Backstory: For six months, I worked on contacting our broadcast partners and others who had been interested in doing one of our Bible stories video projects in another language to arrange a foreign language shoot for the Go Borderless event. After many disappointments and what seemed to be spiritual opposition, I discovered that two guys were coming from Bangladesh to the Go Borderless 10 day training event. We exchanged the script and started planning for them to stay an extra week for the editing process etc. I was so relieved to finally have something locked down and something that would touch so many lives. I was to direct the shoot so I had been out scouting locations, the direction of the sun at various times of day, etc. We would take half the team and shoot half of the man on cameras segments one day and the following day finish them with the other half of the team. Everyone would experience a field shoot and at the same time we'd have another product done in another language. So finally it was all coming together.
Then two weeks before the shoot, we got word that the Spanish embassy had denied the Bengali men's visas to attend Go Borderless. We sent appeals called, faxed. The embassy wouldn't budget. Now with only two weeks to go I was starting over.
The first thing I was sure about was it had to be someone local - we couldn't ask anyone to fly in at the last minute. So I called one of the Christian production houses that also does a drug rehab ministry that is based in Spain. In my unpretty Spanish and his bumpy English, Dani and I talked. He did have someone who could do the man on camera parts. He was busy that day and said send him an email. I had our resident organizer, Spanish speaker, and lawyer - Silvia verify with him. Yes, yes, everything was fine, but he was always too busy to talk it through.
The day of the shoot: I'm organizing the team of Go Borderless volunteers, the equipment is getting loaded in the Speed the Light van for transport to an old village nearby. A man named Javi shows up dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. I start putting make up on him in preparation to go to our location. We are talking, in Spanish, I'm explaining what the day will involve. He thinks it's weird I'm putting make up on him. I try to say we always do this for talent. After we get him done, he is on the phone. I thought he was dressed casually but Dani would be using this for broadcast so I assumed he sent Javi with the casual look on purpose. Javi has told me he is usually a camera man.
We load up and get ready to leave and Javi is still on the phone. We get there and start setting up the equipment on our first of four locations for the day. We are ready to start shooting and I finally understand Javi. He is not a talent/on camera person. He has been on the phone trying to get his boss to send out David who usually does this kind of thing. No wonder Javi thought it was weird I was putting makeup on a camera man.
But we need to start shooting. We are all set up, on location, ready. So I make Javi do the first take. I don't know if David is going to show up ever much less now. After one take, we have to reset some lights and teleprompter things and a car screeches up near us. A man, David, in a suit jumps out. This is the guy. Somewhere we miscommunicated with Dani or he did with someone else. So I'm in the middle of the street in this village putting make up on David (Thankfully, we'd brought it with us!)
David was very good at the man on camera talent and the shoot went really well. Until location #3. A week previously I'd checked this location. Silvia had filed a permit with the town to shoot. Suddenly, the day we need to shoot, they are loudly putting metal scaffolding up in front of the old cathedral. I adjust the shoot plan and we squeeze a shot in that doesn't include scaffolding. AND we do it while the scaffolding men are at lunch - or we would have had no audio whatsoever.
It was a crazy day. I've never had talent change midstream like this. The Spanish version of Path of Jesus was completed and used by the local broadcaster here in Spain who also has stations in South America. In addition, it is being shared with Assemblies of God churches in Spain and that is just the beginning.