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'First Shot' premieres at the Flick

039First Shot039 premieres at the Flick
Lexington - More than 200 people filled the Lexington Flick on Saturday night for the premiere showing of "First Shot: The Day the Revolution Began."

The sold-out event marked the culmination of the long journey that filmmaker Rick Beyer and the Lexington Historical Society began two years ago when they decided to make an orientation film for visitors touring historic Lexington.

Beyer's filmmaking experience and passion for history, especially the first 24 hours of the Revolution, made him the best candidate to write, produce and direct the film, said Susan Bennett, executive director of the Lexington Historical Society.

"Rick is a creative filmmaker, a wonderful historical interpreter, and he knows Lexington's story inside and out," she said.

Lexington is well-known for its Revolutionary history, but the film aimed to tell the back-story of the town, and the events that led to the first shot fired on the Battle Green.

"Lexington did not spring into existence on the night of April 18, 1775," Beyer said. "It actually was here before Paul Revere arrived. So we wanted to answer the questions: Why did these people become revolutionaries? How did that happen? Why Lexington?"

Beyer addressed the crowd before playing the 14-minute film. He thanked donors who helped fund the $30,000 project, the 100-plus members of the cast and crew, and Bennett, whom he credited as "the driving force" behind the making of the film.

He also thanked members of the Lexington Fire Department who helped light and extinguish a large bonfire for one of the shoots, Peet's Coffee and Tea for donating the 10 pounds of loose tea thrown into the fire, the owner of the Flick, Peter Siy, for donating the theater space for the movie premiere and all the Lexington residents who allowed filming on their property.

"Filmmaking is a collaborative effort and in this case it was also a community effort," Beyer said.
The film was well-received.

"I feel that they really captured the essence of the history [of Lexington]," said Carla Fortmann, who was an extra in the movie. "It moves along and informs the audience. It will be a great contribution to the historical houses."

Many were impressed by the professional quality of the production and realistic portrayal of the bloody war scenes.

"It was very well done. I was amazed at how realistic the wounds looked," said Barbara Santosuosso.

After the film showing, Beyer held a question-and-answer session. One member of the audience wished the movie had been longer, saying the film left him wanting more.

Beyer responded that although there were eight to 10 hours of footage, most visitors probably wouldn't want to sit through a movie that long as part of their tour.

by Lexington Minuteman