In the Coming Global Superstorm, Whitley tells the hard-hitting facts about global warming that were shown in the film, "The Day After Tomorrow," which was based on that book. We have readers who also want to know: What was it like to attend a movie premiere?
Along with appearing on a major TV talk show, I guess attending a movie premiere is one of those events that people daydream about. I’ve attended a couple in the past, but this one was the best yet. We met up with Art and Ramona Bell in New York. Since they lead a nocturnal life, due to Art’s late night talk show, they said "Hi" and went right to bed.
The night of the premiere, we rented a limo to get us to the Museum of Natural History, where the film was being shown, and because there were four of us, we needed a stretch, so we arrived in style. As if seeing Art in a suit wasn’t enough of a phenomenon, when we got out of the car, we felt snowflakes falling on us. When we looked up, we could see snow-making machines arrayed high above the doorway. This was a brilliant touch.
Activists, including one dressed like the Texaco tiger, were handing out leaflets warning about global warming, while photographers tried to push down the barriers to snap a photo of movie star Jake Gyllenhaal. We managed to make our way to the front door, where we were greeted by a phalanx of guards wearing "Day After Tomorrow" tee-shirts, who were checking everyone’s ID and peeking inside purses and backpacks. The security at the door was almost as strict as it was at the airport.
We took our seats right up front and the lights went down. Since a lot of the people there were from LA, there was a big laugh when the Hollywood sign was blown down. As a recent Texan, I got an big kick out of the scene where people abandon their SUVs and try to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico, only to be turned back at the border. Whitley saw the wolves in the movie as an homage to his first film, The Wolfen. And as long-time New Yorkers who will always call that city home, it was tough to see our favorite city buried under snow and ice. It reminded us of the TV images of the World Trade Center towers on 911, which seemed so unreal that it was like watching special effects.
Since movie premieres are attended by everyone who worked on the film, most of them behind the scenes, the rule of etiquette is that you stay seated for all the credits. Everyone wants to see their name go past, and we were no exception. Some people got up before the credits finished rolling, but I figured those were environmentalists who didn’t know any better. Those of you who have read The Key know that there should have been an additional credit, calling the film a "Knights Templar production."
Afterwards, we were all herded into a big room with a magnificent spread of food and free drinks. The producers really lavished money on this premiere. It was really just a big cocktail party, however, and Whitley and I usually duck out of those, so we only stayed long enough for Whitley to greet some friends from the industry and for me to glimpse some famous faces. When we came out of the museum, people were using snow shovels to get rid of the huge snowdrifts on the sidewalk that hadn’t yet melted. After seeing all that snow and ice, it was hard to remember that it was really May 24th.
The four of us took a cab to a steakhouse that stays open late, then we all went back to the hotel to sleep.
Before we went into the museum to see the film, we asked Art to take a picture of us out front, with our digital camera. You can’t see this in the photo, but we were standing next to the word "survivor," carved into a marble wall. The word refers to Teddy Roosevelt, who founded the Museum of Natural History (and shot many of the stuffed animals inside), but I think it’s an appropriate word for us too. So many people have tried to kill us off because they don’t like the messages we bring about things like UFOs, GM food and global warming. They usually try to discredit Whitley by playing the UFO card, as if it was a dirty word.
But they haven’t been able to get rid of us yet. We’re like roaches: you try to step on us, but we scurry under the floorboards before you can reach us. I’d like to think that you can’t squash the truth or stop it from getting out into the public where people can see it.
The Day After Tomorrow has taken a long journey, all the way from a hotel room in Toronto to movie theaters all over the world. It’s amazing, when you think about it.
To read your reactions to the film, click here.
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