Casting was probably the most important part of making Immersion. The search to find Moises and his classmates took several months. I visited the twelve elementary schools in Oakland and San Francisco with the highest Latino enrollment. These are also schools where the vast majority of students are poor enough to qualify for free lunches. I spoke in every 4th and 5th grade classroom.
I encouraged the kids to make their own films, using the child filmmaking exploits of fellow New Zealander Peter Jackson as an example. "Who's seen Lord of the Rings" and "Guess how old the filmmaker was when he made his first film" (correct answer: 8 years old) turned out to be good conversation-starters. Of course, the kids were also encouraged to participate in Immersion.