Monthly Archives: July 2010

India Update July 29, 2010

We had another amazing day in India! Almost all of our crew is here and things are moving quickly…it is wonderful to have everyone together here in India! Walid Amini, who is playing the role of Kiran, has been here for a few days…he is really enjoying being in India, immersed in the culture, as he transforms in to the role of Kiran. The rest of the cast should arrive over the next few days and we are hoping to begin shooting by the end of the week.

It is wonderful to be immersed in a culture that we truly love and to begin production on the film. As always, thank you for following our journey!
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Here is an Update from Jon our Director:
Today was a very long but productive day…I think. I know it was long and I am hopeful that it was productive. I know it was for me. I finished yet another script tweak, cut some locations and added or reassigned scenes that were left homeless. Making a movie on a shoestring budget is a painful process for sure. Today was the first day Brent, Jess, Joth and Matthew were up and running…even though they got in at 5 am they stayed up and around for the better part of the day. I am sure they will sleep well tonight. I will continue working on the shot list late tonight again. I am almost through it for the third time. The script is in good shape finally and it feels like we are moving forward…uphill climbing a frozen waterfall but still we are moving forward so for now, I will take it. I need to get back to work, but I wanted to catch you guys up. Oh yeah, I think Abe and I will fly to Mumbai Saturday and return on Sunday to get a scout in and get back so I can rehearse with the actors. We have one cast member who has still does not have his visa, so prayers would be appreciated. Also, here is a praise….as I am forced to create new scenes and new scenarios over the last few days especially, I find myself thinking and thinking and trying to come up with what to write. I sit at my computer and try and create and it is only when I stop, say a quick little prayer asking God to guide and write through me that I seem to get inspiration and can write the new material. It has never been like that for me until this project. God is good and has been driving this project from inception and continues to amaze me daily with his grace and provision for what it is that we need. I told Brent, I am sure God is putting obstacles in my path to stretch and grow my trust in Him and reliance on Him. It is painful at times, but I think it is working. Apparently I am a slow learner.
Take care and thanks for reading.
J

Here is our Video Update, with clips of a monsoon and location scouting in the Presidential Suite…

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India Update July 26, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

Big day…the first work day since Abe and also Walid have arrived in India.  Also a very full day.  Kept refining the shot list…Cut 12 shots…doesn’t sound like a bunch for the first ten or so scenes that is a good chunk!  Hurt to see some of those shots go but better now…so I can get over it than on set when time is running out or light is running out and everyone is in a panic.

Next, we went to OM to meet with Surya and Beena to work on the translation for Persis to work from.  She stopped by and was super cute as usual! Then Abe, Chris and I went to the scouted locations so Abe could see them.  One of them had changed so much that I had to redesign the sequence on the spot.  I think it is better now.  Thank you God for posting obstacles in our way…in my experience, that often makes things better.

We came back to hotel for dinner then out again at 8:00 pm for more location scouting.  Abe needed to revisit the  same locations to see them at night. Now I am back in hotel and will work on shot list for a few hours and then off to bed.  A very full day.

Here is our Video Update:

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India Update July 23, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

Another interesting day here in Hyderabad…to OM to work with Beena and get the scenes for Persis ready for her teacher/coach to start with on Monday.  Abe (our Cinematographer) has arrived.  Great to see him and it is also great what he represents….the crew is starting to arrive!  One by one, or two by two, they are coming…which means we are moving forward and there is a light at the end of the tunnel…I will get to see my wife and kids again sometime in the not to distant future.  All good stuff.  I also got to see Chris and Denise (2 of the Producers) again…it has been way too long!  And one more special treat…the Friends Church team came to dinner here at the hotel!!  So I got to hang with them for a few hours and break some bread.  A great way to end the week.  Tomorrow Abe and I will start going over my shot list, the storyboards and making a plan.  Now the fun begins.  I am very excited about getting the prep under way.  Being on set has always been fun for me.  The prep rarely is.  Just the nature of the game.

Have a good day/night and thanks again for giving us a few minutes of your time.

J

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BRENT’S UPDATE:

Today has been a whirlwind of phone calls, emails and texts.  I can’t be away from any of the above for more than 5 minutes as something will happen that dictates immediate response.  Nothing seems to be able to wait!

I am leaving to return to India next Tuesday and so much needs to be done before I go.  I’m grateful for a great team to help make this all happen.  Steven Ritchie and Allan Hagan have been amazing and continue to help bring all of these details together.

I picked up the sample “puppet” that Jamie Kough designed and fabricated for us to use when we get to India in the movie.  Walid Amini – who is playing our lead Indian character – will take this prototype and find similar things from the streets of India to manufacture and create his own version of his “puppet.”  Here is a picture so that you can see what we’re working from – thanks, Jamie!

I’m taking advantage of being with my family, too!  It has been great to be home.  I’ve been able to watch Will at a football scrimmage, see Maddie at a local cheerleading clinic and this morning, Sophia and I had breakfast together and talked about “life and her plans for the rest of the summer.”  I’m also grateful for an amazing wife who encourages me and is very patient with me as my mind is full of so many details and plans that sometimes it takes me a minute to respond to her questions!  🙂  I’m a very blessed!  I’d also like to thank Traci, Bev, Renee, Amy and Nikki from the church who have been extremely helpful in the last few days/weeks with all of our budget and financial needs (wire transfers, check requests, clerical needs, scanning, faxing, etc. etc. etc.) – these ladies are the best and we couldn’t make this movie without them!

OK – enough from me today.  More of the same tomorrow and the next day, I’m sure.  We’re doing a live “in-service” interview from India on the weekend of July 31/August 1 at Friends Church.  Production begins August 3 in India – and that is RIGHT around the corner.  God continues to let us know that He is in charge and proves it moment by moment.  I’m grateful that He has this project in His hands!

Brent

Here is our video update:

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India Update July 21, 2010

Wednesday the 21 st of July [I think?] 2010. I am sure the year is correct.:) Today was another super productive and busy day again. I started day with a conference call with Chris, Denise, Steven and Brent. Very informative. Then off to OM…by the way, the Shot list is coming along! Very time consuming work. Shooting the film in my head before I shoot the film. And then to OM to hang with Persis. Very cute as usual! Then I got a special treat and got to go to Beena’s house for lunch and meet her dogs “Don” and “Scooby” two yellow labs. Great fun. She made lunch and we hung out and ate. A great time. Then back to the hotel for more shot list work. There sure are a lot of shots in this film!
J

Here is our video update:

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India Update July 20, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

Today was very busy. Still spending most of my time working on my shot list. I am almost half way through the script. There are a lot of shots in this film! Today I went to OM for a conference call with the producers. That lasted about an hour…talking business and trying to sort out assorted issues with locations and customs and trains etc…very daunting. But, about three quarters of an hour into the meeting Persis showed up and lighten the mood completely! We hung out for a while. Went on Skype again so Garrett [my step son] could meet Persis. Lindsey and Shannon said hi to her as well. They just love her! Everyone seems to enjoy her. Beena told me today when she sent her back to school she said something to Persis on her way out the door. I asked her what she said and she told me that she told Persis to go straight back to school. Apparently Persis knows everyone and stops to visit after leaving me some days!! How funny is that? She is an amazing gift from God for this film. Beena also took me to the mess hall to say hi to the team from Friends Church that arrived yesterday. It was nice to see some familiar faces and to meet some new people. They seemed to be having a great time. It is always nice to see people here for the first time.

I headed back to hotel for more shot list work…only stopped for a half hour to eat and visit with my friend Mithune. He is always game for an interesting conversation while I eat. Now, I will spend until midnight or so working more on the shot list. Seems Abe (Cinematography) will be here Friday. I need this done by then so we can get to work! Anyway, thanks as always for taking a minute or two to read up on what is going on half way across the globe…or maybe all the way across the globe! Have a great day and if you have a minute, say a prayer for customs, trains, actors, locations, permissions and everything else that needs to fall into place over the next few weeks!
J
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BRENT’S UPDATE:

Spent today in meetings of all kinds – from conference calls, to emails and phone conversations – trying to make headway and move forward with the film. It is becoming increasingly difficult with producers and key crew in 3 different locations (Hyderabad, Mumbai and Los Angeles) so we are trying to streamline communication so that we are all hearing the same things.

Right now, the key points of discussion center around getting our carnet approved for customs so that we can get our equipment into India, finalizing locations so that permits can be approved, deciding on where we are going to film the train segments, finalizing the few remaining actor deal memos, locking in our India budget and getting the American crew to India in a timely manner (and probably a dozen or so other important details that need attention now!).

We have locked our production start date and it will be Tuesday, August 3. So, that is two weeks from today and there is much to accomplish, but that is a very realistic date. Having that date set is imperative for locations, casting, etc. So, we move forward with more phone calls, emails and conference calls to that end.

I’m constantly reminded to “cast your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7. That is a daily, if not hourly prayer! Thanks for joining us on the journey and as Jon said, for your prayers as well.

Brent

Here is our Video Update:

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India Update July 16, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

I spent this morning with Beena and Manek, the Hyderabad locations manager.  We went to check out a location that I am interested in using.  He seemed reasonably sure it would be no problem.  Then we made a list of what he needs from us to secure “permissions” for the shoot.  Each location will need “permissions,” meaning that the local police and the land owner will have to sign off on our being able to use the place we have selected.  It is a little bit of a deal and can take up to 15 days to secure these “permissions”.

After we finished, we headed back to OM and stopped in the school yard to get Persis.  She is very cute.  We were able to spend a little bit of time on Skype with Shannon and my step daughter Lindsey.  Persis was very cute and extremely fidgety.  She seemed to like talking with the girls from so far away…then she saw herself in the picture window and started making funny faces and cutting up, much to the delight of Shannon and Lindsey.

Once back at the hotel, I went through the schedule and over the weekend I will continue to work on my shot list.  The work of actually making this film is just now getting started!

Until Monday…
Thanks again for praying for the project.  It is deeply appreciated!
J

Here is our Video Update:

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India Update July 15, 2010

JON’S UPDATE:

Kind of a quiet day.  I went to OM earlier than normal, since we had a few stops to make on the way.  I am looking for a suitable replacement for a location that, as it stands now, is 2 hour drive away from the city.  This is a problem for many reasons…but I we have to use that place unless I can find something that not only works better logistically, but thematically as well.  The sequence, as written, is very specific in what it needs to convey.  I would love to avoid the drive and save the four hours of travel! That could be a prayer request!:)  I found a place today that we had seen a year or so ago…it might work. Tomorrow we will go back with the location guy, to sort out ownership of the land and permission to shoot.   Location scouting with Beena is extremely entertaining!  She is so much fun to hang out with, very efficient and seemingly unflappable.  We drove up to a public dumpsite and she marched right up through all the giant trucks to find the guy in charge!

After that we head to OM.  I talked with Steven about money for the teacher for Persis…I think we found our guy!  That is a praise report:)  Then of course Persis came in! We played, had biscuits and tea and just hung out.  She gets more and more relaxed by the day!  The time I have spent hanging out with her…is such a gift from God and will pay off later in her performance on set.

Have a great day.

J

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BRENT’S UPDATE:

Talked with Steven at the end of the day yesterday and got great news.  He was walking out of the visa office in San Francisco with ALL of crew visas approved!  Now, we are full steam ahead to get the crew and cast to India and begin filming.  We’re still working on setting the dates for production, but have overcome some large hurdles for actually getting everyone to India.  This is great news!  Steven, Allan and I will meet tomorrow to go over the schedule and finalize some other details.  There is a lot to discuss, but we’re getting really close to making this movie.

I read over the latest draft of the script and sent my notes and thoughts to Jon.  It is really good.  I can visualize and feel it now, more than ever.  Having seen all of the locations, being in India again…immersed in the culture, it feels right.  If God blesses, this movie will make a difference.  It will change things.  That is something exciting and worth the huge effort that this has been – both emotionally and physically.  Say a quick prayer of thanks to God for bringing us this far and also a prayer that He continues to guide and protect this project.

Here is our video update with a few clips of Jon and Persis…

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