Monthly Archives: May 2010

Director’s Update

So here we sit, one more week has passed and…a ton of work and progress has been made. We are booking flights, and everything else that goes with the controlled chaos that is making a movie…or getting ready to go make a movie anyway. So, YES it is a good week. We are moving forward for sure. We have announced the cast!!  Check them out, follow them on twitter, see their other work…they are all amazingly talented actors and actresses! I am excited and grateful to each one of them for their involvement. I anticipate nothing but greatness coming from each of them…great positive energy, great acting talent, great chemistry…especially with Cody and Sarah! When you guys get to experience what we all saw in the audition between those two…you will believe they have been dating for years!! They all share a passion for this cause and have agreed to dive in and give God their absolute best on this project. Our goal is simply, to make the best movie that we are capable of making because God does deserve our best. So, needless to say, I am thrilled with each and every actor chosen. They are all unique and I am certain you will be captivated as you watch this film…at least that is my goal….to bring out the very best in each of them…to identify their strengths and play to them…to isolate their weaknesses and stretch them, helping them grow…to frustrate them and console them. Basically, doing whatever is necessary to get the most riveting performances that this set of actors that God has assembled for such a time as this, are capable of giving…and I am thrilled to have this task laid out before me.

I have also started storyboarding a little with Abe…a little with a new friend, Josh Lam…and a little with a very old friend, Dan Hamilton. Abe and I started with very rudimentary boards, just to have an idea of what I am looking for. Then he found Josh, who I primarily work with via “go to meeting” and “iChat.” This way he can be at his house and I can be at work or home and we can work together. I can see his screen, so I can guide him and he can see me, as I stand on a chair trying to show him how I see Kavya’s hand grasping her dad’s pant cuff!

Just got back from meeting with Cody and Walid. They are both super excited and ready to dive into the film. I gave them both some homework and set a time to meet again before I head out for India. Things are finally in high gear…or “accelerated” as a friend likes to say.
Cody has a band, Fairlene, and they are releasing their first single next week…so, check out his website and support him please!! Cody also has the cutest dog I have seen a long time BTW. Spent a lot of time on the phone with Jessica today. She is our catchall media guru and social networking person and currently acting as a personal assistant to three or four people!! Not to mention she has twin toddler boys at home!! She is busy for sure! It is great for me to be able to turn over stuff and focus on what I need to be doing at the moment. Now is when things get nuts for me…but in a really good way!! This is play time. This is what we have all been waiting for…it seems God has finally granted us permission to go make HIS film. I love this kind of busy…productive, creative busy.

Meanwhile Brent, Steven, Allan, Chris and Denise are the kind of busy that would make me insane!! The organizing kind of busy…the nuts and bolts of making things happen…visa, plane trips, table reads, budget issues, equipment lists…blah blah blah…no thanks. We are lucky to have such a team surrounding this project…willing and praying it into existence. So far so good…
Oh yeah…while at Cody’s house…he played his new song (he actually played the piano part for us live on his beautiful white piano)… then, when he stopped playing, Walid started playing another song. Seems they are both musicians! Cool.

Anyway, so keep praying and watching…new things happening daily.
Thanks
J

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Cast Announcement

We are excited to finally announce our cast for Not Today! These amazing and gifted actors have patiently waited with us for this day and here it is! I hope that as you look at each one, you’ll begin to pray for them and the impact that they will have as a part of this project. Check back in the next week or so for a personal message from each of them and their thoughts on being involved with Not Today.

Cody Longo as Ezekiel

Click here for Cody’s IMDB Bio

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Walid Amini as Bhupinder

Click here for Walid’s IMDB Bio

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Sarah Habel as Audrey

Click here for Sarah’s IMDB Bio

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Shari Wiedmann as Sarah

Click here for Shari’s IMDB Bio

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Wilson Bethel as Bill

Click here for Wilson’s IMDB Bio

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Preston Davis as Z-Roy

Click here for Preston’s IMDB Bio

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Justin Baldoni as Eli

Click here for Justin’s IMDB Bio

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Director’s Update

Just got my BLOG reminder and of course happen to be in the Wednesday meeting…as usual!!  Great timing Jess 🙂  So what is happening?  This week, there actually IS something happening.  Not sure I can officially say all that is happening, but things are finally happening!

Big meetings…none that I am in but, big meetings none the less have been going on behind the scenes both here and in India.  Sid, George, Chris, Denise, Brent, Steven and Allan all have been on full alert trying to make this permit process come together.  Language and time differences are magnified ten fold over the phone.  To hear Steven talk about some of these conversations, is laugh out loud funny.

Steven and Allan are here again today for more meetings.  They, along with Brent, are discussing timelines and people actually traveling to India. Cool.  Still staying a bit reserved though…we shall see if this is the time God wants us to be in India.  The irony of shooting in the worst possible month and in fact, the one month of the year people say DO NOT go to India will be when we are there shooting, is not lost on any of us!

Oh well.  Pain is temporary, film is forever.  I will be happy to be there shooting whatever the conditions are.

Tomorrow, I will spend the day with Abe looking at footage from a 5D.  This is the newest and coolest way to shoot films, the only problem is that I haven’t seen any footage that I actually like yet!  Steven likes it – it saves a ton of money. Abe likes it – it is easier to use and much faster.  I want to like it..but as yet, don’t.  Hopefully, I will see something tomorrow that changes my mind.

I am excited about the idea of working with the actors.  Working with actors is my fun on set.  I love watching them create and make words on the page come to life…usually in unique and interesting ways…and sometimes not anywhere close to how I may have be thinking when writing those words.  That is when it gets really fun.
That is when I know an actor has claimed that part…that is it no longer something that I can speak to with ultimate authority.  That they have become the character they were cast to play…when they can tell me how that character would react in certain circumstances or what they would wear or say.  I get the best seat in the house to watch that happening…exciting stuff.

Anyway I think that is about it for today.  Hopefully when you read the next blog, it will have a full cast list and a start date!

As always, thanks for your prayers and continued support.

J

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Director’s Update

Another Wednesday…another blog!

Got a surprise call this morning at home from Denise. Her and Chris are such neat people. It was a pleasant surprise to hear from her. Seems she wanted to talk permit and to just say hi. She is sweet. Then her phone died and so I called Chris and left him a message, he called back so I got to talk to him as well. A good way to start the morning…after my bike ride. 6:30am ride…cold and hard…mostly climbing. Rode with Dan. He has been riding almost every day for the last week. He pulls me along.

Let’s see…not much new. Seems we might be getting closer. Last week, I spoke to two of our main actors…both are good and still excited to be involved. I am equally excited about their involvement. That is one thing I am certain of…we have a great cast assembled. That is a huge part of my job as the director…cast and the DP. Those two elements are in place and I am excited and ready to dive in.

Trying to remember if anything else came up this past week. It has been relatively quiet…there is a ton of activity behind the scenes…Brent, Steven, Allan, Chris and Denise are all working hard to make this film happen once we get our permit…some of them are working both on getting the permit and what will happen after we get our permit. I am grateful to all of them for their time and effort. Meanwhile, I am trying to remain focused on the job of directing. The writing is finished…well kind of. The script will evolve as we [me and the actors] start to break it down and unravel each character, but for now it is good. Abe and I will continue to story board the film when time permits. I will now start reading over the script, again and again and again to saturate my brain with the details and nuances contained within the 114 pages. I will also begin to identify the visual information as well as to refine the shot selections. This will continue throughout the production.

I am trying to temper my focus. If I get fully engaged, the delays are super frustrating so I have learned through this long delay to not get too engaged…and therefore I don’t get too bummed. Once we get a permit and have some travel set plans, then I will fully engage and focus. That is where I function well. I like the intensity and energy on a film set. I miss that most from my “old life.” [pre church media director job] A film set, when run by a good leader, is the greatest place to be…it is like Disneyland to me. It always has been and I am anxious to get back to that place. All that to say, we may have some good news early next week for all of you who have taken this long ride and who have stood by us!!

Until then, be well…keep praying and stay tuned.

Just wanted to add that Brent and I just had lunch with Ron, Tina and their friend Aaron, a pastor from Bellingham, Washington. Great time. Shannon, my wife stopped by to say hello as well. Tonight we are having a prayer meeting with Aaron for the film. Should be a great time. 7pm in the green room behind the Worship Center at Friends Church in Yorba Linda. The Address is: 5141 Highland Ave, Yorba Linda, CA Just show up if you are in the area…or can be in the area. A great time of fellowship with some truly great people.

J

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Director’s Update

5.5.10

Let’s see…in our morning meeting…again, writing my blog.  Just seems like a good environment for me to write in.:)  Hope everyone is well.  I have had a few people come up to me and ask me if I am doing well…they read my last blog and it sounded down.  That surprised me…like I said, I never re-read my blogs or even read them for that matter.  I tend to write like I am writing a screenplay first draft…I just write, and write, and write…only with this blog I don’t go back and re-write.  With all of that to say, I am doing fine. I am thankful for the prayers and very glad so many of you are still reading!  I wrote a PSA [public service announcement] for Not for Sale (a great organization leading the fight against human trafficking…check them out!!) just for my own amusement and because I NEED to shoot something.

I wrote a few ideas and one full 10 minute short.  Jessica worked on them a bit with me.  Cool.  Now, I need to refine them and figure out how to shoot them.  I am also working on two other screenplays.  Both are low, micro budget film projects that I would self-finance and do with friends.  I need to keep my creative wheels spinning while this Not Today stuff gets sorted out.

Brent has been gone the last ten days or so.  He is in Washington DC and New York with his son Will for his 8th Grade class trip.  Sounds cool.  I am guessing he is having fun…and you can check out Brent’s Facebook page for some great pictures of their trip! With him gone, there is not much news on the film.  I got an update last week…I think…it was same “we are working on it” or “it is in progress” as always.  God is doing something here and I have completely given in to His timeline.  We will go when He decides we will go.  We will shoot in India if He wills it.  If not, we will shoot somewhere else.  Either way is fine with me.

Garrett has another baseball game tonight and the kids come home for the next five days.  They spent the last five days with their dad.  We have them every other week and it is always good when they come home.  Everything else is good…Thank God for health, my wife, my step kids, family, employment, good friends, a place to live etc etc etc…so much to be thankful for.

Hope you guys are having a great week as well.
When I know something, you guys will know something!

Thanks for reading
J

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