We Are Afraid of Each Other

Posted in Theology and Media on October 8th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

Many churches have something called the “passing of the peace”, a time where everyone stands up, shakes hands with one another, and says “The peace of the Lord be with you” (or some shortened version thereof).  This past Sunday, as we shared the passing of the peace, I noticed something: many people seemed to be avoiding making eye contact with me, or at least not holding it for very long.  Several people even turned their head away from me before they were done shaking my hand.  Now, I suppose it could just be something undesirable they see in me, but I don’t think so.

I happened to be helping with Communion that same day, holding a cup of wine for dipping their bread.  This time, even less people made eye contact with me, even while I was speaking the words “The blood of Christ, shed for you.”  Most people seemed to focus on the wine cup before quickly turning away.

I can understand the aversion of these congregants toward making eye contact.  I feel some of that aversion myself.  It can be scary to look another human being in the eye, even more so to hold their gaze.  Perhaps we are afraid to let them see inside of us–there is a saying that “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” and I think there is some truth to that.  But it is also unfortunate.  Church is supposed to be a place of community, as well as a place of worship.  We already live in a disconnected culture, where people are more likely to text or Facebook someone than call or talk with them in person.

I think this disconnection leads to us being afraid of one another.  It begins to feel safer to only let people in so far.  When asked “How are you?”, we automatically respond with “Good,” which basically only means that “I’m not in mortal danger and don’t require your immediate assistance.”  But we need community.  This means that we need to fight that fear and reach out to one another, and this needs to begin in the church.

All that said, I have to admit that I haven’t been the best about reaching out to people either.  So often, it seems easier to dart for the car after church, rather than trying to strike up conversations with people I don’t know.  And beyond church, I should actually pick up the phone and call some of my old friends, rather than contenting myself with commenting on their Facebook walls.  I suppose this is something we all need to pray about.

Cinema Band: Suggestions for Our Statement of Beliefs

Posted in Cinetheologian News on September 25th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

One thing that several of the Cinema Band candidates have said is that we should have an overall statement of beliefs.  Yes, we may disagree on some things, but what common beliefs does the group share?  The following is not our official list, as we are still working on our business plan, however here are some core beliefs that I would suggest:

  • God is real.  He is more than a vague spiritual force, but is someone you can trust and turn to.  He wants to be involved in every aspect of your life.  In fact, your life will be better if God is at the center.
  • As Christians, we need to allow for the possibility that everything described in the Bible actually happened.  Perhaps some of it is metaphor or poetry, however failing to allow that the miraculous things in the Bible could have happened is to deny the power and capabilities of God.
  • There is a such thing as absolute truth.  Many voices in our culture deny this, saying that “I have my truth, and you have your truth,” or that “it is impossible to know the absolute truth on something, so therefore there is no truth.”  As members of Cinema Band, we are truth seekers who encourage others to seek truth.  We freely share our views on what that truth is, while admitting that we do not have the monopoly on truth–just because we believe in truth, and believe in consistently seeking it, this doesn’t mean that we will ever completely have the whole truth figured out.  But we can get closer to it–seek and ye shall find.
  • Truth without love is no more useful than “a resounding gong or a clanging bell” (1 Corinthians 13).  We must walk the fine line of upholding truth, while speaking it in love, not in condemnation of others.  (Incidentally, I think some of the ultra-liberal churches are focused on love without truth, while some of the ultra-conservative churches are focused on truth without love–we need both).
  • We believe in salvation, both when we die and in the here-and-now.  Heaven is where God is fully present, whereas Hell is where God is absent.  We all struggle with the sin, hell, death, that is within each of us, and we struggle with it every day.  All of the junk we deal with, the feelings of inadequacy, the constant striving to be “good enough”…this is a result of the brokenness in the world, the separation between God and humanity.  God can begin to save us from all that right now if we only turn to him–and turn to him constantly, because the moment we step away from God that junk will be waiting for us.
  • We cannot save ourselves, no matter how hard we try.  Only God can save us.
  • We believe that God saves us through his Word.  There is much theology behind this, and we are still trying to understand it all, but it seems that the Word is God’s active force in the world, the life-force, the force of creation.  God’s Word has spoken to us through the scriptures, through the prophets, and ultimately through becoming flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is through Jesus’ ministry that we Christians believe in and know God.  As Christians, we believe that one must have faith in Jesus in order to have eternal life.  However, the definition of “faith in Jesus” and “eternal life”, as well as the specific mechanism of salvation–these may be misunderstood and are worth exploring through our film ministry.
  • Not all religions are the same, nor is every religion an “equally-valid path to God.”  This is true, because there are some stark theological differences between the different faiths (i.e., “Jesus is either God or he isn’t”, “God is either personal or he isn’t”).  That said, as truth seekers, we will not immediately insist that our religion is superior, but will seek out the truth that is present in other faiths.

Again, these are suggestions and have not been officially adopted as the theology of Cinema Band.

Cinema Band Audition Project, Part 2: Production

Posted in Cinetheologian News on August 31st, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

After the Writing Session, I took Sunday as a Sabbath and then Monday morning got to work on the screenplay.  I started out at Lestat’s on Park, a coffee house in the University Heights area of San Diego.  By lunchtime, I had a first act banged out.  Then after lunch, I went over to the Living Room, another independent coffee house, this one in Point Loma.  By the end of the day, I had a rough draft written, which I sent out for comments.  At least half of the team responded with comments, and then I spent Wednesday writing the second draft (finished it Thursday morning at 5am).

The next two days were spent with production planning, and then on Saturday we gathered at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Encinitas to shoot it.

July 14, 2012: Filming a Short Christian Film

The call time was 7:30am.  We unlocked the church, and then set-up breakfast on a conference table: bagels, cream cheese, fruit, orange juice, and Trader Joe’s coffee.  It took us about an hour before we were recording video.  We started with Scene 2, which is a “crowd scene” (i.e. involves a group of extras).  The scene showed Pastor Carlton preaching a sermon on Sunday morning.  We didn’t have a lot of extras, it was basically just the cast of 5 and crew of 9.  But we set-up the camera and placed people in the pews just right so that the shot gave the impression that there were a decent number of people attending.

John was our primary cinematographer and camera operator, though Sarah shot as much as a third of the film.  Canon SLR cameras were used.  Sarah and I both directed, each of us taking different scenes.  Jason was our audio technician, which included operating the boom and supervising the recording of sound.  We recorded most of the production sound using a separate digital PCM recorder.  This meant that we would later need to synchronize the audio with the video.  Jason and Justin came up with a system of calling out the file number on the PCM recorder before we said “Action” for each shot.  This worked pretty well, though in the future, I would like to have a white-board slate that visually lists the sound number.  I’d also like to use the slate to create a “clap” which will help with synchronization.

Filming went a bit slower than we planned (the shooting schedule was designed to allow us to shoot the entire film in one 12 hour day).  This meant that we didn’t get through all the shots on the 14th, however we ended up shooting until about 11:30pm.  I think with better planning and more experience, we can get faster at filming scenes, though it was probably also overly-optimistic to think we could shoot a 13-page script in one day.

All in all, it was a very positive experience.  Everyone was in good spirits, and there was a great sense of teamwork and excitement.

Cinema Band Audition Project, Part 1: Writing

Posted in Cinetheologian News on July 26th, 2012 by msteffen – 1 Comment

Michael, Jason, Sarah, Justin, Ana, Johnny, John, and Faith.

Over the past 3 weekends, we held the Cinema Band Audition Project, where the Candidates I recruited got together and team-wrote a short Christian film the first weekend, then shot it the following two weekends.  In this entry, we’ll look at the collaborative story development session that took place on Saturday, July 7th.  In subsequent entries, we’ll look at scriptwriting, pre-production, the two weekends of filming, and the aftermath.

July 7, 2012: Team Writing a Christian Short Film

One of the core elements of the Cinema Band production model is that our film stories are written in collaborative brainstorming sessions.  I had experienced previous success with this method of story development in at least two instances: a short film in grad school at USC, and several stage plays with a drama camp at California Lutheran University.  Two years ago, I was looking to produce some Christian films, but was frustrated that the writing process took so long.  I wanted to rapidly write and produce films, rather than slave over a single idea for a year or more.  So I became convinced that a collaborative writing team was the solution.

So at 2:30pm on July 7th, the Cinema Band audition candidates met at a home in the Clairemont area of San Diego.  Those present included Ana, an actress with film crewing experience; John, a regional sales manager whose hobby is photography; Jason, an engineer by day and composer by night; Faith, an experienced entrepreneur who also loves drawing; Justin, a retired Marine with a passion for video editing; Johnny, an actor with lots of visual ideas; and Sarah, a photographer and assistant director with a dream of bringing Christ to Hollywood.

We spent the first hour or so talking about production logistics, and then I led a brief introduction to the 3-Act Structure for film storytelling.  Included in this was a worksheet with the basic elements that we needed to define in order to have a complete and coherent story (I did not want to assume that everyone present already knew about film story structure).  As it turned out, filling out this story worksheet provided an effective end goal for the brainstorm session.

Next, I gave the prompt: The main character finds lenses that show the true nature of reality as God sees it.  And from there, we launched into an all-out brainstorm.  Some wild ideas were thrown out there, but overall it was interesting how quickly the basic outline of a story emerged.  There’s a pastor.  His name is Carlton.  He obtains special glasses.  At this point, there was more debate: How does Carlton obtain the glasses.  Various ideas were put out there, including a mysterious homeless man and an old trunk.  Eventually, we decided on something that really fit well with the rest of the story, though I won’t give it away in this entry.

As the brainstorm leader, I found that I had to restrain myself from arguing against some ideas too early in the process.  Though ideally “no idea is a bad idea” during the early stages of brainstorming, it can still be difficult at times to remember this.  But on the positive, if I did begin to strike down an idea, I quickly corrected myself.  This was a learning process, even for me.

Having the basic outline of the story, we then broke for dinner.  John and Johnny had to leave, due to work obligations.  Ana stayed at the house, while the remaining five of us went to dinner at Panera.  Going to dinner together was a really good experience.  It gave us an opportunity to relax and get to know each other a little better outside of a work setting.  When we came back to the house after dinner, there was a noticeable increase in camaraderie between us.  There was more joking and laughing, and an all-around lighter air.  I think this increased level of comfort had a real positive effect on our creativity.

Fed and happy, we returned to work on the story.  At this point, we decided to start filling out the 3-Act Structure worksheet.  We had our main characters and setting—this was easier than it might otherwise have been.  Unlike most film projects, we had our actors and location chosen before we wrote the story (I arranged it this way, due to the tight timeframe between writing and production).  So we wrote our story around these constraints.  The lead male actor was cast as Pastor Carlton.  The younger woman was cast as his daughter.  And Ana was cast as the church busybody.  And since we had only one location lined up (Bethlehem Lutheran Church), Carlton’s church became the setting for the entire film.

We already had a good idea of some of the major events of the story, but finding a main dramatic tension proved to be more challenging.  The main tension is the key thing that the main character is trying to accomplish during the bulk of the film.  There must be some question in the audience’s mind whether the main character can accomplish this; otherwise there is no drama.  So the main tension is stated in the form of a question with a “yes” or “no” answer.

This was probably the scariest moment for me during the whole writing process.  If we couldn’t come up with a main tension, the story was sunk.  Things had gone so smoothly, and yet we were getting stuck on this most central element of the 3-Act Structure.  I was worried that our writing session would fall apart if we could not get past this.  At a certain point, we took a break and I went to use the bathroom.  During this I said a prayer, expressing to God my concerns about the stall in the brainstorm.  Soon after, the thought came to me: Carlton is trying to save his church!  So I came back and proposed that the main tension should be: Will Carlton save his church?  From there, the rest of the story fell into place over the course of an hour.

We wrapped up around 9:30pm.  Armed with a completed story worksheet and multiple pages of notes, it was now my task to write a production-ready script by Wednesday, the 11th (in 3 days, not counting Sunday).

Next: Part 2, Production

Cinema Band: Writing Audition This Weekend

Posted in Cinetheologian News on July 6th, 2012 by msteffen – 1 Comment

This past week, we’ve been gearing up for part 1 of the Audition Project: the Writing Audition.  A team of nine will gather in the Clairemont area of San Diego this Saturday, where we will brainstorm and develop a storyline based on prompt I will give.  I will then take our story notes and draft a script, which we will shoot the following weekend in Encinitas.

God’s Faithfulness in Providing Locations

I’ve definitely been stressing about getting all the pieces for this project lined up, but God has been faithful and has provided what we’ve needed in just the right timing.  One of these needs was a location for filming on the 14th.  San Diego has very favorable rules in terms of providing locations for filming.  The city will grant free permits for most public areas.  The catch is that production companies must carry production insurance, which is not free.  We are willing to purchase production insurance once we’re up and running as a full company, but we wanted to avoid this expense for the Audition Project.  So this limited our options to private locations.  Faith had called a number of churches, but got mostly lukewarm responses.  I had the thought to call Pastor Laura at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the church that my wife and I have attended since moving to the area.  I was afraid to call, fearing a lukewarm or even negative response.  But no.  Pastor Laura was thrilled at the idea of our filming at Bethlehem.  Thanks be to God for that!  “Thrilled” is the kind of response we want–those are the kind of people we want to work with.

We’d also had trouble finding a location that could accommodate 10 people for the Writing Audition.  Several churches were willing in theory, but were concerned about how it might conflict with Vacation Bible School (most churches in the area seem to be in the middle of it right now).  Then just Monday night, one of our audition candidates offered her home for us to use.  So things are falling into place, and God is definitely involved in the process.

New Audition Candidates

Though we haven’t been focused much on recruiting, we did gain two new audition candidates over the past week.  Ana is one of our actors for the July 14th film.  Based on her background and interests, we’d invited her to audition to be a core member of Cinema Band.  Ana initially declined, saying that she wanted to focus on acting.  But last week, Ana emailed to say that she’d been thinking more about it, and that she’d like to give the Writing Audition a try.

I also got a phone call from Jim, who had initially responded to one of our ads several weeks ago, but then hadn’t responded to my email.  Jim has previous experience in writing, directing, camera, and editing, and has done several 48 Hour Film Projects.

Advice from the Co-Founder of 36 Parables

Lastly, I had the opportunity to speak with Stewart Redwine, co-producer and cinematographer for 36 Parables, a series of short films based on the parables of Jesus.  One of the best pieces of advice that Stewart had was to keep our budget small, because the more money we spend, the more it becomes about money.  The danger is that you can find yourself serving Money, rather than God.  When you serve Money, your focus shifts from the message to whether or not you’ve sold enough units to refund your budget.  Good advice, because it’s an easy temptation to fall into–even in the service of God.

So here are our current recruiting numbers:

Audition Candidates: 10
Prospects: 3

Cinema Band: Last Saturday’s Actor Auditions

Posted in Cinetheologian News on June 26th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

This past Saturday, we held auditions for actors at Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach.  We had 8 actors show up: 4 men and 4 women.  One man came all the way from El Cajon; another woman biked 15 miles to audition.  Overall, things went quite smoothly.  We got into the room okay, our equipment functioned properly, and we saw some great acting.  The one thing we didn’t consider was the fact that the auditions were directly across the street from the San Diego County Fair, which made traffic rather difficult for some of the later arrivals.  We will begin contacting our first choices tomorrow.

Otherwise, we have begun to focus more intently on the Audition Project on July 7 and 14.  In most productions, the script is written first, and then actors, equipment, and locations are lined up.  Due to the unique nature of this project, the script will not be written until July 7.  Therefore, we need to line these things up in advance: the chosen actors, locations, and equipment will be given as constraints during the writing audition.

In the past week, I also created a rough draft prompt for the writing audition.  The initial comment I received on the prompt is that it is perhaps “too good” for the Audition Project (i.e., perhaps we should save it for the 5-film Prototype Series that we will produce in the Fall).  I am going to work on a few additional ideas, and we’ll choose one that will work best.

Lastly, we haven’t been too focused on core-member recruiting in the past week, due to the actor audition.  So those numbers are still the same.  We would still, however, like to recruit at least one more person each for Audio/Soundscape Director, and Cinematic Art Director/Cinematographer.  Please email us at info@cinetheologian.com, if you or someone you know might be interested.

A “Wheel of Time” Fantasy Novel Helps Me Understand Jesus

Posted in Theology and Media on June 19th, 2012 by msteffen – 1 Comment

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I got up and read a chapter of The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time, Book 12).  Warning: Spoilers Ahead.  For those who haven’t read the series, bear with me.

This particular chapter focused on Egwene, one of the rebel Aes Sedai (female wizards) who is captured by the Aes Sedai in the White Tower.  Though a prisoner, Egwene has been working to undermine Elaida’s leadership, which Egwene blames for the splitting the Aes Sedai in the first place.  In this chapter, the tension between Egwene and Elaida finally comes to a head.  Elaida has ordered Egwene to serve her at a dinner attended by the Sitters (leaders) of the various Ajahs (factions) in the White Tower.  Though Elaida attempts to humiliate Egwene, the reverse ends up happening.  Egwene challenges Elaida’s misuse of power, speaking the truth regardless of the consequences.  Elaida ends up losing it and physically assaults Egwene in front of the Sitters.  In a very Christ-like way, Egwene takes the blows without crying out, but rather calmly continues to question Elaida’s actions.  I have yet to see what happens next, but it seems very likely that this incident is the beginning of the end for Elaida’s grasp on power.

I suppose the reason I recounted this is because I find Egwene’s resolve inspiring.  She is willing to be beaten, threatened, and humiliated in the name of her greater cause of healing the rift among the Aes Sedai.  I see a parallel to Christ in this story.  The cause of healing the rift between humanity and God was more important than Jesus’ own personal well-being.  Being beaten, humiliated, and ultimately killed was worth it to him, because these actions began the healing of all creation.  Interesting that, in some ways, I feel that I understand Christ’s sacrifice just a little bit better, because of this story I read.  I think one of the biggest changes in my understanding is related to the nature of pain and suffering because of a cause.  I’ve always been afraid of the pain and suffering part, and more likely to question how that could ever be worth it.

But I feel that Egwene’s story helped illustrate it for me—I was Egwene as I read her story and was able to see how she was able to use her suffering to accomplish a greater good.  But a big part of the story’s effectiveness was being inside Egwene’s head.  She was not without doubt, or struggle, or anguish.  She was human and the pain really did hurt.  She almost gave up.

I think this is something we don’t always get from the story of Jesus.  We never get inside his head, to understand his struggles, his own doubts.  “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth”, so one hymn goes.  We get this picture of a placid, unflappable, and ultimately inhuman Jesus.  Perhaps we need more stories that get inside Jesus’ head, showing us his humanity.  I think this could be done, even while preserving the doctrine of him being perfect.

I am still not sure what I would do if presented with a deny-Christ-or-be-martyred scenario.  I hope it never happens, as I wholeheartedly desire to raise a family, and see my children and grandchildren.  But it is interesting how storytelling has helped me better understand the martyr.  And it encourages me in my mission to use cinematic stories to draw people to God.

Cinema Band: Momentum is Building

Posted in Cinetheologian News on June 13th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

The more people we find to audition for the core team, the more Cinema Band gains momentum.  This past week, we added two people to the list of audition candidates: Sarah and Mark.  Sarah currently works as a photographer for Sea World, but has prior experience with theatrical directing.  She is a bit newer to the field of filmmaking, but has a lot of passion and a long-term ambition to bring God to Hollywood.  Mark is a graduate of San Diego Christian College with a background in music (bass) and drawing, and a passion for youth ministry.  Mark’s ministry experience may prove useful for the live shows we plan to host.

Now that we have audition dates set, I am working on auditioning actors for the July 14th film shoot.  These actor auditions will take place on Saturday, June 23.  If you’d like to be considered as an actor, please email us at info@cinetheologian.com.

Faith is hard at work on the various aspects of our marketing plan, which is part of our larger business plan; John is also helping do some competitive analysis.  I drafted a Vision Statement and made some minor tweaks to the Mission Statement.  And I started writing down some key words that define our brand.

Lastly, Faith and I attended the San Diego Filmmakers group on Tuesday.  The topic was “How to Make Your Film Fiscally Fit”, which was very timely for us.  The main talk was led by two representatives from Struans Media, Inc, who are focused on “producing, acquiring, financing, and distributing”.  They presented their standard financing model for motion pictures which consists of a combination of Equity, Tax Credits & Rebates, Debt/Gap Financing, Foreign Pre-Sales, and Product Placement.  We then proceeded to stump them by asking, “how would this work if the production company was a non-profit?”  But they did recommend that we check out The Film Collaborative, which apparently is split into a non-profit and for-profit LLC.  They also suggested (to everyone) the idea of creating a color brochure designed to entire investors (or in our case, donors).

So things are going well, though there is a lot to do between now and the July Audition Project (securing a location, auditioning the actors, writing sides/scripts for the actors, devising a prompt for the writing audition, etc.).  It does feel as if God is working in this process though, which we are thankful for, and continually awed by.

Here are the current recruiting numbers:

Audition Candidates: 8
Prospects: 5

Cinema Band: Audition Project Scheduled for July

Posted in Cinetheologian News on June 5th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

We’ve officially scheduled the Audition Project.  It will take place in two stages: On July 7, we will gather as a group and co-write the story for a short film.  Then, on July 14, we’ll shoot it.  After that, the editors will edit it, the audio director will mix the sound, and the composers will score it.  If you are interested in auditioning, please email us at info@cinetheologian.com

This past week, I met with John, a former student with an interest in photography and sales & marketing.  He would like to try transitioning his photography skills to cinematography.  John also showed a lot of interest in helping us establish a brand, marketing it, and then selling the films to our audience.  Though our primary purpose is ministry, it is important to be able to reach our audience with our product, and to make some revenue in order to recoup our costs.  I am excited about talking with John further about the sales and marketing side of this venture.

I also posted an ad to Craigslist, which resulted in a pretty significant response.  I had tried a post back in April, but it did not work properly (I believe it was ghosted, because the original ad didn’t quite conform to their posting requirements).  But I tried again last week, upon recommendation from those at the Tuesday meeting, and this time it worked.  I plan to continue posting to Craigslist weekly, in addition to the existing recruiting strategies.

Last week, I also kicked off the writing of the business plan.  I went through a rather extensive Word template I’d downloaded a few years ago (29 pages), added my own stuff, and came up with an outline for the complete plan.  Faith is helping me research some questions regarding the business formation, branding, and financial issues.  And I began researching business ownership types.  For the most part, we are thinking that Cinema Band will be a 501c3 non-profit, though there is still the question of whether we are a Religious Corporation or Public Benefit Corporation.  Fortunately, this is moving faster now that there is more than one person working on it.

Finally, yesterday evening, I met with Rametin Movahhed of The Film Training Company.  Rametin is hosting a new workshop for artists called You+.  It focuses on the unique qualities of the artistic personality and consists of a series of lectures and exercises designed to help an artist gain focus and direction.  Due to scheduling, I probably won’t attend, but it is interesting to continue to make connections with local filmmakers, and even m0re so, with those involved in film education.  I just might have to pick Rametin’s brain sometime regarding film teaching techniques.

Here are the recruiting numbers for this week:

Audition Candidates: 6
Prospects: 4

Cinema Band: Meetings Galore!

Posted in Cinetheologian News on May 30th, 2012 by msteffen – Comments Off

A lot of ground was covered over the past week-and-a-half.  I had 3 meetings last week, and one this week.  The first was with Wayne, a DJ, events planner, and youth minister who is excited about the live performance part of Cinema Band (in addition to distributing films via web streaming and DVD, the plan is also to host live events where we show the films and lead discussions).  Wayne expressed interest in helping design the live events, including writing a discussion curriculum to go along with the films.  He also recommended that we initially screen at several churches of different denominations to test how these different audiences respond to the films.

The second meeting was with a prospect named Johnny: an actor who has an evident passion for preaching God’s word through visual storytelling.  I invited him to audition with us in July.  The third meeting was with Justin, an editor and visual effects artist whom I met at the San Diego Filmmakers meeting.  I was impressed with Justin’s knowledge of compositing and effects software, and his pointed questions for me about audience and what type of films we’ll produce.  Justin is also on-board to audition this July.

And just yesterday, we had our first group kickoff meeting.  The attendance was smaller than anticipated, however those who were in attendance brought a lot of enthusiasm and ideas.  These included Faith, an artist with a background in starting businesses, and Jason, a composer with a great mind for theological inquiry.  Among other things, we decided on a tentative date for the Audition Project (I’ll post the exact dates when they are confirmed).  Faith is going to help with the business side of things, including the business plan and incorporation.  Jason is setting up a Google+ group in which to collaborate using a new feature called Circles.  He also suggested that we consider entering the Inland Empire 48 Hour Film Festival, as a second audition and for publicity.

So things are moving along.  That said, my goal is to recruit at least double the current number of candidates before the audition project.  So there is still work to do.  Here are the current recruiting numbers:

Audition Candidates: 5
Prospects: 4