Monthly Archives: June 2010

India Update June 30, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

Well, today was another productive day in Mumbai.  We continued location scouting all over the city.  We are still looking for a second brothel and a restaurant.  We found a great restaurant called Zus [I think], it is really cool and has an outside seating area and a small indoor area where everyone sits on the ground and smokes hookas.  Very Indian for sure!!  And it also has a small room in the back where you sit on the floor and eat this place will play really well and fits the story and scene action perfectly.  Another gift from God.  He sure continues to look out for us and His project!!  Then we went back to the office where Sid, Harry and Immi work of for a while.  They wanted to finish the set up for tomorrow’s casting session and show us a few videos.  On a side note, I have been asking for 3×5 cards for a few days now.  Seems this is foreign to our guys and so today they got a card from me and had a guy go out and buy paper and they sent it off to a printer to have him cut 300 – 3×5 cards for me to make my scene notes on.  I am guessing I will be the only one with hand cut 3×5 cards in my neighborhood when I return!:)  That is how nice and amenable these guys are.  Of course I had no idea they were doing all that, I figured we would just stop by a store and pick up a few packages.  Lesson learned.

We finished off the day looking at another possible brothel location and trying to look at another option for a burned out church…we could not view the church location and the brothel location was okay…it just did not hit me as being perfect and that is what I am looking for.  A location for me picks itself be being perfectly suited to the story and the scene it is needed for.  So, we will continue to look tomorrow and Friday if necessary.

I ended the day with a Skype call to my wonderful, amazing wife!!  It is always the perfect way to end a day…while I am 7000 miles away from home, missing her and my step kids.

Be well and as always thanks for reading.

J

Here is our video update…

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India Update June 29, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

The flight last night was not amazing for sure.  Delayed over an hour and then taking an hour longer than it should…see the picture Brent took of our flight path, you will notice that we circled 8 times before landing!

We got to the hotel at 1:30 or so in the morning.  We spent the day with Sid, Harry and Immi location scouting all over Mumbai, it was incredibly productive as usual.  We found possible locations for most of the scenes that take place here.  The balance of the film, is to showcase the good of India…having shown the bad for a while in the film by the time we reach Mumbai.  I am sure we will find the balance, as this country is so beautiful.  Today we saw train stations, slums and brothels – this was troubling as we actually went to the Red Light district in Mumbai. This was especially difficult, as we walked in the midst of brothels. The things we saw are indescribable…for this, I have to go to a different place in my mind in order to be able to see this without emotion.  It is truly heartbreaking.  I tell Brent this is why we are making this movie.  For these girls and the millions like them.  It is hard to see.  When we get back to the car, Sid tells us that the local guy told us to come back later tonight…when they are up and working.  Heartbreaking and completely disturbing.  This is why we are making this movie, I tell myself this time.  After that we cruise around Mumbai looking at slums, burned out buildings, train stations and restaurants…all locations we will need.  

We finally end up back at the hotel at almost 8:00 pm.  My desire for authenticity as much as possible…to shoot this film as real as possible, puts us in very uncomfortable places sometimes…today was one of those times. It is time for bed…another productive, yet troubling day…this movie will affect me for the rest of my life. Thanks again for reading and praying.  Tonight, if you find a minute, say a prayer for those in the Red Light District.

J

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BRENT’S UDAPTE:

Another great day of location scouting…and sobering, too.  We went to the Red Light district in Mumbai…very disturbing.  We saw a dingy building (the owner thought we were potential customers – that in itself was awful) I looked past the owner and saw a rickety staircase…leading to what I can’t even imagine…very sobering and a good reminder of why we’re making this movie.  As I was leaving, the owner said to me, “Please come back this evening.”  Crazy and awful.

We saw a ton of other locations, too. Mumbai is huge and when you walk outside, its like you put on a wet, hot blanket and wear it all day! Thank God for AC!  🙂

B

Watch our Daily Update video below….

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India Update June 28, 2010

UPDATE FROM JON:

Here we are at OM again.  I just finished visiting with Persis…man she is cute!!  We had a light saber fight with my iPhone and I turned a wheeled chair into a carnival ride racing her up and down the hallways, much to her delight.  She is so cute and personable.  She will be great in the film.  We had a good weekend of hanging out and getting ready for the week to come.  We leave later tonight for Mumbai for a few days to scout and do some casting there.  Then we head to Goa on the western coast to scout there as well.  Should be a productive week for sure.  Then we will return to Hyderabad for a while I guess…we are still waiting for firm travel dates for the rest of the crew   God’s timing…I keep telling myself…sound familiar to anyone who has followed this blog?:)  “He makes all things work together for His good” is also a constant refrain.

It is so great to be here working…

We just finished having lunch with Jay, Mike and JP from our church as well as the amazing Beena, Leah and a few others…it was a lively conversation all around.  Beena helped us print out all of my storyboards and then asked me to go over the story with them. Beena is amazing and super fun!!  She just called the manager of the hotel where we stay here in Hyderabad and told him to find us nice rooms in Mumbai.  They talked for a few minutes then she said “I go into a meeting at 2:30 [it is 2:25 now] call me before then…your time starts now.”  She is so funny.  She said Ty, the hotel manager, was laughing.  She is very efficient and fun to hang out with as well!

We are still here at OM waiting to head to the airport…I have been working on my shot list and my notes for set as well as making a copy of the storyboards for anyone who needs them when our team arrives.  Overall a good day…now I am ready to fly so we can land and get to work in Mumbai!

Thanks again for following and check out the videos we are posting for a look inside the making of the film.

Here is the Video Update from today…

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India Update June 25, 2010 (Updated)

UPDATE FROM JON:

Today was another full, but great day here in India.  Today we meet with the guys from Johny Lever at their hotel to do some casting.  Very interesting does not begin to describe that experience!:)  We saw some fine Indian actors.  We saw one guy who after his audition…asked to do a scene from a Gregory Peck movie.  The title escapes me at the moment but he did his scene…trying to mimic Gregory Peck’s voice and even adding all the sound effects to include wind, horses and gun fire!  It was…in a word, surreal!  Then to top it off five Indian women, age 19 to 21 come in with four Indian men.  Brent and I both asked what was going on and no one really explained it very well.  What we could gather was that the young women were actresses and the men were their friends who had come to accompany them.  Once we finished with the casting as it were, we…hang on, also the hotel that we were in was modeled after a medieval castle!!  Again, very surreal.  After that we took off to find a suitable dance club. We saw four of them…two of them were amazing and will work very well.  “Touch” and “Spoil” were the clubs we liked and will probably use.  Overall a great day and finish to our first week of pre production.  Tomorrow I get to hang with Persis.  I missed seeing her today.  We are building a relationship that I hope will pay off in spades on set.

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UPDATE FROM BRENT:

Today was interesting for sure.  We left our hotel and headed to meet Sid, Harry and Immi at their hotel – a Best Western – nearby in Hyderabad.  It looked like a medieval castle from the outside and the inside.  The rooms were named after the Knights of the Round Table.  Somewhat odd, but very thematic!  We headed up to one of the rooms – Perceval, I think – and set up for casting.  It was kind of an odd casting arrangement being in a hotel room and all.  Very interesting talent came in throughout the day – all shapes, sizes, ages, etc.  At several times, Jon and I looked at each other and just shrugged our shoulders.  .  It would have been great to have had Bev (our Casting Director) here – if for no other reason than to share the experience with her!

After almost five hours in that hotel room, we left to scout a few local clubs.  We found two great ones – Spoil (which has incredible views of the entire Hyderabad skyline) and Touch (all white with a sub-zero room and cool, hanging, sheers that divided one side from the other).  Outside of both clubs, we were approached by the very poor…asking us for money for food.  This is exactly how Ezekiel meets Bhupinder and Kavya outside of the club.  We found such opulence inside the club, and incredible poverty and need right outside.  While we were scouting, we met a local model, Stella, who wanted to audition for us as well.  After her audition, she stayed with us for the final two clubs – the ones that we’ll actually use in the film.  So, we owe her many thanks for helping us find them.  She’ll appear in the movie somewhere.

We dropped Sid, Harry and Immi at their hotel and thanked them for another great day. We’ll meet up with them again in Mumbai next week.  Jon and I were glad to arrive back at our hotel after another long day.

We look forward to mornings and evenings when we can connect with our family via Skype.  It’s great to at least be able to see and talk with them.  They are the reason why being away this long is very difficult.  But, God knows this and we trust Him for it all.

It’s great getting pictures/videos from the USA, too! My sister sent the one below to me today – it was entitled “Supporters” – so fun!  We appreciate the encouragement and knowing that you’re along on the journey with us.  We’ll post em, if you send em!  🙂 Send them to jessica@nottodaythemovie.com

(from left to right:  Christine, Desiree, Hannah and Tricia)

Here’s our verse from today… Isaiah 40:28-31 says, “Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the end of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

His strength is perfect.

Below is a video update to show you a few of the things we mentioned…

We hope you have a great weekend and we will resume our daily updates on Monday!

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India Update June 24, 2010

UPDATE FROM JON:

We just finished up with a full day of scouting and then my favorite, hanging with Persis!  She is so cute!!  She has really come out of her shell and is being silly.  She loves my iPhone.  She was very excited that I downloaded a bunch of new games for her.  We found a great brothel location…as well as some locations for the street vendor scene and the chase/dream sequence.  It was a very good day indeed.  We ended the day/night with one actor who could not come in to read tomorrow.  He joined us at the hotel and read for us on the patio.  He was good so we didn’t mind seeing him tonight!  Tomorrow will be spent casting.

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UPDATE FROM BRENT:

Another great day in Hyderabad…today was spent solidifying our locations here and spending time with Persis (or Priscilla) – the little girl from the Good Shepherd School on the OM campus.  She and Jon are really connecting.

We were in the car most of the day, which makes for some interesting adventures and after awhile, your body gets tired of the stopping and starting – it is a great core work out for sure!  Oh, and the pollution from the cars is enough to make you want to hold your breath forever.  But, the locations we found were amazing – God was leading us to the right people and the right places.  To capture these places on film will be very cool.  We also auditioned one actor tonight who can’t come to the casting session tomorrow.  He reminded me of Telly Savalas…he was a good actor.  He read for the part of Vendor or Mean Indian Man #1 (something like that!).

Here is a verse from Gayle (my mom), for the day: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God.  He is my Mighty Rock, my Refuge.  Trust in Him at all times…pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our Refuge.” Psalm 62:5-8

And…here is our daily update video, showing you some of the things we mentioned above…



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India Update June 23, 2010

Today was an amazing day!  We met with reps from Johny Lever Film Company – Sid, Harry and Ili – and it was an instant connection.  The guys were great and we spent the entire day, together talking all things Not Today.  After we met for a few hours, we headed to lunch.

After lunch, we made our way to Ramoji Film City where we met Johny Lever, who was filming Gomaal 3, directed by Rohit Shetty.  We were able to meet Rohit as well and spent about an hour watching them film this Indian comedy.  It was a lot of fun.  Then, we headed back to our hotel and set up the plans for the next two days – Thursday will be the final location scouting in Hyderabad (and locking down locations) and then Friday will be casting for the Indian roles that play in Hyderabad.  So, a very productive day – and what promises to be a great next few days!   Pray, pray, pray!  My mom sent me this Scripture this morning – perfect timing – Psalm 37:3-7.  Check it out – worth reading!

Here is our daily video update showing some of the things mentioned above…

That’s all for now…but more to come.

Brent

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Here are a few thoughts from Jon…

Today was raining and muggy…but almost perfect.  The only thing I could think of while we drive to our hotel was how amazing this place will look on film and how exciting it is to finally be here to make the film…but the over riding thing I thought, was that God sure has had His hand on this project!!  We will have near perfect weather and more production design that we could ever afford with the rain and humidity

Finally met Johny Lever’s guys…Sid, Harry and Ili.  They are really great and fun.  We dove right in, permits, train, airport, visa’s, locations, casting, housing, food etc…We have a great meeting then head off to Ramoji Film City to meet Johny Lever himself.  He is shooting a Bollywood comedy…a sight to see for sure!!  Then after we head back to the hotel…everything here takes forever…especially driving as there are way too many cars on the road and very few rules…at least that is how it appears!  One more thing to love about India!  I have to say I really do enjoy this country.  The people are amazing, the culture is fascinating and the local color and flavor is beyond words.  Once we get back to the hotel we meet for a while more with the guys and make a plan for the next few days.  We will location scout this morning [it is Thursday morning as I write this [Wednesday night to you guys] and then Friday we will do some casting.

Be well and as always, thanks for reading and continue to pray if you have a moment and think of us.  God is still driving this ship for sure and it is amazing to see how his timing works for our advantage.  The weather right now is next to perfect.  Thanks God.:)

J

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John Schneider Joins the Cast of Not Today

We are so excited to announce that John Schneider has joined the cast of Not Today playing the role of Luke!  Click HERE to see our entire cast.

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