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Behind the Scenes, little crew studios, Our Story, Return to New Haven -

Adventures on set

Our first day of filming: August 10, 2020! After a week of experimenting with lighting, we began with a night scene for our first official shoot.

 

Excerpt from journal:

August 15, 2020 - Five days of shooting under our belt! As we started out the week, I had high hopes that we could complete 7 scenes. YES - we can do this! However, I quickly revised my expectations after the first night, as we realized that Jordan (age 5) is new to this whole acting thing! We had very many takes as we asked him to walk up the street and look into the window of the Golden Barrel Inn. He still needs to learn NOT to look at the camera and NOT to talk when the camera's rolling! When Joel called Jordan's name for him to start walking up the street, Jordan would stand there and reply, "Yes sir?" Or Joel would try to get Jordan to look up the street by asking, "Where's Tate?" Instead of turning to look, Jordan would answer, "Tate's standing next to you!" 😊

 

 

By the second day I was deciding maybe just one usable scene would be a good goal for our week! It's going to take a while to get back in the swing of things. Everyone is very rusty. And making silly mistakes – like moving props. Midweek some of us readjusted the placement of props, not realizing that Joel had put them there for a specific reason. Lesson learned: when we're shooting all week on the same scene – DON'T MOVE PROPS!

 

But despite our slowness and rustiness, it's great to be back at it. The fact that we're all out there, working as a team, everyone with their specific role, making this happen – it's exciting! By the middle of the week, the kids were quite familiar with their jobs: everyone has their light station they're responsible for, Tate's the mover of the waters (using a bucket to rough up the water in the canal so that it has movement), Nate's our clapboard guy and battery charger, and Allie runs the audio recorder.

 

 

We moved our travel trailer adjacent to the sets to be used for our dressing room and equipment storage.

 

 

Playing Zingo in the trailer...waiting for time to shoot!

 

 

Journal excerpt:

 

August 19, 2020

Day 7! 4 scenes done – give or take. Pretty good for our first round! Joel expected the initial 3 weeks to be rough, as we get up to speed with acting and the flow of things, so we're encouraged with the progress made.

 

Everyone gets into it once we're filming in the evening, but after late-night shoots, mornings are very slow and grumpy. 😊 But I'm trying to accept that that's just how it is right now. I'm not going to get as much done in a day – but that's OK, because our priority right now is filming! And yay for that!

 

Jordan is quite the little actor. He has no inhibitions, no cares, no concerns! He stays jolly, no matter the time of night, no matter how he's doing! Last night, Joel told Jordan his first take was no good. Jordan replied with a cheery, "OK!" He's not fazed by anything!

 

 

And he is so funny! Tonight as we were walking through the next scene, Joel asked him, "Do you think you could yell as you run up the street?" (being chased by the Reds) "Let's hear it!" Without missing a beat, Jordan began running, yelling as he went, "I – want -- my -- mommy!" 😊

 

In the midst of all the intensity and challenges, it's good to laugh!

 

 

Forming the Unnaturals Club

One of the kids told me today (I won't name names here) :) that Child #1 called Child #2 and Child #3 together last night and informed them that the three of them were forming an acting club, called the Unnaturals. (Some of our kids are less natural at acting than the others.)  Child #1 challenged the other two to a pact for this movie to break out of the mold and do incredible acting to amaze us all. Child #2 protested, saying, "I don't want to be in this club! I didn't ask for this!" But Child #1 wouldn't let him out of it – he said Child #2 doesn't have a choice – he is in this acting club of Unnaturals, like it or not. 😊

 

 

August 28, 2020

This is a battle, for sure, and majorly draining – but how exciting to see progress! Each time we shoot, we learn and improve.

Joel is encouraged with the boys' capability and good attitudes. When we did the set walk-through Wednesday, he lined out what needed to happen for the next two nights' shoots. When Joel and I arrived down at the set Wednesday night to shoot, all was ready! The boys also had to build a stretcher for Carson...Tate and Harrison whipped one out in 45 minutes before supper. The boys built a wooden frame and stretched a piece of canvas over it, and it looks great!

Allie was SO excited, for last night was to be her debut!! The bounty hunter's as well – so it was to be a big night. But alas, we did not make it to the second half of our scene where the bounty hunter and Elsie showed up. All the lighting from Main Street had to be pulled and repositioned, which takes time – so we weren't ready to shoot until nearly 10. We got a good productive 1.5 hour in, but to start in on bounty hunter and Elsie would have pushed us very, very late, so we voted to call it for the night and start in again on Monday. Disappointing, especially since we have to wait over the weekend – but that's how it goes. Allie was SO sad! She was all in costume, and very excited for her part! But I told her it was good to have a trial run with her costume and hair anyway. 😊

 

The shoot went really well, even though it was short. We were especially encouraged with Jordan! He was so stiff and awkward in those first two scenes, but we're finding out the key is to have him with the other kids. When he's in the midst of his brothers, he totally relaxes and becomes himself again – it is a major transformation! He was cutting up and being a ham last night –had us all in stitches! Once he walked down the street singing, "Amen! Hallelujah!"

Jordan was wrestling with the boys for their crossbows – and that gave Joel the idea of using it as a crutch to give Jordan something to make him look more natural. Jordan got right into the line, and loved it! We were amused by his persistence: "Can I have a crossbow?" "May I PLEASE have a crossbow?" "I REALLY want a crossbow!" Yay - it worked!            

    

 


11 comments

  • Dawn

    You guys are awesome! Huge fan! I even dream about meeting your family! Please make many more movies! And if possible could you post more behind the scenes videos?

  • Evelyn

    What can be better than a Movie made by Christians for the Glory of God!? It’s absolutely beautiful and hilarious! When are the next ones!?

  • Gunner

    I want to join this cast I know that you are done making those movies but with people getting older you will need new people to act in your films and I was wondering if I could join this grand movie-making cast some things can be a problem like how far away do you live if you live close to me then we might be able to do it
    I live in Charlotte I can not tell you any more than that if you know what I mean🙂 there is one more problem are you making any more Movies?

  • Terri

    We may be grandparent age without grandkids but we felt like kids watching this wonderfully executed film! Great script, costumes, sets, directing, and little actors! Thank you :) looking forward to more, for sure 😁

  • Gunner

    Your New Haven movie was SO great! Me and my siblings can’t wait to watch the sequel!

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