This trip back east has been amazing. I got to spend time with my family (including a trip to THE JUNGLE BOOK with my niece and nephew), revisit some favorite places, and eat at my favorite restaurants -- especially the newly rebuilt Sergeantsville Inn, after it suffered from a devastating fire over a year ago. But I've also been able to do a number of substantial interviews, and further research into the Richard Amsel film.
In fact, right after landing in Philly Monday of last week, I drove out to the cemetery where the artist was buried, and visited his hometown. Yesterday, nearing the end of my trip, I went back to the beginning after contacting one of Amsel's childhood friends who still lived in the area. She shared with me this ink sketch that Amsel had given her mother back when he was a teenager.
What an emotional time this trip has been. The day before I left, I was in Hollywood holding back laughter while interviewing Bruce Vilanch. A little over a week later, I was in Staten Island holding back tears while interviewing one of Amsel's best friends, who cared for him in his final days. I feel this will be the backbone and soul of the film to come.