Monthly Archives: October 2009

Brent

Hello again fellow travelers on the Not Today film project train. Glad to have you with us. Brent has been in India for the last week. We have this crazy long email chain going back and forth…I have consistently chosen to use a different color to mark my newest thoughts while Brent chooses to stay BLUE. I will let you draw your own conclusions:)

We discuss everything from shooting in continuity, to stage versus real location work, to make-up to second AD’s and camera crew. It is taxing and entertaining but the type of dialogue that is very common between a director and his producer…which I want to take a moment to brag on “my producer” for a minute. Brent has really come into his own on this project. Not sure who if anyone reads this, so I will acquaint you with Brent a bit. He is an amazing talent on stage. We first met when I volunteered to help out at our old church for a Christmas show…which I loved and I heard later he got railed on by the church leadership! Sounds like a church. That particular show was fun, energetic and exciting to watch and even more fun to be a part of the inner workings. That is how we met. Sometime later, I asked Brent if he knew anyone who wrote…I was looking for a writing partner. He said “yes.” I was thrilled. Well the writer he knew turned out to be…well him. So we wrote together. Then we formed a company together. Now I get to watch him teach, learn, lead and follow depending on the situation. My personality is such that I spend most of my time not with people. I wouldn’t say I don’t like them…but, it would be safe to say that sometimes I would rather work with animals. I have been told that at times…I am not very easy to work with. I wouldn’t say that but, I would say that when I work on set, I am very intense and focused. Simply put, Brent allows me to be that type of person, because he is outgoing, personable and so much fun that I don’t have to be any of those things!! He is always looking out for others and taking the higher road when I might prefer to tell someone to take a hike. In fact, he has almost singlehandedly kept this film project on the rails when many others would have said forget it and would have either lead it down the wrong track or let it jump the track all together. We tend to joke that naming our company a scripture verse was probably the worst decision we have ever made…because we actually have to live it when things get nasty!! We have to “walk by faith, NOT BY SIGHT” when I [ especially,] would most times rather go toe to toe and fight it out. Especially if I know we are right…but, Brent will step in and say let’s pray about this and wait and see. He is the calmer of the two of us…and that alone…truth be told, has probably saved this project. Anyway, what was I even saying? Oh yeah, it is great to see him coming into his own as a company owner and producer. He is the one guy I like to argue with because, like family, he can’t tell me to take a hike!

Not sure if any of the above paragraph makes sense and I am way too tired to re read it. So if it doesn’t, sorry. If it does, then…there you go.

Back to the film…we are casting, sending out offers, going over the budget, Brent, Alan and Steven [who I have also grown to love] are in India, like I said, trying to sort out the permits, locations, crew, gear etc…while I am home talking to Cristi about wardrobe, Bev about casting and Abe about lenses and textures. Everyone is busy.

I miss Chris and Denise. I never like it when we don’t connect with them weekly. They are such a huge part of this whole project. Chris texted me today…even that is nice. I can always count on having fun when they are part of the equation.

Wow, this is sort of a mushy blog. Sorry. Just want to make sure that the people who are working so hard to make this film know how much their effort, hard work, skill and attitude is appreciated and valued…Brent, Alan, Steven, Joth, Cristi, Chris and Denise, Stephen Martin, all of our OM friends… and everyone else who continues to pray for God’s blessing on Not Today.

Be well and next time I will include some of that crazy long, multicolored email stream between me here and Brent in India. Just so you can see how sane he is and how completely insane I appear to be!

Until next time.
God Bless
J

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Director’s Update

Tuesday. Brent leaves for India today with Steven and Alan. I set him up with a list of things to try and accomplish [scene’s to use for casting, questions for IJM and for Om staff etc]. We had a great meeting last Friday with Brent, Abe, Steven, Alan and Joth. Spent about 4 hours going over details and discussing the game plan. Seems there is a bit of a budget issue that Brent is sorting through right now. I don’t envy him. I am thrilled to be thinking about directing the film now. The script is locked, the schedule is being sorted out. I expressed to Joth and the rest of the guys That I wanted to shoot in continuity once we land in India. My reasons are simple and seemed to make sense to everyone. I want to take the characters on this real journey as it might actually happen. Day by day. It is not traditional film making but it is how I think I need to make this film. They get it.

It is interesting to finally be running…we are finally a fully functioning train moving forward. We are getting into details of the shoot. Props, stunts, set dressing, security, location managers, producers here and in India…etc. The goal now is to keep moving forward an to not lose anyone along the way.

We will be starting to cast this coming week. Bev is finishing up her last show and is about to dive headlong into our project. I will be a part of that from the first step to save time. With the holidays fast approaching we need God to once again smile on us and provide the right actors for the job in a short amount of time. Glad it is His project.
I sent Brent a link to a young actress that my wife had seen perform at the revolve tour this past weekend in Ontario. She is quit good and would be worth seeing for the roll of Audrey. He agreed and will forward the info to Bev to bring her in. In case he didn’t Bev, here is your heads up:)

I feel really good about Alan and Steven. They are professional, exceptional at what they do and they are fun guys to hang with. I look forward to spending more time getting to know them and working along side them. Same goes for all of our crew so far. There is not one person we have hired who is not sold out to the project and fully committed to make a great film. That is super exciting.

Spent some time with Stephen and Shannon Martin last night discussing a short film I wrote based loosely on Stephen’s organ donor experience. I wanted to get their take on it. Stephen read it offered some suggestions which I implemented then read it again last night and liked it again. All good. Shannon is supposed to read it this evening. Since it is based more on their situation than their experience walking through it, I will be interested in her thoughts. I needed more drama than they had going through the ordeal so I heightened everything. I hope it works! Right now it is called SELAH – which means to weight or measure something. Not sure I will have the money to shoot it but it has been a good exercise in writing either way.

We should be getting a comp of the poster art this week or next so that is exciting.
I am really looking forward to casting. Working with passionate and talented actors is one of the things I love about directing. Especially on this project where so much is at stake. The goals are huge. The ramifications are far reaching. We just need to give our best and let God drive. That is the daily mantra. Keeping my hands lightly on the wheel, knowing I am the child play driving while God is the patient father allowing me to feel like I am actually doing something. I remain grateful for all that we have been through and have encountered on the journey that is this film. I look forward to seeing how things play out.

Last Monday night we had an amazing prayer meeting. Thirty or so people showed up and it was pretty great. If you missed it, check the web site for the next one. It is great to hear one voice, in the disguise of thirty passionate, caring people, being lifted up to God seeking his wisdom and asking for his guidance. It was neat for sure. I expect more in the future.

Anyway I think that is it for now. I am sure Brent will be blogging from India and I hope he pesters Alan and Steven to blog a little from their perspective as well.
So, if you remember and have a moment, please pray for them as they travel, and for us as we stay here and start casting.

Until we next speak.
Be well
J

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We finished the script!

Let’s see…so we finally LOCKED the script!  Yahoo!!!!  After going back and forth and getting some great notes from Chris, Denise, Mark and Brent, the script is finished…at least enough so everyone is happy/comfortable sending it out.  So, now it goes back to Sony and to Bev for casting and to Alan and Steven for a full breakdown and schedule.  I have just started breaking down the script from a director’s perspective.  I will go through it scene by scene in Final Draft [writing software] and make lens choice, shot, blocking notes for Abe.   It will be a lot of me processing the story and the aesthetic I have had in my head for the last year while writing the script.  Now, it all needs to come out.
Here is a screen shot of what that looks like:

Screen shot of script note


Then we will meet, many times and nail down a “look” and texture/feel for the film.  Abe is still testing platforms [RED, SI-2K, etc, etc] and looks.  I will join him in that process now that the writing is finished.  I still want to go with Cooke lenses but beyond that, everything is open for discussion…and there will be a ton of those coming up.

The human trafficking conference is this weekend.  Brent and Jessica are going.  A God thing that it is in our neck of the woods.

Anyway, not too much to report but, I wanted to pass on a quick hello and short update.  More to follow as things heat up. Be well and thanks again for keeping us in your prayers.

Also, our prayer meeting is this coming Monday night.  Check out the website for time and place.

Till next time

J

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