Melissa and I have been going back and forth on how to break the news, but we're just going to cut to the chase.
A Production representative has contacted us, saying "We'll be in touch when our plans for shooting are more concrete, and do our very best to assist Melissa."
To quote someone famous: "There is no emoticon for what I am feeling." Apparently your letters of support and our story have really affected them.
We did it, folks. We really did it. There is no variation on "Thank You" that would begin to express the gratitude that I owe all of you. No words can do it justice. This is something incredible that you all have helped me accomplish, that I could never hope to accomplish on my own. Melissa is just over the moon about the whole thing, it still seems like a dream.
Want to know the funny part? The first thing the guy does is apologize that they weren't in contact sooner.
SOONER? This thing has only been live for three months! This was still Phase 2 of the Project (getting a metric buttload of signatures). I figured that once we had a huge number (5000 was my ballpark figure), we would launch Phase 3 - Direct contact. By then our geek social network would likely have made contact with someone inside, who could put the petition in the right hands. And with 5000 signatures it would be taken seriously. And I had planned a timeframe of collecting this many signatures through this fall. I was considering reserving a Fan Table at DragonCon as one last push.
I expected this to take six months to lay the GROUNDWORK, and he is apologizing for waiting three months to contact us!
Apparently, I had wildly under-estimated the power of Geek Social Networking. 4200 signatures in Three Months and enough letters and emails written to convince Wingnut Films to make this a reality. The outpouring of concern is just amazing.
But this is not the end of the story. It is a beginning. PROJECT FIVER will continue. We now are on the road to the goal, and the journey has yet to be written. Filming will not begin until sometime next year. Our mission is the same: To have Melissa be a Hobbit extra in the film. We now have the company's support, but it will still be a hard road to get her there in a year. We don't know what kind of shape Melissa will be in by the time Filming starts. It will be a fight, but we will be fighting together.
Project Fiver will continue. This site will change over the next month. The Petition will be closed, and a Guestbook will be created for people to check in and send well-wishes and greetings to her. Our son, Matthew, will have this, to know how his mother lived. The Blog will continue, and we will try to use the attention we have garnered here to promote ALS Awareness and support for the ALS Association of Georgia, who has been so very good to us in our time of need.
So thank you from me, from Melissa and from our family. You have accomplished something truly incredible. Now it is our turn to rise to the challenge of it.