Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back in LA

Well, I'm back in LA. I spent two months in Jordan over the summer, my longest visit in over a decade. It was great. I got to attend a bunch of funerals, some big weddings, and prepare for a little film called Captain Abu Raed.

We did some location scouting and initiial casting. We met some 60 kids, many of whom are orphans. Leonard Shraeder, one of our teachers at AFI suggested I talk to orphanages when casting the kids, and he was dead on. There were some talented kids elsewhere, but the real deal, the eyes that could speak a million words were found in the summer camp for these poor orphanes. We found our Murad, and I really couldn't have found anyone more perfect. Thanks to our partners at Jordan Pioneers for arranging these auditions.

We also cast a few of the main roles. It's funny, up until the spring, I thought we would shoot the movie this summer, but it really needed to take its time in building the crew and preparing well ahead of time. We're going to shoot in the Spring, and I'm very happy about that.

I should also mention the company I spent the summer building with Isam Salfiti, the wonderful CEO of Union Bank. The man has a deep passion for cinema and the arts. It's a joy to sit with him and talk about movies every time. Basically, this will be Jordan's film studio. More on that later.

We're also about to launch the official web site for Capatin Abu Raed. So keep your eyes out for it, due sometime in September. I'm really excited about it, as there we will share information about the film and have a video diary of our progress leading up to the production. Should be lots of fun.