Here’s a video of our auditions that highlights a few of the awesome, hilarious and talented kids in Hebron. With the help of our Casting Director, Mirna, the kids were either terrified or had a blast.
Old City of Hebron Street. Shot by Hallgrim Haug (DP) during our Location Scout, July 2011
My crew and Hebron police after finding our stolen equipment truck (upon which they sit) on our first day of filming the Sleeping on Stones Vision Trailer, July 2012. See “in the news” page for Ma’an News article.
Here’s my write up about it off our Facebook Page:
It was an insane first day of filming in Hebron.
It was hot in Palestine in late June 2011. We had a blonde Norwegian on set and his scalp was turning lobster red.
The first day on a film set is usually one when you’re trying to set a good rhythm and rapport with your new crew, especially one like ours that had an American director and exec producer, a Norwegian cinematographer, an American lead actor, the rest all Palestinian cast and crew.
We had just finished shooting at our first location - the Arroub Refugee Camp. It just so happened that all the kids there were fresh out of school for the summer. We were swarmed by hundreds of curious boys who ranged from wanting to help, trying their hardest to get in the shot, or taunting us to get the hell out of the camp. Having a camera plus dolley, track and a jib arm drawing attention, it was almost impossible to shoot in the camp’s soccer field. We could barely hear each other with all the screaming.
Finished with the scene, exhausted and it wasn’t even noon yet, we all drove by caravan to the Old City of Hebron. Stopping outside a house, its residents offered their front porch for us to sit, so we could eat our lunch comfortably. Our cars were parked, including our assistant camera’s truck holding all of our camera equipment, the contents totalling about US$20,000. We finished eating and walked back out to grab our equipment to start shooting the next scene. But the spot where our truck was parked was now empty.
Our firecracker producer Noor proceeded to round up any and all authorities in Hebron to let them know: “I’m either getting the money for this camera equipment or the truck and equipment will be found now.”
The police started rounding up the most notorious criminals of Hebron, asking them questions on who they thought were the culprits. The amazing residents of Hebron quickly heard the news and themselves took to the phones, calling their neighbors and family members. Our story advisor, Mussa, said many felt ashamed that an international production had come into town and this was the welcome they got. Within a few hours, pretty much everyone in Hebron not only knew we were filming, but that our truck was stolen.
The night was starting to fall and Hal (cinematographer) and I (Nicole, director) just finished filming for the day, a very hard scene to shoot with very limited crew and crowd control.
Then the police got a lead. They took off in their cars toward a house far in the Hebron hills. As the police cars approached the driveway, police heard gunshots ring out in their direction. The police managed to get on the property, grab the theif and found our truck with our equipment sitting in a garage full of stolen cars.
Above, a victory photo: The Sleeping on Stones crew and Hebron police sitting on the truck right after it was found.