Monthly Archives: April 2010

Director’s Update

Wednesday [4.28.10]

Just got to work…sort of rainy outside. Nice weather. I like this…I am not looking forward to the 105 degree days. By the way, that is what the temp is in India [Hyderabad] right now…somewhere between 99 and 105!! Yikes. Lets see…

Okay, the movie…yeah…right, you guessed it! Still waiting. Only now, it is sort of becoming funny. 7 months and counting. The last email we got from India said this, “the permit is in process.” Seriously!? Now, that is funny. Oh well.

So, how do I fill my days? Aside from doing my day job here at the church and having a family…well, I am teaching myself how to draw storyboards. I pulled out my set of boards from the film The Sixth Sense that I got many years ago from a friend who worked at Disney. A full set was lying around and she grabbed them for me! I love stuff like that. I was born to make movies for sure. My whole life I have dreamed of making movies…from the first time my parents let me pick a movie to go to for my birthday when I was 15. I picked the movie Rollerball with James Cann – not the lame re-make – and my mom, my dad and I went to see it at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood! Forget it. I was hooked. I remember seeing Rocky and wanting to be a boxer…seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and wanting to shoot guns and live in an old western town…seeing a dance movie and wanting to be a dancer…etc…I finally realized that what I wanted to do was create those worlds and tell their stories.

Anyway, that was a huge tangent. So anyway, I pulled out those boards and I also have a friend who was the key makeup artist on the John Woo film Face Off. Some time ago, we were talking and he told me he kept his shooting script, schedule and a full set of storyboards, of course I said “give them to me!” To which he replied “no possible way.” But I did get him to loan me his set, and I took them directly to Kinkos and had a copy made (more than $100.00 in photo copying!) I am sure the Kinkos people thought me a bit odd. Those copies fill a 5-inch binder! Anyway, so I have them spread across my desk in my office and between The Sixth Sense and Face Off, I am trying to teach myself how to draw.

Besides that I am still hunting down an editor for the project and…oh yeah, I did meet with Shari [actress who plays Sarah in the film] last week. She is so cool. She is sweet, pretty and an amazing talent. I told her again how thrilled I am that she is in the film. We discussed her scenes…I had told her after we cast her that I thought there was room to expand them a bit…and I re-wrote her scenes to add a little more tension and history. I sent them to Brent first, and he loved the re-write and so now I will send it to Shari and see what she thinks.

I also spent three more hours with Abe doing boards…this all sounds familiar. Did I already tell you guys this? It is possible I am losing my mind a little. Oh well. Anyway, so that is how I spent my summer vacation…wait, sorry, I mean that is what I am doing to stay busy while we continue to wait, learn, trust and pray for God to make this project all that HE wants it to be.

Be well and as always…thanks for caring and following the film.
J

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Director’s Update

Wednesday. In my weekly meeting…actually it is almost over so I thought I would write a quick note to let you guys know where we are. It seems we are supposed to get the permit this week. Keep your fingers crossed and to those of you, who have taken a knee to talk to God on our behalf, please continue to do so…if you would be so kind. We would ask that you continue to pray for wisdom, guidance and direction for all of the production crew.

I will keep you posted as always. Not much else happening…or I should say…not much else happening that, if I wrote it out…it would not pass by the people who make sure I don’t put my foot in my mouth on this blog. I will say this, the enemy, devil, bad person, negative entity…whatever you choose to label what I choose to call Satan, is really working overtime to try and make sure this project falls apart. He is fighting tooth and nail. Nothing easy is ever worth doing…this project is a perfect example of that old adage.

I find myself constantly using that refrain as a mantra “He makes all things work together for His good.” I am having a hard time focusing on this film at this point. So much seemingly bad stuff has happened…but when I realize that “bad” is completely relative as God uses every situation to His good…He can work through us…even if we feel like He can’t or isn’t…He still makes all things work together for good…etc. As I rethink that concept, I lean on trust and faith and get out of the way…this is now and always has been and always will be God’s film. Period. I need to continue to let Him lead, especially when I get the urge to grab the steering wheel…like a little kid sitting on his Dad’s knee…wait, here is a story that fits….when I was very little, say three or maybe even younger, I was sitting on my grandmothers lap. It was the Fourth of July. My grandmother was holding a sparkler in her hand. Before she could react, I lunged forward and grabbed the working end of the sparkler.
It immediately fused to my hand. Not good. As my Grandmother used to tell me the story, she panicked and apparently yanked the sparkler that was now fused to my hand, out of my grasp and rushed me to the hospital. My Mom picks up the story there saying I had to wear huge bandage over my entire hand for a long time and apparently every time she would finish wrapping my hand, I would spend as long as necessary until I had my hand completely unwrapped. Anyway, that reminds me of this film. If I lunge for the wheel now, I am sure God would let me grab it and the train wreck that would most likely occur would be epic! So, I will sit back and enjoy the sparkler from a distance and let God hold it…I will enjoy the colors knowing God is leading and directing…it takes all the pressure off. Or at least it should. If only I was smart enough to be that simple. Oh to be a child again…I know, those of you who know me think sometimes I AM a child still…

Anyway, I will keep you all posted as we continue to take this journey that God, as of now, is not giving out any details for…no map, no itinerary, no schedule, no time line…just a stretching of my faith and a growing of my appreciation for people who can, in the face of great opposition, trust in God without wavering. I will continue to strive for that end game. The film permit will take care of itself….read as God will provide when He is ready…as Brent continues to say. Sometimes at the top of his lungs…having to shout over me at the top of my lungs. His point is always that God wants us to trust Him completely and He will provide. A story as old as time.

Be well.

Thanks again for praying and walking with us.

J

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Director’s Update

Tuesday 4. 13.10

Just finished with C2…our morning staff prayer. Seems we are losing yet another one of our staff members to Rock Harbor. Crazy. Chris is a good, young preacher…who will do well over there. Best of luck to him.

So let’s see, we submitted the “new” script…or should I say tweaked script, Monday. Now…bet you can’t guess what we get to do now? Yes!! You have been paying attention! That’s right, we get to wait. Now, this is something that I am getting less and less amenable with…for many reasons, the least of which is that this “script” does nothing as a paperweight. It does not help anyone. Not one Dalit will benefit, no one will be moved and demand change, no one will get involved, no one will grieve for the children, no one person will walk out of the theater and not be able to sleep because their eyes will have been opened to this situation. So, right now I am NOT okay with waiting any longer. Yes, even though I truly have no choice or control over this process…this process that was supposed to take three weeks and we are now in our sixth month!! Yes, even though I trust God is driving and that his timing is perfect…in my complete and total non perfectness [is that a word?] I still get irritated about waiting. So even though I truly believe all of that and know it to be true in my heart, I still can’t help but get irritated…and so I call Brent and he graciously listens to me rant and rave, assures me he is doing all he can and then adds that he will make one more phone call or send one more email. After working with me for so many years, he understands that sometimes I don’t want to hear that we can’t do something. In my mind, there is always something that can be done. I don’t want God to be waiting on us because we forgot some small detail. I know, it hurts my head as well so lets change the subject…hummm…

I met with a very nice guy yesterday. He is a storyboard artist that Steven knows. We spent about 2 and a half hours together. We went through a few scenes when it occurred to me that I would be duplicating efforts if I did not have Abe involved…I would then have to spend the same amount of time retelling everything to Abe and deciphering the drawings. I then purchased a new iPhone application that allows you to make digital storyboards…it is a pretty cool little application! Now, I will go back to the locations and shoot photos with extras and then, working with Abe, we can make a game plan for the shoot. Saves money and uses time more efficiently. All good things.

Lets see, what else is happening? I found out about a contest for short films that I like and will try to shoot something for…probably in India. Could be cool. The contest is judged by Ridley Scott, one of my favorite directors. The film has to be 3 minutes or less. Excellent. Not long enough to be boring…like this blog! I do often wonder if anyone is reading…I have said that before and have even asked for responses…with no reply. That is why I sort of decided to use this as my own private and personal journal. And that is also probably why Brent and Jessica have to censor the content on occasion. I do forget that I am writing not for my own eyes, but for those of you still trying to muck your way through this week after week. I should give a prize to the one who endures the longest!! I am grateful for anyone reading…and Jessica assures me that you guys are out there…and I do have to say that on a occasion someone will comment on something I have written…proof that it is being read by someone…I know Gayle and Bill read these, I think Bev still reads these…by the way, hello Bev. Hope you are well. I am excited to work with you again to finish our cast off at an equally high level. Bev will be involved with casting our Indian cast as well.

Wednesday 4.14.10

I just got home from our staff “fun” day…which was in fact “fun”. We went to a local Go Kart racing track called Dromo 1. Anyway it was really fun and then we all went to Bob’s Big Boy for lunch. A good time for sure. I learned not to slide my car, if at all possible, as it scrubs off speed and slows you down. Valuable info for the next time! Now I am home. I just talked to Shari, the wonderful actress we cast as Sarah in the film. She wants to meet and start going through the script for her character. Excellent. I need to start working my creative brain again. She is always fun and super talented…so her input will be good for sure. She is already invested…which is what she told me when I told her I understand if she doesn’t want to meet until we have firm dates. A great response!

I went for a late afternoon bike ride yesterday…A great time. Being on the bike is always good for me. I can think and ponder and struggle and hurt….for an hour! Yesterday, what I came away with was that I need to relax on the timeline and trust that God is working behind the scenes to make a way for us that otherwise would not have been available. A good thought to keep at the forefront of my mind….that and that He makes all things work together for good.

Anyway I will leave you with that. Have a great week and as always thanks for investing in the project and for praying for us.

J

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Director’s Update

Easter and after….

Let’s see….Easter went well here at the church. 6 services and hopefully a lot of lives changed.

As far as the film goes…what did I tell you guys last? Had I seen the test footage? I can’t remember…age…getting old….losing my memory…what was I saying? Oh yeah, test footage. I met with Abe in Burbank last week. Wait, I think I did already tell you guys about this. That Steven and Allan came by??? Sound familiar. Anyway the footage looked good. We got through a scene, as far as blocking etc goes. That is good. WE sorted out HOW to go through the script. That will be helpful.

I am in the process of talking to storyboard artists now. I was going back and forth with one guy, a friend of a friend of Abe’s I think, anyway bottom line is our storyboard budget is his one day rate! I offered to trade him some of my Tim Burton stuff…actually one of my Tim Burton drawings. He loved the idea, but as we both agreed, the drawing is super cool but it does not pay the rent…unless you sell it, which defeats the purpose of having a Tim Burton original drawing! So, he ultimately decided he could not do it for what we could pay…so I am going back to the drawing board [no pun intended] to try to find someone to meet with Abe and me next week. God has hand delivered every other crewmember, so I have no doubt he will bring us the right person for this task as well.

Last night I did a video shoot for Phil with one of his actress friends named Emily Rose. She is super cool. That went well. I set up a two shot [2 people in the shot] in front of a window with a profile reflection behind Phil…kind of like the Alfred Hitchcock opening to his television show…where it ends in his very distinct profile. A neat shot…I think it was anyway. Then had a second camera on a single of Emily. Should be easy to edit that way.

So, back to the movie…the actual purpose of this blog. I know, sometimes it seems as if I forget that. I write this based on what I would want if I were following a director on a film. If you guys are interested in something specific let me know and I will happily branch out. Anyway, the movie…well we finally are ready to re-submit the script to the Indian Government…6 months into this process! They say three weeks. In three weeks we will have our permit. God willing. We shall see. HE makes all things work together for good. I trust and remember that song and keep moving forward.

Cristi, our wardrobe person got in touch with Danny (the clothing designer friend of mine from Black Hearts Brigade) and he has offered us his samples from a past company that he owned and a past line. This is huge as he is a great designer and the clothes are hip and cool!

Not much else happening at the moment, so I will leave you with a sincere thank you for praying for us and for following our progress!

Be well.
J

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Good Friday & Easter Services

If you are in Orange County this weekend, join us at Friends Church for Holy Week Services…beginning on Friday, April 2nd as we present the Orange County premiere of Good Friday Suite.


The Good Friday Suite is a collection of five familiar hymns, orchestrated for chamber orchestra and vocalists by Don Harper. Accompanied by narration and media, these classic hymns will provide a contemplative setting for us to remember Christ’s death. We will also observe communion. The services will be at 5:00pm and 7:00pm.



Easter Weekend service times are Saturday, April 3rd at 4pm & 6pm and on Sunday, April 4th at 9am & 11am. We’ll celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with music, media and a message by Pastor Phil Hotsenpiller entitled, Leap of Faith. For kids, there will be high-energy, multi-media drama production designed just for them!

For more information, go to www.ylfc.org and click on the Easter banner or call 714.777.2875. We hope to see you this weekend!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Director’s Update

Still waiting…

3.29.10 Monday before Easter and I am sitting in my office getting things ready for our Easter services coming up this weekend. I have to admit…I am having a hard time focusing right now. My mind keeps wandering to thoughts about all the little “micro budgeted films” that are getting good press and more importantly are getting seen…I am now caught in the in-between…no, not Peter Jackson’s “in-between” from the film Lovely Bones. My in-between is me trying desperately to stay focused on making our film while having no idea what God’s timing is for this project. Lately, I have been getting the urge to write something that I can then go shoot for a micro type of budget. I think about how nice it would be to be able to drop all the red tape, all the negotiations, all the permit issues…and just go direct a film…after all that is what I do. I have no inclination to be anything else…well except an architect. I wanted to be one all through high school and had fancied designing houses for a living…but the pull to film was way too strong.

So now, like I said last week, I am dusting off some of my unfinished screenplays to see if any of them can be tailored for “what I have available”…that is where you start. What can I actually get my hands on through friends or friends of friends or relatives etc…I have a few ideas that will work. Now, I just need to write them…finish writing one of them anyway. So, I will start that and see how that goes. Stay tuned as you might end up reading the “Doors” feature film blog, or even the “Tomorrow Bridge” film blog! Anyway back to work for me…just wanted to get a jump on this week’s informative [Ha] and educational [Ha Ha] and entertaining [Ha Ha Ha] blog.

I just read about a comic book selling for 1.5 million dollars. Crazy.

—–

Tuesday 3.30.10

Preparations continue for Easter here at work
Talked to Brent briefly about Thursday. We are supposed to finally get to see the test footage we shot a few weeks back. I am cautiously optimistic. Abe has set it up for Thursday at 3:00…we will meet early to go over a few of the first scenes in the film…pick lenses, discuss every detail of each shot, etc. I am wondering if we can get the look that I am seeking directly from the camera negative. If we have to get into some type of a special processing or digital Intermediate then we are talking more money…money we don’t have. God willing the look of raw light and exposed bulbs will come through as I see it in my head…we shall see. I am anxious to meet with Abe…he always has so much enthusiasm and he is such a great talent…very inspiring.

By the way, yesterday was our worship leader Aaron Blanton’s 30th birthday!!! Give him a call or drop him a note of good wishes. He is a great guy with a great family and he uses his talents for God.

Also, my friend Ron…the guy who changed my life with his seminar [he and his wife Tina who is equally amazing] is in Canada right now preparing for surgery on his leg…he has cancer. I would ask everyone reading this to stop and say a quick prayer sometime during your day on Thursday for his surgeons, his family, his own peace of mind and of course, for his quick recovery and ultimate miracle healing. Thanks.

Just got some news from Brent that received the script “adjustment” from our Indian company. They unfortunately did not use the revision mode in Final Draft [the screenwriting software we use] and now we can’t easily track what they tweaked. Also they are asking us to send them four hard copies of the script…to which I reply to Brent “are there no copy machines in India!!!?” That is one more week lost from the time it takes the mail to travel to India! Brent and I joke that we will never say never about anything in regards to this project again…since it seems every time we do God has another plan. Yes we said that we would NEVER shoot this film in June in India!! Now that is a distinct possibility. Once again, after venting to Brent…I go back to my mantra “He makes all things work together for good” and then Brent and I laugh and say, “We will NEVER make this movie in two weeks in Tahiti!!”

Anyone want to check out a really cool trailer for a film coming out check out the Scott Pilgrim vs the world trailer. It is from the same director who made the film Shaun of the Dead, a crazy funny zombie slasher film. The director’s name is Edgar Wright. He is a super talented young guy.

If you are in Orange County this weekend, we are having a few Good Friday services and four Easter services. Stop in and introduce yourself. Both Brent and I will be there. As I was writing this, Steven calls me. I have to say…I really like that guy. He is like an older brother and I am super pumped he is going to be managing this shoot. He is really good at what he does and has such a great no nonsense attitude. I just like him. Anyway he will meet us there tomorrow for the film deal. Cool. He is doing a shoot in the morning with Bono and Rod Stewart. Again I say cool.

Hope you guys all have a great Easter. Thanks for praying and supporting the film.
J

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized