I’ll admit, my eyes glazed over filming the first few interviews on this project. When Lonnie brought the idea to me, I wanted to help out because I could. She was obviously so passionate about the film that I wanted to do whatever I could to help make it a reality. But I am not a Deadhead.

At first, I didn’t feel like I had much to add. I knew some of the popular Grateful Dead songs, but nothing about the band or DeadHeads. I knew how to film and edit, but still, this type of project was a first for both Lonnie and me.

But this project spanned years, and time changed the way both of us approached the film. The bigger picture came into focus, and we saw the story we needed to tell.

Throughout the editing process, I’ve felt that I have an enormous responsibility to Lonnie, to DeadHeads, and to all survivors to tell the story of a road trip, a community, and healing. I hope the final project does everyone justice.

Elizabeth Kopetka