importance of Karma. He didn’t want to succeed by stepping on others to get what he wanted. He knew that was a hollow form of success. He wanted to succeed by lifting up his whole team. He went out of his way to maintain friendships that stretched out farther than singular religious, political, musical, or cliques of any kind. He understood from a young age something most of us don’t understand until we are much older. That is that everyone, no matter the backstory, are human beings with thoughts, emotions, and complexities that make them interesting and unique. Perhaps this is why he was always encouraging others to create. He knew that everyone has something in them to contribute. If he liked you, which he most likely did (getting on his bad side took some real effort), he was one of the most encouraging and enthusiastic friends to have when it came to motivation. If you were ever in his vicinity when a new idea he liked came up, you know what I’m talking about.
On a personal note, I’ve been asked multiple times how it feels to be done. Well, I don’t know. In finishing the film, a whole new list of things has come up. Getting it out to festivals, promoting it, printing dvds, hopefully finding a distributor, maybe even a publisher, publishing a book dedicated to his other writing, potentially releasing more Walter books... phew. There is a lot to be done potentially. So I don’t feel done. I feel like it’s all just really beginning.
I have made some slight changes since the screenings. A few glitches and cuts needed to be re-worked. Overall, it won’t be that much different from what you saw at the screening. I’m pretty proud of it. I know Eddie would be geeking out about all of this, especially the film itself.
I am going to stop myself from rambling on too long. Just know that I am very happy with how the film has turned out. I hope Eddie and I gave you something that inspires you to try and do something you never thought was possible. We didn’t start out with much, and from the very beginning I had to hear about how we were reaching too far. But we did it. With all of the shortcomings, detractors, challenges, and missteps, stopping was never an option, and we did it. Ed’s Whale may not be a conventional film made in a conventional way, it may be loved by critics or completely abhorred, but we got it done and it’s good. That is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life.
Thank you to everyone and KEEP FLYIN’!,
“I’m glad he got to live the life he wanted. It was too short not too.” – Dixie Lahti, mother of Edward Lahti