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

Blessings and challenges

It's been said that blessings and trials often run on parallel tracks, and usually arrive about the same time. That pretty well sums up the filming of Return to New Haven...


Having two movies under our belt was a great advantage. What we learned through trial and error on Runner and Defense gave us more confidence to jump in this time without feeling quite so much like we were in the dark!


In addition, the six years between Defense and Return made a big difference in the maturity and skills of our kids. They had great ideas to contribute to the story and sets. The boys were much more capable in construction skills, which freed Joel to focus more on planning and story writing.

Amelia’s artistic abilities added new dimension and character to our sets as she took over the art department: painting signs for our streets, and handling the set decorating.

The kids’ opinions and help not only freed Joel and me to do more, but we felt that it also gave us the capability to make a better quality movie – and that was exciting!

We were also very grateful for the loving support and prayers and gifts of family and friends that kept us going. Literally, this movie would not have been made without them!


As we mentioned before, the sale of the property turned our production of Return into a race against time, as we hurried to finish shooting before we had to move out...Limited funding was always an issue.. And COVID laid us flat for several weeks just as we began construction. In addition, the lock-downs and sheltering in place made it difficult for us to get needed building materials and to shop for costumes.

As a family, we laugh about the fact that as soon as we launch into construction or shooting, we can count on two things: our family getting sick and everything in our life breaking! It’s unreal – we’ve been through several washers, two ovens, a dishwasher, a broken dryer…not to mention video equipment and our film camera having to be replaced!

(and worn-out shoes!) :)

We look back over the months of working on the film and see the Lord's hand in all of it - the blessings and the challenges! We praise Him for His faithfulness in leading us and providing for every step of the way.




  • Scott Messinger

    It’s a real blessing to be able to read these things about the behind the scenes happenings of the movie and I have enjoyed all three movies and again look forward to the next one! Keep on going for Jesus and making movies that are Christian based. Praying for you and your family as you continue to serve the Lord in this way. Excited to read more in the near future. God bless, Scott

  • Amelia Polder

    Love reading this bit of behind the scenes. Its pretty amazing what all a big family can get done once everyone is older…I can also really relate to things going wrong at the worst time like this 😬😆

    You guys are awesome.

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