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On The Front Lines

As we went to press, I received a poignant and eye-opening firsthand account of the Asian tsunamis from a crew person who works itinerantly on IMAX and other large format and ride films.

Like many who work in film production — especially in large format production — he has a lot of experience in a part of the world that has been very good to our community. The natural beauty of the land and the generosity, good humor, and practical skills of the people find their way into many productions (and have supported many postproduction R&R breaks). During my two-year stint working in that part of the world, I shared countless good experiences (including one timely rescue), and I know many others who can say the same.

Now at least one of us has also shared a horrific experience. The story I received was full of not only dramatic and painful moments, but also many mundane and misguided ones, as you would expect in a chaotic and incomprehensible disaster. These minutiae only highlighted the horror of the situation because it rang so true; those who are in the midst of this have so little to go on as they try to figure out what to do from moment to moment.

As we go to press, the immediate peril has passed, replaced with a collection of relentless everyday horrors and personal crises made so vivid by one writer’s view. I can imagine his story duplicated many times over across the region, and so I’m passing along his plea: Do whatever you can for those who cannot leave, and keep doing it. I can only assume that as you read this — a month or so after the waves hit — that the need will still exist and that places and people that have supported many of us will still need our support.