Simple Pleasures

I've been feeling slightly blah about the film because while we have raised a chunk of financing, we still have more to go. We have lots of leads, but it's slow in terms of things biting. I know the tide will turn, but sometimes, you truly feel like you are hitting your head against the wall, which sucks, of course. Today, I was having one of those "life sucks" moments, basically because I was feeling like nothing would ever move forward... And then, a very small moment brightened my day... Daal. Yes, seems a little silly, but I've made daal several different ways over the years and it never seems to taste, quite right. But this summer, I've discovered a nifty tool called a pressure cooker. My mom's been telling me to use it for years, but I never did until this past summer when my friend's mother showed me how to use it. And guess what? I made daal with it today and it came out to be heavenly. The perfect texture and taste, truly making me feel like anything is possible. Small moments, indeed...

On a completely different note, The East Bay Express did a story about Indian films being made in the East Bay, and there's a small bit about us in it. Here's the story:
Namastey East Bay


From Script to Screen

Last week, Megha and I spent four very long and intense days scouting locations in Marin, Oakland and then Humboldt County. Raspberry Magic takes place in Oregon, but on our low budget, it would be tough to actually shoot it in Oregon. So, we've been pondering corners of the Bay area which would work well for the story, and have decided on several places that we really like. Having spent years (and years) writing this screenplay and developing the sense of place in it, it's so interesting to take something that's in your head, like a magical forest, then make it real. For example, we checked out several Redwood forests, and then when we went up to Humboldt, there was also an amazing Sequoia forest. The challenge in all of this is finding locations that I pictured, but also keeping it practical so the shoot is as tight as possible. In that vein, I truly like the magic of the Humboldt County forest/trees, but then if we're just staging a small corridor to feel magical, do we really need to move the entire cast/crew up to Humboldt? We're lucky on this film because there really aren't many locations, so if we can find them all in one small area (which I believe we did), then we'll save lots of money, and can really concentrate/focus on getting excellent performances, which is most important to me, along with the overall visual look/feel. We feel pretty lucky because there is an amazing spirit around indie film in the Bay area that will really and truly help us as we hire cast and crew, and just generally make the film happen!


Fortuna, CA

What the hell is an "Oriental Buffet," and what are these 120 items they speak of???


What I've Been Up To

I can't believe it's already mid-summer, time seems to be going so fast these days. Usually in the summer, I teach a class or two and have various projects I've working on in terms of freelance work, whether it's writing or in the video/multimedia realm. But this summer, I decided to take a break from those things and instead focus on writing and making this film happen. Time seems to be going so fast, but here is what I've been up to:

Writing: I'm always writing new material and have like the next five scripts I want to put together in mind. But currently, I've got a political piece I've been obsessed with. I think it's a great concept with a lot of potential, but I'm stuck on certain things, and have been spending long hours on re-writing certain sections. Ughh, if only my mental process would align and the fog of questions would clear. I think it will after this nice little 4th of July holiday I've just had.

Filmmaking: I have a singular, all-consuming goal right now, which is to make Raspberry Magic before the year is out. Here is where we are at:

Financing: We have raised a pretty nice chunk of our financing, but we have a little more to go. We have been meeting with people and hustling pretty hard to make it all come together, but raising money is no easy process. We're getting there, slowly but surely.

Locations: Next week, we're going on a locations scouting trip all week. We're checking out the Bay area and Humbolt and doing a cost-benefit analysis on where it's going to be better to shoot. I'm especially excited about Marin, the scout up there really seems to know what she is doing.

Casting: We have some interesting attachments set up for the adult cast, but the kids are the tricky part. We've been reading some fantastic young girls lately, and are hoping to pin the right one down before the summer is out. Casting kids is a very interesting process, but I'll talk more about that soon enough. We've def. been meeting some very, cute kids, though!