A media day is an event in which the news outlets, bloggers, and anyone with the right credentials can get together with some of the cast and crew of a particular movie or TV show. It's a great time to get questions answered about the why and the how: Why tell this story, what was it like working with so and so, and what were the obstacles that were encountered? There were three moments during the Patriots Day press conference that really stood out to me.
Front And Center
When I first stepped into the conference room, I immediately noticed that Patrick Downes, Jessica Kensky and Dun Meng's nameplates were placed in the middle of the long table where the movie's cast and crew were to sit. It's moments like this that remind me these three brave people were the real stars of the film. Questions that was asked of these survivors by the gathered media were done so with sensitivity. The focus was on how they felt about the movie and their portrayals, rather than asking them to relive the tragedy of that horrible day and its aftermath.
"The whole idea of terrorism is to kill and maim and pull us apart and I think we've shown the way to come together." – Patrick Downes
Why Wahlberg Did The Movie
One of the questions I had going in was what drove Mark Wahlberg to participate in this movie. The actor has always been a proud Bostonian. My assumption was that he wouldn't participate in this production because it was too soon, and that he wouldn't want a movie about the marathon bombing to be made just for money.
When the question was asked, Wahlberg was honest and admitted he originally didn't want to be involved in the project:
"I was resistant to a certain extent and then I realized they were going to make the movie regardless. And if they were going to make the movie, I was going to be the [one] to make sure to handle the movie with the sensitivity it deserved.
"The message of love is something that needs to be told immediately and as much as possible. I'm proud of the way my city responded, and [the events that took place] redefined what a hero is to me."
A Very Appreciative Group
After the the final question was answered and the resounding applause died down, the cast and crew didn't dash out of the door. Rather, they stayed, shook hands, answered more questions, and did it all with a smile. And not only did they answer more questions, they patiently took photos with the fans in attendance.
All things considered, the media day had a very positive vibe. It was one the few times I have been in an atmosphere like this and didn't hear a single person say anything negative about the entire event. This was a shining example of what you get when you put positive energy out into the world following a tragic event. To sum it all up, I will leave you with a quote from bombing survivor Patrick Downes:
"There's this message that, despite the hate that came our way, that people still look to us as ambassadors to the city to talk about all of the important things that have come out of this. The kindness and selflessness. And I hope that is something that other cities can see and can celebrate themselves. And celebrate the people in their communities that are wonderful people that have overcome insurmountable odds."
Patriots Day hits cinemas January 13, 2017