Wednesday, May 11, 2005


"We live in an age of research"
- Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

In order to write about conflict I felt like I had to experience elements of it firsthand. I thought about where I could travel to—short of a war zone—and decided on the next best thing... Israel.
In February, I spent 10 days in Israel and then walked across the boarder into the Egyptian Sinai desert for another 6 days. The entire experience was very affecting—from hanging out with Israeli soldiers, finding out what their daily lives are like and the emotions that they go through and difficulties that they deal with, to visiting a US military base in Dahab, Egypt and talking to some of the US ARMY regulars there.

Renting 2x4s and driving into the desert at night was an amazing way to wrap my mind around the realities of what it must be like serving as a Recon Marine.

The middle eastern desert is incredible: amazingly quiet, vast, windy, hot as hell and full of flies. The landscapes are really diverse and the colors are mind blowing—the blues, yellows, browns, grays, and golden sand. Seeing "Lawrence of Arabia" when I was 9 years old got me into this whole mess of deciding to become a filmmaker and now I know why.

I was planning to do another trip and go and spend some time near Camp Lajune in North Carolina to interview Marines right afterwards, but when I got home, I immediately started writing the fourth draft of the script and I didn't want to pause in the middle of it. Maybe I'll do that at the end of the summer just to fill in some more details in Owen's character.


At May 27, 2005 5:31 PM, Anonymous J Butlin said...

Look Forward to seeing you whenever you can make it. Sara will be gone in August to Peru, so there will be plenty of space.
Nice Blog by the way!



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