Phase Six: Against all odds
Burning Man had raged on for five days, and finally the morning of the day of the performance of the opera dawned. The previous day had seen severe changes in the weather, and a thick layer of dust blown in by a monstrous windstorm covered everything. Later in the day, another major gust blew a "land yacht," sort of a sailboat on wheels, into the temple stage, where it got tangled up with a tower, and Pepe had to cut it to pieces with a welding torch to extract it. I wasn't there, but I managed to find someone with some great "amateur video" of the big crash, which I edited into the movie.
As the sun went down, the weather turned absolutely ominous, and some rain added mud to the Rudrans' other problems. But the wind was what was making things impossible, and I eventually wound up in Pepe's trailer with the few principals of the opera, shooting them trying to decide what to do if the weather didn't clear up. Logistics dictated that The Temple of Rudra had to happen that night, or not at all. Many months of work would go unfulfilled if the weather didn't clear within a few hours. This of course made for some great drama, in a filmic sense, but I couldn't help but feel that it would be awfully sad, for Pepe, the participants, and, of course, me, if we couldn't do the opera.
But just before midnight, the full moon poked through the clouds, and the signal was given. Everyone sprung into readiness, and soon an outrageously costumed procession from a time long ago in a future that hasn't happened began a slow march toward the playing field surrounding the Temple of Rudra, which was already surrounded by thousands of people, waiting for the opera to begin.