Trip Harting, the subject of my latest film, Trip to Hell and Back, has been diagnosed with a form of inoperable liver cancer that will likely prove fatal in the next six months. The diagnosis was the culmination of a week’s worth of hushed updates among myself and Trip’s closest friends leading up to the documentary’s premiere in Providence, Rhode Island, where Trip was scheduled to attend. He had apologized to me several days earlier for not being able to make blog entries as we had planned because of flu like symptoms.
By the day preceding the premiere, Trip was forced to cancel his appearance to undergo a biopsy. Roughly a dozen of his friends arrived at the premiere from around the country not knowing the news. It was Trip’s request to say nothing until after the screening in order to keep the mood of the evening positive. I made a vague apology to the audience, but by early evening his friends had found out something was seriously wrong.