I wrote a blog article last month but never got round to finishing it. But I thought everyone deserved an update. We’ve just shifted to a new season this past month which is really exciting. Our first season was pre-production when we were back in East London. Then, of course, we spent quite a while travelling and collecting content for this film. Our first 2 – 3 months in Israel was primarily filled with post-production tasks. Not so much editing, put there is a lot that goes into post besides editing, on a big project like this. Now we’re shifting focus onto shooting the scripted / fictional component of our film. Lastly we’ll complete post-production: editing, score, sound design, etc.
We’ve had a few great opportunities over the past two months. After trying several times, we managed to get to sit down and chat with Canon Andrew White. He’s very busy and quite spontaneous so it’s hard to schedule time with him. A great man, with an amazing story.
We also managed to organise an interview with a man by the name of Georges Housney. This was done remotely, with the help of Horizons International, as he is based in the US. We spent many hours over the past year listening to Georges’ sermons and he has greatly influenced our thoughts on reaching out to Muslims. The interview was really interesting and will be useful in the edit!
Other than that we have spent around 3 and half weeks in Jordan. This was supposed to be to spend time with Andrew Whites’ organisation working with Iraqi refugees in Jordan, however the timing didn’t work out in the end. However our time there was very useful nun-the-less. We spent our time in Amman (the capital of Jordan) working on our script and trying to make decisions regarding our fictional short for the film. We worked on a mood board and a new synopsis in order to submit the short as an entry to a film competition. For me, the city itself had an impact on our creative process and was a source of inspiration.
Other than that we spent some time volunteering on a farm in Jordan. Volunteering is great for us as it keeps a roof over out head and food on our plates. I had a lot of time to work on my Arabic whiles on the farm. I think my vocabulary quadrupled whiles there. We shot some promotional content for our host as part of his submission for a grant, I built a dog house for the new puppy, we painted, helped out a little with the farming and Anneen spent some time building relationships with the Syrian refugees living next door to the farm.
Just before we came back to Israel we spent a day exploring a wadi (gorge) which was fun. Very hot day, but in the shade of the gorge and with the water it was much more managable.
So where does that leave us now?
Well our next focus is to get this fictional short shot. We have a script that’s 98% complete. We need to complete a storyboard and director’s notes. In a weeks time we’re moving to a volunteering project that is based in Nazareth. We’re trying to build relationships with a couple of churches there in order to find some potential actors and collaborators. This is our biggest need right now. Nazareth is ideal because it’s an Arab town and there is a big Christian community to pull from. We’re not sure exactly if this is going to work out so we’re also working on a plan B. Plan B would be to try and source our props and exterior shots from around Nazareth and rather shoot the short back in Cape Town.
Shooting the short in Cape Town will in some ways be more challenging but in other ways easier. It’s going to be more difficult to get the look we want but it’s going to be easier to find collaborators. So if you’re based in Cape Town, watch this space. We might be looking out for some actors and others willing to help out with locations, sound, carrying equipment, etc. I’m hoping that it will be fun for people involved whether that be in Nazareth or Cape Town.
A couple points of praise:
1) We got another 3 month visa for Israel with no questions asked. We hear so many people struggling with the Israel authorities in this regard and we’ve really experienced favour.
2) We’ve received some very generous donations over the past 2 weeks. Once again, God providing at just the right time.
3) The South African rand has strengthened a bit which means flights are looking cheaper than they were a couple of months ago.
4) We have free accommodation back in South Africa to complete our post production once we’re busy shooting our short.
Thanks for everyone that’s supporting our project or otherwise interested!
All the best,