Jump to content

Shooting a movie - in India


Recommended Posts

I didn't know if I should share this here or not, but I feel like I'm building some kind of connection with some folks, so I figured, "why not?"

In nine days, I'm heading to India with a team of seminarians from my church. We're going to support the work of Good News for India, a national organization that works to equip, train, send and support pastors going to the largely-unreached Northern part of the country. We'll be doing a week of theological teaching in one of their training centers.

My job on the trip is to shoot a video promotional piece for GNFI. It'll be a 30-minute DVD exploring some of the things they do. I'll be shooting on MiniDV with a home video camera (Sony TRV-18) and edited on a Mac running Final Cut Express or Pro (we're still working that out) when we get home.

What's unique about this project, I think, is that we want to tell the story narratively, rather than using third-person and voice-overs by a deep-chested narrator. Every missions video I've ever seen has a rich baritone explaining what you are seeing on-screen, giving statistics and the like. Our vision is to shoot everything as a narrative, and tell the story using action and dialogue rather than narration. I'm not sure if we can pull it off, but that's what we're shooting for.

The camera will follow two of our team members - a married couple - before their trip to India (currently shooting), in India, where they will encounter people from various parts of GNFI's ministry and learn their stories, and then back home again, where we see how they've changed, and what they've learned.

This will be my biggest project ever - I've shot short bits before, and home movies, but this is 30 minutes long, and intentional rather than purely situational. And it's my first time outside North America. And I'm scared out of my gourd!! If anyone wanted to pray for the trip, and for the video project specifically, I'd deeply appreciate it. We leave Nov. 5, and come back Nov. 15.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Crimson, this sounds amazing. I'll be praying for your travels and the project as well. Please keep us informed as it moves along and share your adventures with us.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your group & your project will be in our prayers. India is part of my family history, so it has a special place in my heart.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds very exciting! You and your team will be in my prayers. Can't wait to hear more.

And remember...if you have a choice between making bricks and visiting a temple, well, stick with the bricks, friend.

Oops, wrong thread. tongue.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

And remember...if you have a choice between making bricks and visiting a temple, well, stick with the bricks, friend. 

Oops, wrong thread. tongue.gif

laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

Good one, Diane! Our angst in the absence of AR will soon be eased .....

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds very exciting! You and your team will be in my prayers. Can't wait to hear more.

And remember...if you have a choice between making bricks and visiting a temple, well, stick with the bricks, friend.

Oops, wrong thread. tongue.gif

Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

laughing hysterically! Although, i wouldn't care about being bald. You probably haven't seen my picture in my personal profile, but I'm no shaggy-headed model Ken-doll boy.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites
Good one, Diane! Our angst in the absence of AR will soon be eased .....

I come back from India on Monday the 15th, and the new Amazing Race starts on the 16th. What a "welcome home"!

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Way to go, crimson -- enjoy your trip. Don't forget to take your camera! w00t.gif

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Way to go, crimson -- enjoy your trip. Don't forget to take your camera!  w00t.gif

Or the film. cool.gif

Subtlety is underrated
Link to post
Share on other sites

Or to take the lens cap off...

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

This shoot does sound exciting. After having recently seen Born Into Brothels I can tell you that the busyness of the streets, the people, the colors and the lucious blue of the sky will make for some excellent composition backdrops.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone. If you're interested in praying, here's a day by day breakdown of the trip:

Thursday (tomorrow) - Please pray for our travel, as we go from Boston - Paris - Delhi

Friday - We lose 10.5 hours of today by crossing time zones, and the rest of the day is spent in travel. Please pray for BOB, our team leader today. May God give him wisdom to lead us well.

Saturday - Please pray for "sleep grace", as we have about 3 hours to sleep, then take a LONG train ride to Bhopal. Please pray especially for me today, as sleep is one of my major concerns on the trip,

Sunday - Today, I'll be doing quite a bit of video shooting. Please pray that I get all the shots I will need. We'll be going to church twice today, as well. Please pray for CHARLES and SARAH, the two "stars" of our video. May they do and say what will best communicate this ministry to people here in the US.

Monday - In the morning, the team will be teaching a class on "The Attributes of God". In the afternoon, I'll be shooting video. Please pray for CHARLES and STEVE, who'll be doing much of today's teaching.

Tuesday - Lots of training and teaching will go on today, as we teach on "The Person and Work of Christ" Please pray for KARINA and TIMOTHY (my wife and son, not on the trip) back home, as today could be a long day for them.

Wednesday - I will do my only teaching of the trip, as I teach on "The Person of the Holy Spirit." Please pray for me, and for LEANN, who will be teaching women ministry leaders all week long.

Thursday - We'll be teaching on persecution and on God's provision. Please pray for BOB, who will be teaching pastors this week.

Friday - We'll be teaching on reaching out to your non-Hindu neighbors. Please pray for SARAH, who is nervous about teaching today.

Saturday - A train ride, and we'll be seeing the Taj Mahal! Please pray for our safety, and that the Word we have sown will grow deep roots and bear much fruit.

Sunday - Church in the morning, then we board a plane in Delhi. Please pray for BOB and LEANN, who are staying in India for another two weeks doing more teaching.

Monday - 7-hour layover in Paris, then home to Boston. Please pray for our re-entering into families and classes and regular weekly duties.

Tuesday - I start classes again at 8:00 in the morning. Please pray for me to have stamina to return to my "normal" grind.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck to you, crimson. May God bless all your efforts.

Subtlety is underrated
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a schedule! Thanks for sharing with us, crimsonline. We'll miss you around these parts. Godspeed!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Just a note to say that I'm back safely, and am grateful for all of your prayers. I shot more than 19 hours of videotape, and have a mountain of work to do just to catalogue what's there, before I can even start editing.

That, plus My schoolwork is still here, right where I left it - who'da thunk it? - means that any footage is unlikely to be seen by folks for a while.

India is - well, it's INDIA. It's beautiful, inspiring, frightening, and filthy. It's poverty and hope and the power of God. It's ministry and mission and home and beloved and all that is good. It's demonic and crippled and foreign and antagonistic and all that is hard.

What struck me most of all was that India is a place. It has trees and grass and animals and people. It is a hard, firm, material place. I don't know what I expected, but the REALITY of India was striking. Maybe I've watched too many movies/too much TV. But I slept in a bed. There were mosquitos. I ate toast. I drank tea. I shook hands. I prayed. I read the Bible. I shot video. It was real. And that was strange.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to hear! Did you get some great shots? Were there any highlight moments? Will you get a chance to log any footage or work on some semblance of a script while it's still fresh in your mind? And isn't it amazing to see home and family again after being so far away? (How'd they make out while you were away, BTW?)

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Great to hear! Did you get some great shots? Were there any highlight moments? Will you get a chance to log any footage or work on some semblance of a script while it's still fresh in your mind? And isn't it amazing to see home and family again after being so far away? (How'd they make out while you were away, BTW?)

Tim, I really don't know if I got great shots or not - I have had no time even to go back and look! I know I worked hard to be as creative as time and resources allowed. I am pretty sure I don't have the footage to accomplish my original goal - a completely narrative approach, telling it as a story without voiceovers. My current plan is to work it "Amazing Race" style, where I show the action, and cut to commentary from the people in the scenes, using their VO as an explanatory device. We'll see how it goes in the editing booth.

I still need to catch up on my sleep before I'll even be in a position to write a script. I want to see what I have on tape first.

It is GREAT to see family and home - being a full-time missionary is definitely not my vocation. My family had some rough patches while I was gone. My mom had a seizure, and my wife was pretty stretched in taking care of everything in my absence. But we have a great community here at the Seminary that made meals for them, and looked in on them. They made it through.

Now I just have to get caught up on sleep and schoolwork, and then I'll be able to get cracking on the editing of the movie.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back, Crimsonline! Just in time for Amazing Race. smile.gif

Glad to hear you had a positive experience. India is on my "must-see" list of places to go.

Did you stay in the Dehli area, or did you visit more remote places? I have a little girl I sponsor through World Vision who lives in one of the northern provinces, and I'd love to get the chance to visit her project.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I hope things are going well.

Subtlety is underrated
Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome back, Crimsonline!  Just in time for Amazing Race.  smile.gif 

...

Did you stay in the Dehli area, or did you visit more remote places?  I have a little girl I sponsor through World Vision who lives in one of the northern provinces, and I'd love to get the chance to visit her project.

I'm sorry to hear about your mom.  I hope things are going well.

Last night, I was so tired I had to go to bed before the Race aired. !! I didn't sleep the four nights before my arrival in the US, and I have a lot of catching up to do.

We landed in Delhi, but left the next day for Bhopal. We spent over a week in Bhopal, and then returned to Delhi with a day-long stop in Agra. We spent another day and a half in Delhi before flying home.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back, crimsonline. I'm so glad you has a safe trip, and it sounds fascinating, too!

I hope your mother is doing well. She'll be in my prayers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm still miles away from actually editing the movie (it'll be at least a week before I can start thinking about it) with final exams and all. But I thought I'd post a pic of me in India.

This is what I call my "National Geographic StudBoy" picture... smile.gif

(Yes, that's the Taj Mahal in the background. The photo is taken from Agra Fort, which is basically just next door to the Taj, but is IMHO more impressive, in its own way, than the Taj.)

(I hope this works!)

user posted image

You can view my whole photo album (well, the first part of it anyway) at:

My Ofoto.com album.

The slideshow option displays my comments under each photo.

Edited by crimsonline
In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've put up a second album of photos, at Ofoto.com. Both albums cover the same time period, but were from different peoples' cameras. A third album will be up in time.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

And finally, the Third Series of India pictures.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...