In May of 2012, Storyspark and Transposition Films headed to the northern provinces of India to capture the story of Mia Kumari, a fashion stylist. While Mia’s story is yet to come, this is a peek at a bit of the footage we filmed along the way, edited together by Storyspark. Enjoy!
Filmed on Red Epic & Scarlet
Music by Chris Zabriskie
The Media Team is back from India and feeling fantastic. It was a whirlwind adventure and at times, a bit of a struggle to fit in everything we wanted to get done; on God’s grace we managed and have some amazing footage to sort through. This will be a long process for us as Trevor and the guys of Transposition Films need to get back to work to pay the bills; the hope is that this film will be completed in Spring, next year. Please forgive us now as I tell you that we won’t divulge too much to you about everything that happened in our time away; the best stories are the ones with surprises inside.
Below are a few shots I grabbed off of Nick and Josh’s iPhones while we were laid over in London. There are some pics of Varanasi and the last night we spent with Mia and her friends in Delhi. Thank you so much for all of your support in this endeavor!!
We spent most of our time in Ladahk between the markets in downtown Leh and a few remote areas just south of Leh. It was absolutely beautiful up there and we were all so glad that we got to experience it. The terrain felt a lot like a cross between Death Valley and Mars; check out these shots from Ryan’s iPhone.
The drive from Manali to Delhi was… well, it was a 12-hour minivan-ride in a land where there are lines painted on the road — but they don’t really mean anything, they’re more like “guidelines”; using your horn is a way to let other drivers know you’re coming up on them and they’d better move out of your way; blinkers have many uses — but rarely to let others know that you’re turning; women ride sidesaddle as passengers on motorbikes — without helmets, in traditional Indian dress; delivery trucks are individually painted in circus-like colors and adorned with tassels, sparkly garland, and light-hearted verses; blind corners don’t equate to a no-passing zone. We all slept much — mostly because it was easier than keeping your eyes open and white-knuckling it every ten minutes or so.
The team was a little bit heavy-hearted leaving Manali — well perhaps Mia was happy to be headed back to Delhi, but for the rest of us, Manali felt like home with just the right amount of foreign land to explore; it was the perfect mix of Stanley Park, Banff, and Disney’s Adventure Land — a resort town minus the resort. We extended our time there as it became necessary to flesh out the story that was unfolding as we conducted our interviews. This change made it necessary to cancel our booked flights, but there were no spots to rebook and that’s where the drive came in. We tried to get some interviews done in the van, but we were all feeling pretty drowned by the Gravol, so Josh shot lots of B-roll instead.
We got into Delhi at 7pm, had dinner and a production meeting, repacked, got about five hours of sleep and hopped on a 1hr 6am flight to Leh. This place is glorious and so refreshing after the heat we’ve experienced so far. Today we are spending the whole day just resting and getting climatized. Tomorrow, the guys will start the day with the sunrise and then we’ll go about town. It’s a whirlwind trip; we head back to Delhi Thursday morning.
Being here is pretty significant to us since it was having Leh on our itinerary that held us up from coming in September. If you haven’t been able to follow our journey up till now, just go back and check out all the past blog posts by searching ‘Child of Mine.” Check out this shot that Ryan took as we were coming in to land; amazing.
We extended our stay in Manali by two days and the guys have been scrambling to get everything they wanted shot. Tomorrow at 5am, we head out for a 12-hour drive back to Delhi with Mia. Here a some iPhone shots I took while we roamed about downtown. We’re all heading back to the guesthouse for some rest.
We arrived in Manali three days ago, after a six-hour white-knuckled twisty mountain road trip from Chandigarh. We’ve been going non-stop since we got here, but at every spare moment, I notice each one of us stopping to take in a breath of this sweet mountain air and an eyeful of the natural beauty of our surroundings. A large portion of our story rests in these Himalayan foothills, as Mia spent most of her life here at the Dar-Ul-Fazl children’s home. Yesterday we spent all day with Mia and some of her friends who still live there; she gave us a tour of the areas she grew up in, she took us shopping in Old Manali, and we took a hike up the mountain to look down over the town the home is settled in. In this short time that we’ve been together, Mia has become very comfortable talking to us and opening up about her life; through this, we have been able to solidify some of the lingering questions we had surrounding the closure of this story. It has become necessary to once again change up our travel plans; shortening our trip to Leh, spending more time in Manali, redefining our time in Delhi — Nick has altogether stopped creating call sheets.
We are all so grateful to be here on behalf of Child of Mine, to fully understand their call to ministry, and to be able to walk with Mia through this story of her life. Heartfelt-thanks to each one of you who are praying for this project and to those who have provided financial support to help make this happen. You can imagine that all these changes to our itinerary are quickly stretching our budget; if any of you are feeling the call to Send, we would greatly appreciate your donation to this project. We also humbly ask for your continued prayer for the team, for Mia, and for two other characters who have developed in this story.
When the MacBook meltdown happened, there was a quick scramble to figure out how to get the back-up computer that we had left in Delhi up to Chandigarh so we could continue offloading footage from the cards. Paul and Sue East, whom have been hosting us here and have been a tremendous help with our inter-country travel, worked out someone to transport the new MacBook for us. Jaem is a former graduate of the Shanti Niketan home who made that 8-hour drive to us with only a couple hours notice. What a savior! God is providing for us in so many ways; praise Him!!
As we partly expected — things have not gone as planned. Since the media team first decided to set out on this adventure last autumn, we’ve continually been surprised as we watched plan after plan get crumpled and crushed. For most people on a tight schedule, the slightest turn of events might throw them into an uproar, but I think that the past month’s events have prepared us for certain minor calamities. For example at 5am Monday morning, we arrived at the airport only to find out that our flight to Kulu had been cancelled and nothing else would fly us there that day. There were no freak-outs, no red faces, not even raised voices — just a calm and cool collective decision to put a 180 on our five-day itinerary and head to Chandigarh instead, where we planned to visit the Shanti Niketan Children’s Home after Dar-Ul-Fazl.
Through all this, we found out that Mia had not been able to keep food down for the past few days; she was very weak and took advantage of every flat surface we came across to lay down on. She pushed through and on our two-hour twisty mountain drive from the Chandigarh airport into the region of Himachal Pradesh, she was able to get a bit of fruit down and started to feel better. By dinner time, she was feeling better and eating again. We are at the Shanti home filming a side project to the documentary for Child of Mine. As we were getting ready to offload footage onto the MacBook we brought with us, it had a meltdown — thankfully the back-up is coming from Delhi tonight and it won’t have any affect on our progress. What a blessing and more assurance that God is in control of everything and knows far more than we can plan for!
Please continue to pray for the continued relationship-building that needs to happen in order for this project to be successful and for continued patience as we will possibly incur more of these little obstacles.
Here are just a few shots Ryan took while we shot some B-roll around Delhi today. We met with Mia briefly later in the afternoon; she has been feeling sick for the past few days, so please pray for her. We are all scheduled to fly together to Manali first thing in the morning for five days and I am so looking forward to a break from this 100+ degree weather.