Every real estate broker will tell you that one of the most important features of any house is its location. The same goes for a movie. The location is part of the story.
As Torah Live's newest grandest movie to date, "Live to Give,” prepares to roll, a film crew of 18, including three cameramen and their assistants, plus staff members of every kind, have descended upon the first of more than 60 locations needed for the production.
"Live to Give" is the story of a trio of teens who begin a chesed crusade after they realize that life is worth more when they give to others.
The project, seven episodes of 40 minutes each, requires more than five dozen locations including private homes, batei midrash, post offices, mini-markets, buses, high schools, stadiums and even an amphitheater and a home in the Golan Heights.
Finding these sets is a mission of its own - achieved by making a lot of phone calls, networking, friend to friend to friend, "Maybe you know someone who has a home that overlooks a forest?"
And amazingly...it works.
I have been location scouting for Torah Live for the past ten years, but the amount and variety of our needs for this film have forced me to be even more alert. My eyes have been wide open at all times - in the car, bus, train, hiking in the mountains, while shopping, visiting friends, walking around the neighborhood, taking trips with the kids.
Then suddenly, B"H, all the hard work pays off and like the imaginary village of Brigadoon, often a perfect location pops up.
Once a bunch of locations are accumulated, it's time for the crew that's responsible for bringing these locations to the screen, to visit each prospective site and determine if it will actually work for the film's needs.
I began the "Live to Give" location review with the producer, director, assistant director, props chief and director of photography. Each site had to be evaluated for size, sunlight, sound characteristics and general workability.
They say the mail is delivered under all weather conditions. Well, the unseasonable torrential rains and hail did not deter our crew from exploring our location possibilities. We stood outside at a muddy isolated bus stop to check if we would be able to film a pivotal scene there without traffic bothering the scene. We got soaked to the bone, but found the perfect spot.
We found a real chesed warehouse for our film, and even though it was fuhreezing, we examined every inch of the space until we were sure it was right.
We hopped between batei midrash, shuls and living rooms and B"H agreed on a slew of fantastic places.
We thank all those individuals and organizations who will be hosting us. Their chesed is enabling us to make our ground-breaking feature all about chesed.